Akeredolu, CDS confirm arrest of Owo church assailants – Nexus News

The military high command has confirmed the arrest of Owo Catholic Church attackers.

The arrest, according to the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Gen. Lucky Irabor, was done successfully by joint operations of all the security agencies.

The CDS stated that the suspects, who are members of the Islamic State of West Africa (ISWAP), is in the police custody.

Irabor, while speaking with media executives at the Defence Headquarters (DHQ) in Abuja, noted that the bombers, who were nabbed in Kogi State on August 1, 2022, included Idris Abdulmalik Okeiza, Momoh Otueze, Aliyu Yusuf and Awal Oreiza.

He also revealed that the military, in conjunction with the security agencies, arrested masterminds of the attack, one 32-year-old Idris Ojo at Aiyetor, Ondo State, alongside 39-year-old Jimoh Ibrahim on August 7, 2022.

According to him, Ojo, who was one of kuje prison escapee during the July 5 attack, was planning deadly attacks before they were arrested by intelligence dragnet of the security agencies.

The CDS, who depicted reports of terrorists’ attack of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) as fake news, aimed at creating panic among residents of the city, said: “Abuja is safe and has not been invaded by Boko Haram or ISWAP terrorists.”

ALSO, Ondo State Governor, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, has admitted the arrest of the attackers.

The governor, who confirmed the arrest briefly after Irabor made the announcement in Abuja, stated that the owner of the house where the attackers stayed before the attack had also been nabbed.

Besides, Akeredolu implored the Ebira community in the state to caution some of its members to refrain from kidnapping or engaging in other crimes so as not to destroy the peaceful co-existence among the people.

He said this, yesterday, during a courtesy visit to his office in Akure by leadership of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), led by Chairman of the Council, Adeleke Adegbite.

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The governor stated that the recent reports from victims of kidnap in the state had confirmed that some Ebira indigenes are now involved in the wicked and cowardly act.

MEANWHILE, the Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) has blamed the Federal Government of using routine media propaganda in the case of the gunmen that bombed and killed over 50 Catholic Church worshippers in Owo, Ondo State.

The rights group, in a press release by its National Co-ordinator, Emmanuel Onwubiko, in Abuja, noted that the public celebration by the government on arresting the suspected terrorists in the Owo genocide inside the Catholic Church is not the main problem because the government is not doing enough to punish the terrorists or protect their detention centres, thereby permitting their easy escape from prison.

It noted that there is no assurance that the Owo incident would be different because for the past seven years, no significant mass murderers have been punished, jailed and secured inside the prisons.

According to HURIWA, the arrest of the assailants will remain in the realm of empty media propaganda until the Federal Government, through the attorney-general of the federation, prosecutes and obtains conviction of the attackers.

Akeredolu, who commended the NUJ in the state for their cooperation towards his administration, promised them of sustained efforts at developing the state.

To further sustain gains on security, he disclosed that aside the recent recruitment and training of new Amotekun personnel, 20 hunters and local vigilantes will be trained by the Amotekun corps in each of the 18 local government across the state.

While the NUJ Chairman of the NUJ appreciated the Governor for his support for the management of OSRC and Owena Press PLC, noting that the upgrade of facilities in the two state-owned media outfits is commendable.

Adegbite equally appreciated the Governor for the approval of the weigh-in allowance for journalists and information officers working in the state and local government service.

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