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Okene explosion: Mastermind in DSS net

By Thompson Yamput

Lokoja, Jan. 4, 2023

Suspected mastermind of the Okene explosion of Dec. 29, 2022, that left some innocent persons dead, and wounded has been arrested and is in custody of the Department of State Services (DSS) in Abuja.

The suspected mastermind, Abdulmumin Ibrahim-OTARU (aka Abu Mikdad) and one of his associates, Saidu SULEIMAN, had allegedly launched the attack with a Vehicle-borne Improvised Explosive Device (VBIED) in Okene, Kogi during the visit of President Muhammadu Buhari to commission some projects.

Mr. Peter Afunanya, DSS Public Relations Officer (PRO) in a statement issued in Lokoja, said that the mastermind and his associate, were arrested in Kogi on Tuesday, by personnel of the service.

Afunnaya said that during the arrest, Ibrahim-OTARU sustained a gunshot injury on his left foot while attempting to escape but “he is currently receiving treatment at an undisclosed 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 dastardly operations that include the June 24, 2022, attack on Nigeria Police Area Command, Eika-Ohizenyi, Okehi LGA of Kogi State.

“Unfortunately, a Police Inspector, Idris MUSA, was killed and two AK-47 rifles were carted away in that attack.

“It would be recalled that five (5) persons including one Indian, two Policemen and two (2) drivers of the company were also killed in the attack, while the kidnapped expatriates were only released on Aug 31, 2022.

“OTARU operated terrorists’ cells in and around Kogi State and with his gang, had staged several kidnap operations in Kogi and Ondo States.

“With the suspects in our custody, they will be prosecuted accordingly,” the PRO said.

While assuring that the suspects would be prosecuted accordingly, Afunnaya reiterated the Service’s commitment to the safety of the nation.

He assured: “We will work assiduously with stakeholders, including sister security agencies, to tackle the menace of terrorism and other forms of criminality and threats to national security.”

The service image maker, however, called on citizens to support it and other law enforcement organisations with relevant information and all the necessary cooperation required to achieve a peaceful Nigeria.

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