Two more members of the Islamic State of West Africa Province (ISWAP) have been arrested by the Military High Command over the killing of over 40 worshippers at St Francis Catholic Church, Owo, Ondo State.
The development was disclosed in a statement released through the Director of Defence Information, Major General Jimmy Akpor, on Thursday.
Akpor in the statement identified the suspects as Al-Qasim Idris and Abdulhaleem Idris.
According to Akpor, the suspects were arrested at Omialafara (Omulafa), Ose Local Government Area, Ondo State on Tuesday, 9 August 2022.
He further stated that the arrest was made possible through the joint efforts of the military and DSS.
The statement reads, “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 4 terrorists among those who attacked 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 yesterday, 9 August 2022.
“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.
“It is the avowed commitment of the leadership of the military, Nigeria Police, DSS and other security agencies to work in synergy to enthrone peace and security all over the country.
“This is due to the need for collaboration as an essential requirement to successfully deal with the existential asymmetric threats currently bedevilling our dear nation, Nigeria.”