Suspected mastermind of the 2010 Independence Day bombings, Charles Okah, who was rumoured on Saturday to have escaped from Kuje prison on Friday evening, on Sunday, said he was receiving treatment isolation for suspected Lassa fever infection at the time of his alleged escape.
Speaking through his lawyers, First Law Solicitors, Okah, who is standing trial for allegedly masterminding the 2010 Independence Day bombings, said he would never be involved in any prison break, as he is confident of “triumphantly walking out of the Kuje Prison gates as a free and vindicated man”. “We are Solicitors to CHARLES TONBRA OKAH (whom we shall hereinafter, refer to as “our client”),” read the statement, signed by Timipa Jenkins Okponipere.
“Our client has instructed us to notify the general public that he was not involved in any manner whatsoever in the prison break, which occurred at about 7.00pm on Friday June 24, 2016 at the Kuje Maximum Security Prison in Abuja. “It is our client’s brief that he was quarantined in an isolation room within the Kuje Prison Clinic for a suspected Lassa fever infection when news of the incident broke. “On account of his popularity amongst the inmates, word quickly spread that our client was among the two inmates who escaped by scaling the 25 feet-high Kuje Prison fence. It took almost 24 hours for the inmates and Prison Authority to realise that our client had not escaped from the Prison.
“Our client has further instructed us to notify all Nigerians and the international community that, God willing, and without prejudice to his ongoing trial, he shall triumphantly walk out of the Kuje Prison gates as a free and vindicated man. He has already set his sights, upon his release, on working assiduously with the current administration to bring stability to the Niger Delta region. “He is however, using this opportunity to appeal to the Judiciary, particularly, Hon. Justice Gabriel Kolawole, to speedily determine his case; which has dragged on for nearly 7 years.
“Our client has further and better instructed us to notify his kith and kin in the Niger Delta region to give maximum support to the AARON TEAM 2; a peace initiative of the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) which is aimed at dialogue with the Federal Government on the immediate, medium and long-term future of the region.” Okah also appealed to militant groups in the region to “stop the attacks on oil installations and desist from being used by disgruntled, corrupt and selfish politicians”.