Thursday, May 15, 2014

Interpol arrests mastermind of Nyanya blast in Sudan

Suspected masterminds of the El-Rufai Motor Park bomb explosion in Nyanya, Ahmad Rufai Abubakar; Muhammadu Sani Ishaq; Ya’u Saidu; Adamu Yusuf; and Anas Isah, after being paraded at the Dss headquarters in Abuja... on Monday. (Inset: The arrested fleeing member of the the gang)

The National Information Centre on Wednesday announced the arrest in Sudan of the alleged mastermind of the April 14 Nyanya bombing, Aminu Sadik Ogwuche.

Coordinator of the centre, who is also the Director General of the National Orientation Agency, Mr. Mike Omeri, said this in Abuja.

Omeri spoke in company with the information officers of some security agencies and ministries, saying security agencies had already started working on the extradition of the alleged fugitive.

He said, “We wish to authoritatively confirm to you the interception and subsequent arrest of one of the two suspects that were declared wanted, Aminu Sadik Ogwuche, whom we said fled to Sudan. He actually did; he fled to Sudan.

“Ogwuche had been declared wanted by the authorities in Nigeria for his involvement in the bombings in Nyanya. The efforts of Interpol, the Nigerian Police and Department of State Security Services have led to his arrest.

“At present, security authorities are working to see to his extradition to Nigeria. Once information is available on his arrival, we will let you know.”

Interpol had on Tuesday, on the request of the Nigerian Police, issued a red alert for the search and arrest of the suspect, who was once arrested on suspicion of terrorism but released upon pressure from his father and the human rights community.

Deputy Director, Public Relations at the State Security Services, Marylyn Ogar, had on Tuesday explained that Ogwuche was released during his first arrest in 2011 because of pressure from his father, a retired colonel of the Nigerian army, lawyers and the human rights community.

She had said, “He was arrested in 2011 when he came into the country from the United Kingdom. That was based on information that we had that he was involved in some terrorist activities. He was with us.

“We carried out further investigation. We started having lots of queries and enquiries from his father, the lawyers, and especially the human rights activists saying we were depriving him of his human rights.

“We had to make his father take him on bail based on the fact that when we need him, he would release him to us. And of course, when he was mentioned as one of those that had masterminded the Nyanya bombings, we went straight ahead to ask the father to release him to us. And of course, the father couldn’t produce him. So, based on that, we had to work with other sister agencies and we were told he is in Sudan.

“He was declared wanted. Because all security forces are working as one, the police had to do what they had to do and today the Interpol came in. So we can never be overwhelmed. We are dealing with terrorism. Even investigation itself is quite consuming.”

Omeri also confirmed that the Nigerian security agencies, in collaboration with foreign alliances, had commenced operations in an effort to rescue the schoolgirls abducted from Chibok, Borno State, on April 14.

He declined to give details of the operation.

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