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DSS apprehends mastermind of explosion near palace of Ohinoyi of Ebiraland

The Department of State Services (DSS) says it has apprehended the mastermind of the bomb attack near the palace of the Ohinoyi of Ebiraland, in Okene, Kogi State, during the visit of President President Muhammadu Buhari to commission some projects in the state.

Recall that during the visit of the President to Kogi State recently, there was an explosion near the venue of the commissioning.

A statement issued, on Wednesday, by the Public Relations Officer of the DSS, Dr. Peter Afunanya, said that “The Department of State Services (DSS) wishes to inform the public that it has arrested the mastermind of the Vehicle-Borne Improvised Explosive Device (VBIED) attack which occurred on 29th December, 2022, near the Palace of the Ohinoyi of Ebiraland in Okene, Kogi State during the visit of the President to commission some projects.

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“The Service arrested Abdulmumin Ibrahim Otaru (aka Abu Mikdad) and one of his associates, Saidu Suleiman, on 3rd January, 2023.”

Afunanya’s statement claimed that Otaru sustained a gunshot injury on his left foot while attempting to escape. He is currently receiving treatment at a health facility.

The statement also said that “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:

  1. 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;
  2. 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 Local Government Area, Kogi in which three Indian expatriates were kidnapped.

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“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.”

The DSS also said that 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, therefore, reiterated 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,” the statement said.