The Department of State Services (DSS) says it has arrested a high commander of Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP), Abdulmumin Ibrahim Otaru aka Abu Mikdad, in connection with the explosion around the palace of the Ohinoyi of Ebiraland in Kogi State.
Four persons were killed in the incident that occurred last Thursday when President Muhammadu Buhari visited the state to commission some projects executed by Governor Yahaya Bello.
The DSS in a statement on Wednesday by its Public Relations Officer, Peter Afunanya, said one of Otaru’s associates, Saidu Suleiman was also apprehended.
Afunanya noted that the ISWAP commander sustained a gunshot injury on his left foot while attempting to escape adding that he is receiving treatment at an undisclosed facility.
Four killed as explosion hits Kogi monarch’s palace
Insecurity: Buhari okays deployment of technology in S/East
He said, “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.
“The Service arrested Abdulmumin Ibrahim OTARU (aka Abu Mikdad) and one of his associates, Saidu Suleiman on 3rd January, 2023. Otaru sustained a gunshot injury on his left foot while attempting to escape. He is currently receiving treatment at a health facility.”
The DSS spokesperson stated that during investigations, it was ascertained that Otaru either coordinated or was involved in the June 24, 2022 attack on Nigeria Police Area Command, Eika-Ohizenyi in Okehi Local Government Area of Kogi State during which one Inspector Idris MUSA was killed and two AK-47 rifles were carted away.
Afunanya said Otaru was also involved in the July 5, 2022 attack on Kuje Medium Security Custodial Centre in Kuje Area Council of the FCT; and August 5, 2022 attack on West African Ceramics Ltd (WACL) in Ajaokuta LGA, Kogi in which three Indian expatriates were kidnapped.
“Recall that five (5) persons including one (1) Indian, two (2) policemen and two (2) drivers of the company were also killed in the attack. The kidnapped expatriates were released on 31st August, 2022.
“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 reiterates 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,” he added.