Nigeria - Panic In Abuja as Police Arrest 2 Terror Suspects


The police in Abuja, Nigeria Monday arrested two terror suspects at different locations in the city, thus averting what might have resulted in another bomb attack in the nation’s capital.
At the Force Headquarters, which would have been the first to be hit, it was gathered that one of the suspected terrorist, Abdullahi Salihu, had laced his body with some explosives and hand grenades which he wanted to use to wreak the havoc, but was detected by the security gadgets mounted in FCT.

Sources told reporters that as soon as Salihu alighted from the vehicle that brought him close to the premises, precisely around the Total Filling Station road junction, which is very close to the Force Headquarters, by 10:50am, the gadgets beeped and alerted the security operatives.
It was further gathered that he was immediately arrested and all the guards in the premises were alerted through radio communication, while the anti-bomb gadgets were fully switched on to avoid any possible explosion.
Salihu was said to have been carefully guided to the entrance of the Visitors’ Gate House and disarmed before he was taken to the intelligence unit for questioning.
The news of the arrest soon spread round the city causing panic and tension.
But while speaking to journalists, the Deputy Force Public Relations Officer, Mr. Frank Mba, said nothing incriminating was found on Salihu to suggest that he was a suicide bomber.
According to Mba, “When we searched him, no
explosive was found on him but there were pieces of broken bottle, bottled water, five Automated Teller Machine cards and a vehicle number plate in the bag he was carrying.
“We have commenced investigations into the arrest but so far, there is nothing to suggest that he (suspect) is a suicide bomber.”
He said that the suspect had been taken into custody and that investigations would establish his mission to the Police Headquarters.
But another incident took place at the Radio House, 12.30pm where a certain John Akpanum Alakpo, 39, from Nasarawa State was arrested with three hand grenades and AK 47 with 37 rounds of live ammunition, when he was trying to find his way into the hall where ministerial press briefings tagged Ministerial Platforms were taking place.
But the Deputy Director of Information, State Security Sevices (SSS), Marylyn Ogar, cautioned Nigerians on hasty commentaries on what they do not sufficiently understand.
She mentioned that what was recovered from Alakpo are three teargas canisters and not grenades. She explained that the suspect attempted to see the Information Minister because they (minister and suspect) are from the same tribe in Nasarawa State.
The Minister of Aviation, Princess Stella Ada Oduah, and her Youth Development and Sports Ministry counterpart, Malam Bolaji Abdullahi, were giving the stewardship of their ministries in the past one year at the platform which was hosted by Information Minister, Labaran Maku.
Shortly after Abdullahi mounted the podium to make his presentation, commotion broke out causing panic and a near stampede when it was learnt that Akalu had been apprehended with hand grenades while trying to bomb the venue of the briefing.
Akalu told journalists that he had been abandoned and “frustrated in life” and so came to the Radio House to express his grievance to government.
In his incoherent story, Akalu claimed that his brother, a riot policeman, who was serving in Etegbe Local Government Area, Bayelsa State, died some years ago. And that all efforts to get the police authorities to pay his gratuities had been fruitless.
He claimed further that the grenades and ammunition found on him were recovered from his late brother’s house, when they went to pack his property.
“My late brother, a police officer, died and his benefits are yet to be paid. He was serving in Bayelsa State. When we checked his house in Abuja, we saw grenades. I then asked his wife what we should do with it and then she suggested we should hand it to police. There is no way we can get his benefits and that is how the story came about,” he said.
He said he decided to hand over the arms to the police upon the discovery.
But when asked why he chose to bring the arms to the Radio House where the Ministerial Platform was holding rather than take it to a police station, he said he feared he could be arrested if he went to the police station.
He was later handcuffed and whisked away by security operatives who later beefed up security at the venue which is close to the International Conference Centre by drafting in the anti bomb disposal unit.
When contacted, the FCT Commissioner of Police (CP), Mr. Ade Shinaba, confirmed the arrest of Akalu, adding that “he is in our custody, but we are not talking about it.  We are investigating”.
Speaking on phone with reporters, Mba also confirmed the arrest but said the police had not ascertained the real motive of the suspect.
Last April 26, the premises of THISDAY offices in Abuja and Kaduna were bombed by members of the Boko Haram.
The sect had also threatened more attacks on media houses for what they described as unfavourable media reportage of the activities of the group.
Last year, the city came under two major attacks: first on June 16 when the Police Headquarters was bombed resulting in the death of two persons with several vehicles parked in the premises destroyed.
This was followed on August 26 with the attack on the UN Building which left 18 people dead, and the UN building ravaged by the effects of the bomb blast.

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