Lagos Banker Arrested Due To Connection To Militant Leader Henry Okah

Okah Okah •27 AK47 rifles found in another suspect’s home

Oct 7, 2011 – Lagos Banker Arrested Due To Connection To Militant Leader Henry Okah

The security agents have arrested two men who they believe are allies of Henry Okah, the militant leader. 

Held is a Lagos banker, Nonso Nnaemeka, who was whisked away on Tuesday by security operatives, believed to be from the State Security Services (SSS). 

Okah, the acclaimed leader of the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND), is standing trial in a South African court for alleged terrorism. 

He is accused of being the mastermind of the twin-bomb blasts that rocked the Eagle Square, Abuja, on October 1, last year during the Golden Jubilee anniversary of Nigeria’s Independence.   

Also held is Jessica David, who is also known as Segun. Both are believed to have strong links with Okah. 

Nnaemeka and David were taken to Abuja yesterday for further interrogation. The Director-General of the State Security Services (SSS), Mr Ekpenyong said on Tuesday that he had not been briefed of the arrest.

When contacted, the Assistant Director, Public Relations of the SSS, Mrs. Marylyn Ogar, said: “I am just coming in from Lagos, I am not aware of any arrest.  I know the service is doing something but I have not been briefed, I am not aware. When I have the information, I will let you know.”

The outlawed MEND had, on September 28, issued a three-paragraph statement, warning Nigerians to stay away from the Eagle Square, which it promised to bomb. The October 1, last year, bombing killed 10 people and injured more than 35 others, including 11 policemen.

The government, in a last-minute move, shifted the Independence anniversary celebrations to the Presidential Villa.

Though the Federal Government would not publicly admit so, it was believed that the development may not be unconnected with threats by militant groups, specifically MEND and the Boko Haram, to attack the Eagle Square.

Six suspects, including Henry Okah’s younger brother, Charles, are standing trial at an Abuja Federal High Court in connection with the October 1, last year attack.

The banker’s arrest is the second of such in Lagos within 72 hours, made by a team of detectives on the trail of Okah’s suspected allies.

At the bank yesterday, Nnaemeka’s colleagues told customers that he was away on an assignment.   

The Nation learnt that David was arrested on Sunday at Iyana-Iba, a Lagos suburb, for his alleged control of Okah’s businesses.

Sources said 27 AK47 riffles and 200 rounds of ammunition were found in his custody. The arms were concealed in a vehicle parked in his house.

A source in the bank told of how the manager was arrested at work on Tuesday, following the information given by David.

“When arrested, every detail on Okah, including a lot of correspondences, was on the banker’s phone. He claimed to be a childhood friend to Okah,” the source said, pleading not to be named.

After a two-day drilling, the bank manager, who lives in a three-bedroom apartment in Festac Town, was found to own houses in highbrow Ikoyi and Victoria Island.

Security agents, it was learnt, had used a tracking equipment to locate the suspected Okah ally at Iba.

The hunt for Okah’s allies was intensified following a threats from MEND to disrupt the scheduled celebration of Nigeria’s 51st Independence anniversary. (The Nation)