DHQ speaks on confusion over 'masterminds' of Owo church attack

CDS General Leo Irabor

CDC General Leo Irabor

By Sumaila Ogbaje

The Defence Headquarters has reacted to the controversies generated by the identity of the Islamic State of West Africa, ISWAP terrorist arrested over the June 5 attack on St. Francis Catholic Church Owo in Ondo State as revealed by the Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Lucky Irabor, Tuesday during a parley with journalists.

There have been controversies over reports that Irabor named one Idris Ojo, one of the ISWAP terrorists who was among the escapees from Kuje jailbreak alongside one Jimoh Ibrahim as the masterminds of the Owo attack.

But many Nigerians had queried the claim as Idris Ojo was in prison at the time of the Owo attack.

However, the Director, Defence Information, Maj.-Gen. Jimmy Akpor, in a statement on Wednesday, said the CDS was misquoted.

Akpor said that Irabor had confirmed the arrest of four suspects through the collaborative efforts of the military and DSS personnel at Eika, in Okehi Local Government Area, Kogi on Aug. 1.

“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,” he said.

Akpor said Irabor also mentioned the arrest of another terrorist, Idris Ojo, aged 32, who was apprehended at Ayetoro Osi, Ondo State through the combined effort of military and DSS personnel on Aug. 7.

“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. (NAN) (www.nannews.ng)

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