The Nigerian Army Defence Headquarters (DHQ) has confirmed the arrest of two more high profile commanders of the Islamic State of West Africa (ISWAP), in connection with the massacre at the St. Francis Catholic Church in Owo, Ondo state on June 5, where over 50 worshippers were killed and hundreds of others injured.
Making the confirmation in a statement, Thursday, the Director Defence Information, Maj. Gen. Jimmy Akpor, who gave the names of the suspects as Al-Qasim Idris and Abdulhaleem Idris, stated that they were arrested Tuesday night at Omialafara (Omulafa), Ose local government area of Ondo state.
“Recall that the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), General Lucky Irabor, during his parley with media executives and editors on Tuesday, 9 August, 2022, informed of the arrest of four 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 4 of the Owo Catholic Church attackers, 2 additional ISWAP terrorists, who were also connected to the attack on the church, were apprehended at Omialafara (Omulafa), Ose LGA, Ondo state on Wednesday.
“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. (Ripples Nigeria)