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Saturday, 25 June 2016

Niger Delta militant leader, Charles Okah, escapes prison?

According to Sahara Reporters, Charles Okah who is a member of the Movement for the Emancipation of Niger Delta (MEND) has escaped from Kuje prison.

 Okah who is the brother of Henry Okah who was the leader of the group  escaped on Friday, June 25 by scaling the high fence of the prison walls.

Charles Okah

Okah has been on trial for the 2010 Independence Day bombing that killed 27 people during the country’s 50th independence anniversary. The escape happened around 7:30 pm and he reportedly jumped the prison walls with another inmate.

Security operatives have begun a massive manhunt to apprehend him. Henry who is the senior Okah has since been convicted by a court in South Africa. MEND which used to be a notorious militancy group eventually accepted the federal government’s amnesty and stopped the destruction of pipelines and kidnap of oil workers.

 However, Daily Trust has reported that the news of Okah’s escape from Kuje prison is not true. Francis Enobore who is the public relations officer of the Nigerian Prisons Service claimed he was in touch with security operatives on ground and that Okah was still in detention.
prison walls

The prison wall

He said: “It is not true, Charlse Okah is still in custody. I have been in touch with our men in the prison facility and there is nothing like that [Okah escaping].” He however admitted that there was an incident at the prison on Friday. “Yes there was an incident yesterday, but Henry Okah was not involved.” Okah infamously tried to commit suicide in court in 2015 after he addressed Justice

Gabriel Kolawole and claimed that former president, Goodluck Jonathan was responsible for his travails. He had said: “I have been incarcerated for about five years now, and I have a family to cater for.‎ “My children would grow up without feeling the warmth of their father. ‎I am tired of this endless trial.” Earlier this year, Okah  embarked on a hunger strike to protest against harassment by officials of the Kuje prison.