South African court dismisses Henry Okah’s lawsuit challenging his conviction for terrorism

A lawsuit filed by the leader of the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) Henry Okah, challenging his 2013 conviction and sentencing to 24 years in South African prison for the 2010 bombings in Abuja and Warri which left about three people dead, has been dismissed by a Pretoria High Court.

Justice Moses Mavundla who presided over Okah’s lawsuit which challenged his trial and conviction on 13 counts of terrorism-related activities, pointed out that the MEND leader has already appealed his conviction at the Supreme Court and the Constitutional Court.

Mavundla disclosed that the general principle is that a convicted and sentenced person cannot appeal against his conviction more than once. He held that a decision contrary to that general principle will lead to a chaotic judicial situation.

The South African Judge who ordered Okah to pay the taxes and allowed costs for the first, second and third respondents, (The State, The Director of Public Prosecutions and the Minister of Police), insisted that the MEND leader pleaded not guilty and exercised his rights to silence. Mavunlda said it is deemed that the court has jurisdiction in the absence of lack of jurisdiction plea.

Speaking to Channels Television after his lawsuit was dismissed by the South African court, Okah stated that he is still fighting on.

 

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