Nigeria militant’s brother charged at ‘secret hearing’

BBC reports that Charles Okah, brother of Nigerian oil militant Henry Okah, has been charged at a secret hearing in the capital. He was arrested last weekend on suspicion of aiding two deadly car bombings during celebrations of the 50th anniversary of independence. The BBC’s Chris Ewokor in the capital, Abuja, says the defence lawyer was barred from the court proceedings.

Our reporter says lawyers and journalists had expected to be able to attend the hearing.

But all of a sudden, security agents blocked the entrance of the courtroom and would not allow anyone inside, he says.

“We were barred from entering the court premises by operatives of the State Security Services,” Charles Okah’s lawyer Ogheneovo Otemu told the BBC.

“The accused persons were arraigned before the court and they were not allowed to be represented by counsels of their choice, which is a very serious constitutional breach,” he said.

Our correspondent says it is not yet clear if they entered any plea while in court, but the charge sheet showed they are being accused of engaging in criminal conspiracy to commit a felony and a crime bordering on murder – punishable by life imprisonment.


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