The Chief of Defence Staff, CDS, General Lucky Irabor, and Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State, yesterday, confirmed the arrest of masterminds of the bloody terrorists’ attack on St. Francis’ Catholic Church, Owo, which left 40 persons dead and several others injured.
While the CDS told editors and media executives at an interactive session in Abuja that the suspects were arrested through a joint intelligence-led operation by the military and other security agencies, the governor said at a separate forum in Akure that one of those arrested was a lodger of the terrorists, who were members of the Islamic State of West Africa, ISWAP.
Speaking during the media parley at Defence Headquarters, Abuja, the CDS said two of the masterminds of the deadly terrorist attack were 32-year-old Idris Ojo and Jimoh Ibrahim, 39.
He said four other persons were arrested at Eja in Okehi Local Government Area of Kogi State, in connection with the June 5 attack on the Catholic Church in Owo and another attack on a Police station at Ada in which a policeman was killed.
He said: “They (suspects) are Idris Abdul Malik Omeiza, Momoh Ojowu Abu, Aliyu Yusuf and Auwal Onimisi. They were arrested in a joint operation with DSS and the police. Auwal Onimisi was arrested in Kogi State.
“Idris Abdulmalik Omeiza was the mastermind of the terrorists attack on Saint Francis Catholic Church, Owo, and the June attack on a Police station in Kogi State that claimed the life of a police officer.”
Irabor said the arrested masterminds would have been paraded before the media but for the fact that there was still some part of the investigations to be tidied up.
Recall that at least 40 people were killed when gunmen stormed the church on June 5, opened fire on the congregation, and also detonated explosives as worshippers scampered for safety.