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Nigeria rebel charged with treason for alleged coup plot

[JURIST] The Nigerian Federal High Court on Friday formally charged rebel Henry Okah with treason based on an alleged coup plot. Okah, a member of the militant Movement for the Emancipation of Niger Delta (MEND) [BBC backgrounder], was arrested and charged in Angola in September after attempting to buy weapons and explosives. Friday's closed court hearing was the first trial proceeding since Okah was secretly extradited to Nigeria in February. Okah's lawyers took the opportunity to condemn the court for preventing themselves, Okah's family, and the International Red Cross from meeting with him while he has been detained. They also argued that the court violated Nigerian law when it failed to notify the defense of the charges against Okah before Friday's session. The court adjourned until April 22 in order to consider the defense's objections.

MEND has promised to renew attacks in the Nigeria Delta region if Okah does not receive a fair trial. He faces the death penalty if convicted. BBC News has more. This Day has local coverage.

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