Nigerian student gets 40-month jail term for threatening to bomb UK varsity

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Somtochukwu Okwuoha, a Nigerian student at Dundee University, Scotland, has been sentenced to 40 months behind bars over threats to bomb the institution.

The Perth Sheriff court ruled that the international energy studies student should be deported after serving his jail term.

In November, the court found the 26-year-old master’s student guilty of seven charges, including making terrorist threats against the university. He was remanded in custody.

Okwuoha claimed he had enlisted ISIS, a terrorist organisation, to help bomb the university. He also told the university staff that he planned to target the city in a chemical attack.

Sheriff William Wood said Okwuoha’s “presence in the United Kingdom is not conducive to the public good, and I make a recommendation for your deportation in due course”.

“You came to the UK in 2021 to attend a master’s degree at Dundee University. You formed a friendship with Fatmata Barrie and thought the relationship could be taken further,” Wood said.

“When she rebuffed your advances, you began a malicious campaign against her. You sent threats and tried to manipulate her emotions.

“You were abusive towards her and tried to have her removed from her university course. You alleged she was a potential terrorist in the UK and, as a Muslim, was able to engage with terrorist agencies that would visit mass murder and other terrorist offences within the UK.

“The university decided to suspend you from your course and you turned your attention towards staff. You threatened mass murder, and terrorism, and said you would plant bombs and use biological weapons.

“You said you would commit acts of terror in the UK, and particularly at Dundee University.

“One member of staff was so fearful he refused to return to work.

“You were released on bail with conditions not to commit further offences. Despite being barred from campus you repeatedly entered it without reasonable excuse.

“Over a period of nine months you made these threats and embarked on what can only be described as a campaign to discredit, and to incite terror in those to whom you sent threats.”

During the trial, witnesses told the judge how Okwuoha said he planned to carry out mass murder on the Dundee University campus, claiming he had military background and was capable of making bombs and unleashing a deadly virus.

Keith Mackle, now retired director of student services, said he became aware of “serious concerns” in the autumn of 2021 when staff members received emails containing terrorist threats.

According to Mackle, one of the email reads: “Expect a massive bomb explosion at the University of Dundee. I have contacted ISIS terrorists to plant bombs on campus. I can assure you staff and students will die in great numbers. 9/11 will be a joke compared to what will happen. Blood will spill and flesh will be scattered”.

Stewart Kennedy, a campus security officer, said he received a call from an unknown number telling him of a bomb being placed on the campus and that “there was going to be carnage tonight”.

“I could tell he was covering his mouth to disguise it but I could tell it was an African accent,” Kennedy said.

Shane Taylor, an accommodation officer, said Okwuoha accused him of being racist and said he would wipe out Scottish people as revenge.