The Department of State Services (DSS) has confirmed the arrest of 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 President Muhammadu Buhari’s visit to commission some projects.
In a statement signed by Public Relations Officer, Peter Afunanya, the DSS said it arrested Abdulmumin Ibrahim Otaru (aka Abu Mikdad) and one of his associates, Saidu Suleiman on 3rd January, 2023.
According to Afunanya, Otaru sustained a gunshot injury on his left foot while attempting to escape. He is currently receiving treatment at a 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 on 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.
“He was also involved in the 5th July, 2022 attack on Kuje Medium Security Custodial Centre in Kuje Area Council of the FCT; and in the 5th August, 2022 attack on West African Ceramics Ltd (WACL) in Ajaokuta LGA, Kogi in which three Indian expatriates were kidnapped.
“It would be recalled that five persons including one Indian, two Policemen and 2 drivers of the company were also killed in the attack. The kidnapped expatriates were released on 31st August, 2022,” he said.
DSS stated 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.”
DSS reiterated its commitment to the safety of the nation, and gave assurance 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, called on citizens to support it and other law enforcement organisations with relevant information and all the necessary cooperation required to achieve a peaceful country.