THE Department of State Services (DSS) says it has arrested one of the commanders of Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) over the December 29, 2022 bomb blast in Kogi State.
The explosion, in which several persons were reportedly killed, occured at the palace of the Ohinoyi of Ebiraland Ado Ibrahim, a few hours before President Muhammadu Buhari’s arrival to commission some projects in the state.
It was reported that no fewer than four people died in the explosion in Karaworo District, Adavi Local Government Area.
In a statement released on Wednesday, January 4, by spokesperson Peter Afunanya, the DSS said one Abdulmumin Ibrahim Otaru and his associate, Saidu Suleiman, were arrested over the incident on Tuesday, January 3.
According to the DSS, Otaru who is also known as Abu Mikdad is a high commander of the ISWAP and have coordinated or participated in a series of terrorist attacks in different parts of the country.
According to the DSS, Otaru sustained a gunshot injury on his left foot while attempting to escape arrest. The agency said he is currently receiving treatment at a health facility.
Parts of the DSS statement read: “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:
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“i. 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 (2) AK-47 rifles carted away in that attack;
“ii. The 5th July, 2022 attack on Kuje Medium Security Custodial Centre in Kuje Area Council of the FCT; and
“iii. 5th August, 2022 attack on West African Ceramics Ltd (WACL) in Ajaokuta LGA, Kogi in which three (3) Indian expatriates were kidnapped. It would be recalled that five (5) persons including one (1) Indian, two (2) Policemen and two (2) 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, according to the DSS.
“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 statement added.
The DSS reiterated its commitment to the safety of the nation, assuring that it 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 agency also called on citizens to support it and other law enforcement organisations with relevant information and all the necessary cooperation required to ensure a peace.