The Chief of Defence Staff, Lucky Irabor has announced the arrest of criminals who allegedly carried out the dastardly attack on the St Francis Catholic Church in Owo, Ondo state.
On June 5, several worshippers were killed by gunmen who stormed the Church in Owo, during the Pentecost service.
In a statement by Interior Minister Rauf Aregbesola, the Nigerian government blamed the attack on the Islamic States of West African Province terrorists adding that the armed forces are on the hunt for the perpetrators.
But in a parley with editors and media executives at the Defence Headquarters in Abuja, the CDS named one Idris Omeiza and Jimoh Ibrahim as suspected masterminds of the attack as he noted that they have been arrested.
He was quoted as saying, “On August 7, one Idris Ojo (37) was apprehended at Aiyetoro in Ondo State. He was one of the high-profile Islamic State of West Africa Province members that escaped from Kuje Prison.
“Alongside with him is Jimoh Ibrahim, who is a 39-year-old criminal, who was also arrested. Idris Ojo wasn’t done with all the criminal activities he had done in the past, he was also planning other criminal activities and perfecting those crimes along with his cronies before his arrest.
“Again, on August 4, the military, in a combined operation with the Department of State Service, four terrorists were arrested at Eika in Okehi Local Government Area of Kogi State.
“Others are Idris Omeiza, otherwise known as Ibn Malik; Momoh Abubakar, Aliyu Itopa and Auwal Onimisi.
“Now, Omeiza is one of the masterminds of the June 5 Catholic Church attack in Owo as well as the attack on the police station in Adavi also in Kogi State that led to the killing of a policeman as well as weapons being carried away.”
Meanwhile, in a tweet on his verified Twitter handle, the Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, confirmed that five suspects had been arrested including the owner of the house where the suspects stayed.
According to him, efforts are ongoing to apprehend the remaining criminals who are currently at large.
He tweeted, “I am happy to announce that we have confirmed the arrest of the attackers of St Francis Catholic Church, Owo. The Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Lucky Irabor has also announced it. We have known for a while but we needed not to come out with it because more works are still ongoing.
“Five of the attackers have been arrested, including the owner of the house in Owo where the attackers stayed before the June 5 attack, while the security operatives are still on the trail of some of them.
“We did not spare a moment in trailing the terrorists since the horrendous attacks on innocent worshippers. We will continue to give the necessary supports to our security agencies towards protecting the lives and property in the State.”
I am happy to announce that we have confirmed the arrest of the attackers of St Francis Catholic Church, Owo. The Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Lucky Irabor has also announced it. We have known for a while but we needed not to come out with it because more works are still ongoing. pic.twitter.com/LWzQvG6DE2
— Arakunrin Akeredolu (@RotimiAkeredolu) August 9, 2022
The governor also sounded a note of warning to some Ebira indigenes in the state who are now involved in kidnapping.
He stated, “I want to use this medium to urge our brothers (Ebira) to concentrate on their farming trade. It will be unfortunate to know that the Ebiras in our midst are now involved in kidnapping.”