The Department of State Services (DSS) has announced the arrest of two men belonging to the Islamic State of West Africa Province (ISWAP) suspected to have masterminded the bomb blast in Okene, Kogi State on December 29, 2022, few minutes to the arrival of President Muhammadu Buhari in the area to commission some projects executed by the State Governor, Yahaya Bello.
The bomb blast occurred directly behind the Palace of the Paramount ruler Ohinoyi of Ebira land, Dr. Ado Ibrahim.
In a statement today, January 4, the spokesman of DSS, Dr. Peter Afinanya, confirmed that the bomb blast mastermind, is
Abdulmumin Ibrahim Otaru (aka Abu Mikdad) with one of his associates, Saidu Suleiman.
He said that they were arrested yesterday, January 3, adding that Otaru sustained a gunshot injury on his left foot while attempting to escape.
According to the statement, Otaru is currently receiving treatment at a health facility.
“During investigations, it was ascertained that OTARU was a high commander of Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) and either coordinated or was involved in the following dastardly operations:
“The 24th June, 2022 attack on Nigeria Police Area Command, Eika-Ohizenyi, Okehi LGA of Kogi State.
“A Police Inspector, Idris MUSA was killed and two AK-47 rifles carted away in that attack;
“The 5th July, 2022 attack on Kuje Medium Security Custodial Centre in Kuje Area Council of the FCT and and 5th August, 2022 attack on West African Ceramics Ltd (WACL) in Ajaokuta LGA, Kogi in which three Indian expatriates were kidnapped.
“It would be recalled that five persons including one Indian, two Policemen and two drivers of the company were also killed in the attack.
“The kidnapped expatriates were released on 31st August, 2022.
“OTARU operated terrorist cells in and around Kogi State. Similarly, he and his gang had staged several kidnap operations in Kogi and Ondo States. “Meanwhile, the suspects are in custody and will be prosecuted accordingly.”
DSS vowed its commitment to the safety of the nation even as It assured to work assiduously with stakeholders, including sister security agencies to tackle the menace of terrorism and other forms of criminality and threats to national security.
It called on citizens to support it and other law enforcement organisations with relevant information and all the necessary cooperation required to achieve a peaceful country.