Tarila and her fiance had gone to ask for Okah's marriage blessings as they prepare for their wedding in August 2016
Tarila Okah is the daughter of alleged terrorist, Charles Okah who was accused of being the brain behind the October 1 bomb blast in which took place in Abuja in 2010.
The suspect's daughter who is engaged and set to marry her fiancé, Domeno Morrone a Canadian, visited her father in Kuje where he's imprisoned pending his terrorism trial.
Tarila and her fiancé had gone to ask for Okah's marriage blessings as they prepare for their wedding in August 2016.
The engaged couple had an exclusive interview with The Nation Newspaper where they talked about the happy family reunion, how they met and expectations for Okah's release ahead of their wedding in 2016.
Read excerpts from the interview:
On how the meeting went down with her father, Tarila said: "I saw him today. I feel so happy. It’s been five long years. Honestly, I can’t believe how we made it this far. I remember when it all started, it’s like yesterday. It remains one of the hardest times of my life. I can’t believe we are still facing the ordeal. It was very difficult to go through because as a family, we have always relied on him; he has been the head of the home and source of strength for all of us. So not having him at home has been very difficult, especially for my younger ones. We are hoping and praying that this will be over soon."
On how the reunion was like, she said: "Oh… my goodness (laugh). It was overwhelming, especially for my sister. She is younger, she just turned 18. When we saw him, we just started crying because we saw our father in a totally different light. That is not the man, let me rephrase, that is not the circumstance or the situation anyone wants to see his or her father. That was the first time my fiancé was meeting him as well. That is not the way you want to take your future husband to meet your father. That is not how you want to get your father’s blessing for your marriage. I am seeing him in a completely different light. Deep down inside, I know the man that he is. I know these are trumped up charges. That gives me peace."
On why she brought her fiancé to see her father. "I have a very supportive man, I am very lucky in that sense. I remember the first time I told him about it. This is the first time he has been to Nigeria and Africa for that matter."
On when their wedding is scheduled to take place. "We are hopeful that it will be next year. I keep saying I have never imagined anyone else except my father walking me down the aisle. So I believe that God is going to give his way."
On her father's parting words. "He said don’t worry; I’m going to be out soon, because I was crying; my sister was crying too; and that was hard for him to see. He (my fiancée) was crying too."
On what makes their love strong. "I don’t know how to put that in words. We actually met online. For a lot of people in our generation and age, that is becoming more popular. It’s a lot easier to meet somebody that way. I was working at a time with a small group of people. There was nobody to meet, aside from her, I was busy with work and family so I did not have time to go out to look for somebody. So online was a good option. We have the same connection. Before we even met, we had spoken on the phone and she was just about to leave for her work trip for about two weeks. So we spoke on the phone for about two hours on the first night before she went. While she was away, we managed to set time aside to know the different times we could message each other and connect. I was very anxious."
On who proposed first. "(Laughs)….Well I contacted her first. I found her online and I made sure she remembers that but I think we both knew especially after we met each other for the first time. We both knew."
Tarila and Domeno were then asked about love scams on the internet. "Like I said, we spent time speaking on the phone first and messaging for a couple of weeks. I am familiar with the area that we met so I wasn’t worried. So when I saw her, it all started."
On what message Morrone had left his future father-in-law before visitation time ended. "I thanked him. That was the first thing. I thanked him for giving me his blessings to marry his daughter and I wished him well in good health, to stay strong because I am looking forward to seeing him attend our wedding, August 6 next year."