The Department of State Services (DSS) has arrested two men in connection with the explosion that rocked a location few meters away from the Palace of the Ohinoyi of Ebiraland in Okene, Kogi State ahead of President Muhammadu Buhari’s visit to commission some projects in the State.
The suspects were alleged to have masterminded the Vehicle-Borne Improvised Explosive Device (VBIED) attack which occurred on December 29, 2022, near the palace of the Ohinoyi.
They were identified as Abdulmumin Otaru popularly called Abu Mikdad and his associates, Saidu Suleiman.
Otaru was said to be a senior member of the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) and until his arrest, had been unleashing reign of terror on residents of Kogi State.
Both suspects’ arrests were announced on Wednesday by the Public Relations Officer, DSS, Peter Afunanya, disclosed suspects’ arrest in a statement.
DSS spokesperson, Dr Peter Afunanya, said the suspects were arrested on January 3, 2023 and that Otaru sustained a gunshot injury on his left foot while trying to flee.
“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
the 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,” he stated.