South Africa - From our correspondent

Suspected Mend leader Okah denied bail in South Africa

Reuters/Afolabi Sotunde

Exiled rebel leader Henry Okah, who is wanted on terrorism charges in Nigeria, has failed in a further bid to get bail. He has been held in a Johannesburg prison since his arrest last October pending an extradition hearing.

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Judge Flip Hattingh found there was not enough justification for interfering with the magistrate's decision last November to deny Okah’s bail.

Okah argues that he should be released on health grounds, but the judge is convinced that there is a prima facie case against Okah and found no exceptional circumstances, according to National Prosecuting Authority spokesman Mthunzi Mhaga.

He added that the NPA is confident that even if the ruling is taken to the Supreme Court of Appeal it will be dismissed.

Investigations about Okah’s involvement in the October bomb blasts in Abuja are still underway. South African authorities are communicating Nigerian investigators.

The bombings in Abuja killed 12 people and injured 36 during celebrations of the anniversary of Nigeria’s independence from Britain.

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