The Defence Headquarters has clarified that Idris Ojo, who was earlier thought to be one of the suspected attackers of a Catholic church in Owo, Ondo State, is actually an escapee of the Kuje correctional facility.
However, defence spokesman Maj.-Gen. Jimmy Akpor, in a statement on Wednesday, said the clarification became necessary because of the conflicting feedback on the earlier announcement by the chief of defence staff, Gen. Lucky Irabor.
Akpor said that Irabor had confirmed the arrest of four suspects through the collaborative efforts of the military and DSS personnel at Eika, in Okehi Local Government Area, Kogi on August 1.
“Those arrested included Idris Omeiza (a.k.a Bin Malik), Momoh Abubakar, Aliyu Itopa and Auwal Onimisi.
“The Defence Chief said, preliminary investigation revealed that Idris Abdulmalik Omeiza was the mastermind of the terror attack on the Owo Catholic Church.
“As well as the attack on a Police Station in Adavi Local Government Area, Kogi State on 23 June 2022, during which a policeman was killed and weapons carted away,” he said.
Akpor noted that Irabor also mentioned the arrest of Ojo, 32, who was apprehended at Ayetoro Osi, Ondo State through the combined effort of military and DSS personnel on August 7.
“Idris Ojo, the CDS said, was one of the suspected ISWAP terrorists who escaped from the Kuje Medium Correctional Centre on 5th July 2022.
“The CDS also mentioned that Ojo was arrested alongside Jimoh Ibrahim, 39 years, a sympathizer of the terrorist group, who accommodated him.
“The CDS further revealed that, the arrest of Idris Ojo was crucial as he, along with others, were already planning terrorists’ attacks against some selected targets, in order to create fear amongst the citizenry aimed at discrediting the government,” he said.
Ondo State Governor Rotimi Akeredolu also clarified that Ojo is actually a prison escapee.
“The announcement of the arrest of Idris Ojo as one of the perpetrators of the June 5 attack on St Francis Catholic Church, Owo was a mix-up from the Chief of Defence Staff, General Lucky Irabor.
“Idris Ojo, who is number 14 on the wanted list of the Kuje Prison Escapees was arrested in his brother’s house in Akure. His brother, Jimoh Rasheed Ibrahim, received and accommodated him after his escape from Kuje prison,” he said in a statement.