The Department of State Services (DSS) has arrested the mastermind of the vehicle-borne improvised explosive device (VBIED) attack in Okene, Kogi State last December.
As per Daily Independent reports, the incident occurred on December 29, 2022, near the Palace of the Ohinoyi of Ebiraland during the visit of President Muhammadu Buhari to commission some projects in the state.
A statement by Peter Afunanya, the Public Relations Officer (PRO), DSS, said that the service arrested Abdulmumin Ibrahim Otaru, popularly known as Abu Mikdad, and one of his associates, Saidu Suleiman, on Tuesday, January 3, 2023.
According to the PRO, Otaru sustained a gunshot injury on his left foot, while attempting to escape from the DSS officials, saying that he was currently receiving treatment at a health facility.
He explained that investigations conducted by the DSS revealed that Otaru was a high commander of Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) and either coordinated or was involved in several crimes that had happened in recent time.
The DSS alleged that Otaru was involved on the June 24, 2022 attack on the Nigeria Police Area Command, Eika-Ohizenyi, Okehi Local Government Area (LGA) of Kogi State.
The attack, he said, led to the killing of a Police Inspector, Idris Musa, while two AK-47 rifles were taken away.
The suspect was also accused of the July 5, 2022 attack on Kuje Medium Security Custodial Centre in Kuje Area Council of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and the August 5, 2022 attack on West African Ceramics Ltd (WACL) in Ajaokuta LGA in Kogi State in which three Indian expatriates were kidnapped.
Recall 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 August 31, 2022.
The statement added: “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.
“The service reiterates its commitment to the safety of the nation. It assures 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.”
Afunanya, therefore, called on citizens to support agency and other law enforcement organisations with relevant information and all the necessary cooperation required to achieve a peaceful country.