The Department of State Services (DSS) has arrested an Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) member over the blast near the Palace of Ohinoyi of Ebiraland in Okene, Kogi State.

The Vehicle-Borne Improvised Explosive Device (VBIED) attack occurred on 29th December during the visit of President Muhammadu Buhari to commission some projects.

A statement on Wednesday by the Public Relations Officer, Peter Afunanya named Abdulmumin Ibrahim Otaru (a.k.a. Abu Mikdad) as the mastermind.

Otaru, described as “a high commander” of the terrorist organisation, either coordinated or was involved in several other attacks.

The DSS mentioned the 24th June, 2022, attack on Police Area Command in Eika-Ohizenyi, Okehi LGA of Kogi. Inspector Idris Musa was killed and two AK-47 rifles carted away.

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Otaru participated in the 5th July, 2022 breach of the Kuje Medium Security Custodial Centre in Kuje Area Council, Abuja.

On 5th August, 2022, he took part in the attack on West African Ceramics Ltd (WACL) in Ajaokuta LGA, Kogi. Three Indians were kidnapped.

Five persons, including one Indian, two policemen and two drivers of the company were murdered. The captives were released on 31st August.

The security agency also announced the arrest of one of the ISWAP topshot’s associates, Saidu Suleiman on 3rd January.

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Afunanya disclosed that Otaru sustained a gunshot injury on his left foot while attempting to escape and is receiving treatment at a health facility.

“Otaru operated terrorist cells in and around Kogi State. Similarly, he and his gang had staged several kidnap operations in Kogi and Ondo States”, the PRO added.

The DSS stated that the suspects would be prosecuted and urged citizens to support members of the law enforcement with timely and relevant information.

The Kogi government had accused disgruntled politicians of culpability in the explosion that claimed at least three lives.

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