Abuja bombing: Psychiatric report delays Charles Okah’s trial

The unavailability of a psychiatric evaluation report on a suspected mastermind of the October 1, 2010 bomb blast, Charles Okah, on Wednesday stalled his trial before an Abuja Federal High Court.

Okah’s mental health became a subject of debate after his lawyers claimed that he was not mentally fit to face trial over his alleged involvement in the bombing.

The  suspect, who has been consigned to a wheel-chair in his recent appearances in court, had become emaciated and was making unintelligible gestures during proceedings.

But the Federal Government is insisting that he is only pretending, and that he is fit enough to be prosecuted.

Presiding judge, Justice Gabriel Kolawole, had on January 15 ordered further evaluation of Okah’s mental health after his lawyer, John Ainetor; and prosecution counsel, Dr. Alex Izinyon, SAN, disagreed over the report of the initial assessment conducted by the National Hospital, Abuja.

But, when the court resumed to consider the outcome of the further psychiatric evaluation on Wednesday, Federal Government counsel, Dr. Alex Izinyon, SAN, said the report was not ready.

“The medical evaluation report is not yet ready from the team of experts from the National Hospital Abuja. I am in court today to confirm same position. From our inquiries, the medical report is not ready,” he said.

As a result of the development, Justice Kolawole had to adjourn the case to May 12.

However, he also directed that the authorities at the National Hospital, Abuja, should be informed that the medical evaluation report on Okah’S mental health “is eagerly being awaited by the court.”

The suspect is a brother to former leader of the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta, Henry Okah, and he is being tried alongside Obi Nwabueze for the October 1, 2010 bomb attack near the Eagle Square in Abuja, which caused the death of about 12 people.

Already, Henry Okah had been convicted by a South African court over the incident. – Punch.

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