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BOMB BLASTS: SSS TAKES SUSPECTS TO COURT

By NBF News

The State Security Service (SSS) yesterday took three of the suspects behind the October 1 bomb blasts in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) before a magistrate's court in Wuse, Zone 6, Abuja. The security source, who confirmed the development to Saturday Sun, said it was done to seek the court's approval to remand the suspects in SSS custody, while investigations continue.

Asked if the Director General of the Ibrahim Babangida Campaign Organisation, Chief Raymond Dokpesi, was among those arraigned, the source said no.

He revealed that Dokpesi was granted the privilege of reporting to the SSS office from home.

'You are a free man until proved guilty. The three we took to court are linked to the blasts and we need the court to grant us the appeal for them to remain in custody while investigations continue and it was granted,' said the source.

The SSS said, during the week, that nine suspects have so far been arrested in connection with the bomb blasts that almost marred the country's golden jubilee celebrations, which claimed lives and several others injured.

The SSS spokeswoman, Mrs. Marilyn Ogar, told newsmen: 'So far, nine arrests have been made and all have direct links with Henry Okah, the incident and some unscrupulous prominent elements in the society. Due to ongoing investigations, the names of the suspects and their sponsors cannot be disclosed at this stage.'

On the number of casualties recorded so far, Mrs. Ogar said eight security officers died and one civilian, who was the sachet water seller at the bomb blasts scene.

Ogar had denounced the insinuation that security agencies were not prepared for the bomb blasts, stressing that it was the preparedness of the security agencies that led to the low death toll.

She noted that most of those who died and/or sustained injuries were security officers, adding: ' I won't subscribe to the fact that we were not prepared.

'As far as I am concerned, the security measures were effective. Imagine a situation whereby the bombs were planted at the Eagle Square. What would have happened to that large crowd at the venue?

'I refuse to believe that the security measures put in place were not effective. They were very effective and that is why security operatives died to protect innocent Nigerians.'