The Defence Headquarters (DHQ) has said that a combined team of military and DSS operatives have arrested two more Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) terrorists behind the attack on St Francis Catholic Church Owo, Ondo State on June 5, 2022.
The Director, Defence Information, Major General Jimmy Akpor, in a statement late Wednesday night said the suspects – Al-Qasim Idris and Abdulhaleem Idris – were arrested on Tuesday, August 9, 2022 in Ondo State.
This brings to six, the number of suspects arrested in connection with the church attack where over 40 worshipers were killed.
General Akpor said 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 statement reads, “recall that 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.
“Barely few hours after the disclosure by the CDS of the arrest of four of the Owo Catholic Church attackers, two additional ISWAP terrorists, who were also connected to the attack on the church were apprehended at Omialafara (Omulafa), Ose LGA, Ondo State yesterday, 9 August 2022.
“The arrests were made through the collaborative effort by military and DSS personnel. 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.
“It is the avowed commitment of the leadership of the military, Nigeria Police, DSS and other security agencies to work in synergy to enthrone peace and security all over the country.
“This is due to the need for collaboration as an essential requirement to successfully deal with the existential asymmetric threats currently bedeviling our dear nation, Nigeria.”