The Defence Headquarters, DHQ has cleared the air on the controversy that trailed the identity of the suspects arrested for the attack on St Francis Catholic Church Owo in Ondo State.
GreenWhiteGreen GWG recalls that the Chief of Defence Staff, General Lucky Irabor during a media parley on Tuesday in Abuja, announced the arrest of those responsible for the death of more than 40 church worshippers.
The defence chief however, named a Kuje Prison escapee, Idris Ojo among the suspects arrested for the attack on the church. The issue stirred controversy on social media as Ojo was reported to have escaped from Kuje Prison when the Islamic State in West Africa Province (ISWAP) invaded the facility exactly one month after the Owo attack.
Reacting to the outrage by Nigerians on the identity conflict on the alleged Owo church attackers, the DHQ via a statement on Wednesday by the Spokesman of, Maj.-Gen. Jimmy Akpor, disclosed that the clarification became necessary because of the numerous questions raised after the earlier announcement.
Akpor claimed that Irabor had confirmed the arrest of four suspects during a joint operation of the military and DSS personnel at Eika, in Okehi Local Government Area of Kogi State on August 1.
He said: “Those arrested included Idris Abdulmalik Omeiza (a.k.a Bin Malik), Momoh Otohu Abubakar, Aliyu Yusuf Itopa and Auwal Ishaq Onimisi.
“The Defence Chief said, preliminary investigation revealed that Idris Abdulmalik Omeiza was the mastermind of the terror attack on the Owo Catholic Church.
“As well as the attack on a Police Station in Adavi Local Government Area, Kogi State on 23 June 2022, during which a policeman was killed and weapons carted away.”
Akpor further revealed that Ojo, was nabbed at Ayetoro Osi, Ondo State through the combined effort of military and DSS personnel on August 7.
According to him, Ojo was one of the suspected ISWAP terrorists that escaped from the Kuje Prison on July 5. He clarified that he was not part of the Owo attack.
Akpro added that Irabor said the Kuje Prison escapee was already planning terrorist attacks against some selected targets in the country.
“Idris Ojo, the CDS said, was one of the suspected ISWAP terrorists who escaped from the Kuje Medium Correctional Centre on 5th July 2022.
“The CDS also mentioned that Ojo was arrested alongside Jimoh Ibrahim, 39 years, a sympathizer of the terrorist group, who accommodated him.
“The CDS further revealed that, the arrest of Idris Ojo was crucial as he, along with others, were already planning terrorists’ attacks against some selected targets, in order to create fear amongst the citizenry aimed at discrediting the government,” he said.