The Department of State Services (DSS) says it has arrested two suspected masterminds — including a commander in the Islamic State in West Africa Province (ISWAP) — over the recent explosion in Kogi State.
According to a statement issued on Wednesday by Peter Afunanya, the DSS spokesperson, the suspects were identified as Abdulmumin Ibrahim Otaru, said to be an ISWAP commander, and one Saidu Suleiman, the Cable News reports.
The DSS said they were arrested on Tuesday.
TheCable had reported how an explosion rocked a community in Okene LGA of Kogi state on December 29, 2022.
The incident, which took place shortly before President Muhammadu Buhari inaugurated some projects in the state, occurred at a mosque near the palace of Ado Ibrahim, the paramount ruler of Ebiraland.
Afunanya said Otaru was also behind other attacks, including the invasion of the Kuje medium security custodial centre in July 2022.
“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 5th August, 2022 attack on West African Ceramics Ltd (WACL) in Ajaokuta LGA, Kogi in which three (3) Indian expatriates were kidnapped,” the statement reads.
“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.
“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.
“It therefore, calls on citizens to support it and other law enforcement organisations with relevant information and all the necessary cooperation required to achieve a peaceful country.”