Nigerian jailed in S.Africa denies prison break bid
Henry Okah, a Nigerian sentenced in South Africa to 24 years on terrorism charges, did not attempt a prison break as authorities claimed, his lawyer said on Wednesday.
“He never tried to escape,” lawyer Idemudia Uriesi told AFP. “It’s just an excuse.”
Okah is now suing the South Africa prison authorities for “impinging” his prison rights, claiming he is being kept in solitary confinement.
He questioned why authorities have not yet pressed any charges against Okah for trying to escape.
South African prison officials last week said Okah had been among five inmates who tried to escape last month.
They were not immediately available for comment on Wednesday.
His lawyer also claims Okah’s health has been neglected, that he is kept inside his cell for 23 hours a day and is not allowed access to the gym or library.
Okah was convicted last year and sentenced on 13 counts of terrorism, including twin bombings that killed 12 people in the Nigerian capital Abuja as the country celebrated the 50th anniversary of its independence in 2010.
He was arrested, tried and convicted in South Africa where he has permanent residency.