Monday, 29 November 2010

Charles Okah charged over kidnappings

The brother of Nigeria's main militant group the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (Mend) has been charged with kidnapping nine foreign oil workers. Charles Okah – brother of Henry Okah – and three other men have denied involvement in the kidnappings, which took place between August and October this year.

Charles Okah was charged last month over the Independence Day car bombings in Abuja. However, the Nigerian authorities believe it was his brother Henry Okah who masterminded the attack. Henry Okah has been refused bail in South Africa where he is currently detained.

In total, 19 oil workers were rescued this month. The Nigerian authorities said 63 people had been arrested in connection with the kidnappings. Charles Okah and his accomplices were accused of kidnapping four Indian, three French and two Russian citizens.

The recent upsurge in militant activity is believed to have commenced with the attacks on the capital Abuja, which killed 12 people on 1st October, as Nigeria was celebrating 50 years of independence from the UK.

Source: BBC News

For more news and expert analysis about Nigeria, please see Nigeria Focus and Nigeria Politics & Security.

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