OCTOBER 1 BLASTS: SSS ARRESTS BOMB MAKER, GUNRUNNER, BANKER
The State Security Service (SSS) said yesterday that the unnamed banker currently in its custody, facilitated the transfer of funds for the October 1, 2010 bombings near the Abuja Eagle Square that claimed several lives. The SSS Spokes person, Mrs. Marylyn Ogar, told journalists in Abuja that the banker, alongside two other masterminds of the blasts, was acting at the behest of Henry Okah, the acclaimed leader of the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND), who is currently facing charges in South Africa for alleged terrorism.
While the banker is being held for handling Henry Okah's transactions and transferring funds to other suspects to facilitate their gunrunning activities in the creeks and the numerous bombings, the other two suspects were alleged to be responsible for the procurement of the explosive devices used and distribution of the devices, arms and ammunitions, and other components to their associates.
'You will recall that after the 1st October, 2010 bombing near the Eagle Square, the Service had informed that five cars were meant to be used for the bombing. Two cars were detonated while one was later recovered in Port Harcourt, Rivers State and subsequently made public. On 3rd October, 2011, the two remaining cars which also had compartments constructed to be used for bombs, were recovered in Lagos. Additionally, another grey coloured IZUZU Trooper jeep with specially constructed compartment and a capacity to carry over 200 AK47 rifles was also recovered.
'We also recall that following the incident, a thorough investigation conducted culminated in one of the suspects being declared wanted. As a result of painstaking investigation, the suspect was eventually traced to a neighbouring country and subsequently arrested on 9th October, 2011 in Lagos. He is alleged to be an expert in IEDs, and was a key figure in the October 1st bombing as he procured all the explosive devices used; packaged and wired the vehicles and finally moved them from Port Harcourt to Abuja for final placement at the points of detonation.
'Also arrested is a banker who handled all financial transactions for Henry Okah, particularly for the 15th March and 1st October, 2010 car bombings in Warri, Delta State and Abuja (FCT) respectively. He was also responsible for fund transfers to other suspects, to facilitate gunrunning activities in the creeks.
'A third suspect was similarly arrested on 3rd October, 2011. He is a key figure in the distribution of arms and ammunition to militants and other components that were used for the 1st October, 2010 bombing', the Service stated.
One Toyota Camry (1989 Model) with Lagos number DP 100 AAA, one Honda Accord with Lagos number DM257 FST, three browning pistols, 500 rounds of 9mm live ammunition and 175 rounds of live AK 47 riffle ammunition, four hand gloves, four magazines loaded with 36 rounds of 9mm live ammunition, six face masks, were among items recovered.
Others were two pairs of jungle boots, two red coloured machine tool box, one electric saw, one measuring instrument, one welding machine, one panel saw, different types of documents, one sledge hammer, one filling/cutting machine; and two knives.
Stating that the arrest serves as a warning to all perpetrators of security crimes against the state, and that the era of impunity was over, the Service said that it had concluded its investigation on the last October 1 blasts and was now set to arraign these suspects.