Posted by AFP on
Separatist warlord Mujahid Dokubo-Asari, on trial in Nigeria for treason, lashed out at President Olusegun Obasanjo before appearing in court, calling him a "dictator and a murderer."
ABUJA - Separatist warlord Mujahid Dokubo-Asari, on trial in Nigeria for treason, lashed out at President Olusegun Obasanjo before appearing in court, calling him a "dictator and a murderer."
"Obasanjo is a dictator, and he will pay for the crimes he is committing against the people of this country and against humanity," said Dokubo-Asari, arrested in September after threatening to resume his armed campaign to carve out an independent republic for his ethnic Ijaw people in the oil-rich Niger Delta.
"We, the Ijaw people, have resolved that we will go any length to get our freedom and bring Obasanjo to justice," Dokubo-Asari shouted as he alighted from the vehicle that brought him to court.
"He is the murderer, the thief who is stealing the resources of this country," he said while jostling amidst a horde of security officials.
The resumption of Dokubo-Asari's trial yesterday came on the heel of last week's kidnapping of four foreign oilmen working for subcontractors to Shell, as well as a pipeline blast that has reduced Shell's output by some 211,000 barrels of crude per day, almost 8.4% of Nigeria's daily output of 2.6 million barrels.
A previously unknown group calling itself the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (Mend) has claimed responsibility for both incidents.
The group said in a statement that it is seeking independence for the 14-million-strong Ijaw population, and demanded the release of two Ijaw leaders facing different trials, Dokubo-Asari and former Bayelsa governor Diepreye Alamieyeseigha, accused of embezzlement and money laundering.