The Defence Headquarters (DHQ) has cleared the air concerning the recent arrest of Owo Catholic Church attackers.
The DHQ also confirmed the arrest of two additional ISWAP terrorists who were part of the operation on the church on June 5, 2022.
Speaking at the DHQ Biweekly briefing on Military Operational activities, the Director, Defence Information, Major General, Jimmy Akpor who noted that the suspects were apprehended at Omialafara (Omulafa), Ose LGA, in Ondo State, said only Idris Abdulmalik Omeiza, Momoh Otohu Abubakar, Aliu Yusuf Itokpa and Auwal Ishaq Onimisi were arrested in connection with the Owo attack.
Akpor however noted that one of the suspects Idris Ojo who was also arrested in Ondo State is not part of the Owo attack but arrested as one of the escapees from the Kuje Correctional Center.
Recall that the DHQ in a statement signed by the Director, Defence Information, Jimmy Akpor on Thursday, said the arrests of two additional suspected terrorists linked to the attack on Owo church, were made through the collaborative effort by military and DSS personnel.
General Akpor said the suspects are Al-Qasim Idris and Abdulhaleem Idris.
“It is instructive to note that Abdulhaleem, alongside other high profile ISWAP commanders, had also previously coordinated attacks on military targets in Okene, Okene LGA, Kogi State resulting in casualties.”
“The Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), General Lucky Irabor, during his parley with media executives and editors yesterday, Tuesday 9 August 2022, informed of the arrest of 4 terrorists among those who carried out the attack on St Francis Catholic Church, Owo on 5 June 2022.
“They were arrested through a combined operation by military and DSS personnel at Eika, Okehi LGA, Kogi State on 1 August 2022. Those arrested include Idris Abdulmalik Omeiza (a.k.a Bin Malik), Momoh Otohu Abubakar, Aliyu Yusuf Itopa and Auwal Ishaq Onimisi”.
Meanwhile, Troops of the Armed Forces of Nigeria during their operational activities covering the period from 28 July to 11 August 2022, at Degbawa near Mandara Mountains in Gwoza Local Government Area of Borno State, neutralized a key Islamic State of West Africa Province Commander Alhaji Modu (aka Bem Bem) and his fighters
The air component of Operation HADIN KAI in the Northeast Zone, according to Director Defence Media Operations, Major General Bernard Onyeuko, conducted air interdiction in which the airstrike led to the neutralization.
“Similarly, the air component of Operation HADIN KAI conducted air interdiction on 3 August 2022 at Degbawa near Mandara Mountains in Gwoza Local Government Area of Borno State.
“The airstrike led to the neutralization of a key Islamic State of West Africa Province Commander Alhaji Modu (aka Bem Bem) and his fighters. Information gathered from the locals revealed that 20 terrorists were confirmed dead in the strike at the location where the terrorists converged for a meeting before the strike.
“Accordingly, within the weeks in focus troops neutralized 29 terrorists, arrested 55 and rescued 52 civilians. Also, troops recovered 128 rounds of 7.62mm ammunitions, 5 bicycles, 12 AK47 rifles, 4 motorcycles and 5 mobile phones.
Alll surrendered suspects and items recovered have been handed over to the appropriate authorities for further action, Major General Onyeuko said.
Onyeuko also revealed that the air component of Operation WHIRL STROKE and that of HADARIN DAJi within the period under review, carried out activities in the north central and northwest zone, adding that they have continued to sustain operational activities through the conduct of fighting and clearance patrols to clear bandits and terrorists enclaves.
Consequently, the military high command commended the efforts of troops in the various theatres of operation across the Country.