Nigeria blast – more suspects arrested
Abuja – Three additional suspects, including a banker, have been arrested over two car bombings on last year’s Independence Day in Abuja, which killed at least 12 people, Nigeria’s secret police said on Tuesday.
One of the three, who was declared wanted and said to be “an expert” in improvised explosive devices, “was a key figure in the October 1 bombings as he procured all the explosive devices used”, the statement by the state security service (SSS) said.
He was traced to “a neighbouring country” and arrested in Lagos on Sunday, said the statement, signed by the SSS spokesperson, Marilyn Ogar.
The statement did not disclose the identities of the three, their nationalities, when they will be brought to court or the name of the neighbouring country.
The second suspect, a banker, allegedly handled all financial transactions for Henry Okah, in the March 15 and October 1 car bombings respectively in oil city Warri and Abuja, the nation’s capital, it said.
Okah, who is facing terrorism charges in South Africa, where he has a permanent residence, has been accused of orchestrating the Abuja twin car bombings near the scene of the Independence Day celebrations.
He has denied the charges.
Prosecutors said he was the leader of the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (Mend).
Mend claimed responsibility
He was arrested in South Africa shortly after the bombings.
“He [the banker] was also responsible for fund transfers to other suspects, to facilitate gun-running activities in the creeks,” it added.
Four suspects, including Charles Okah, Henry Okah’s elder brother, are facing treason charges in Abuja over the Independence Day bombings.
Mend, a militant group in Nigeria’s oil-rich Niger Delta region, claimed responsibility for the Warri and Abuja attacks.
At least one person died in the Warri blast.
The third suspect allegedly distributed arms and ammunition used in the Independence Day bombings, the statement said.
Cars, pistols, hundreds of live ammunition, saws, welding machines, knives and some documents were recovered from this suspect, it also said.