Armed ViolenceNews

Owo Church Massacre: Nigerian Military Announces Arrest Of Suspects

The Chief of Defence Staff, General Lucky Irabor, says those behind the Owo attack have been arrested and will soon be paraded.

Nigeria’s military says it has arrested persons suspected to have orchestrated the attack on St Francis Catholic Church in Owo, Southwest Nigeria

The Chief of Defence Staff, General Lucky Irabor, confirmed the development to journalists during a meeting with editors and media executives in Abuja on Tuesday, Aug. 9. 

“Within the last time we met, we have recorded remarkable achievement. Let me bring it to your notice that within the same period, there have been ignoble actions of men of the underworld that have impinged on our collective well-being, namely the unfortunate train attack, the attack on Kuje correctional center, as well as what has been reported in the past the attack on the presidential convoy,” he said. 

“Also, the Owo incident which was intended to bring men and women of the armed forces to present them in a form and shape that make it to look as if the nation is on a siege. We have arrested those behind the dastardly act in Owo.”

Irabor said it was his intention to present them to the public, but this could not be done as the investigation is still going on. “I will like to say that in due course, the world will see them and others who are behind other daring attacks in the country.”

HumAngle reported that terrorists killed dozens of people at the church on the morning of Sunday, June 5, during a morning mass. Videos that surfaced soon after the attack showed many of the deceased victims lying on the floor in a pool of blood.

The Federal Government said the attack was likely carried out by Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP). The Owo attack was the first incident linked to ISWAP in the Southwest. 

HumAngle has previously reported a series of attacks, including the use of improvised explosive devices in Nigeria’s northeastern state of Taraba as well as Kogi in the north-central region. ISWAP attacked police officers in Kogi and then Suleja in the north-central state of Niger. The group has also claimed responsibility for attacks in Kaduna and Gombe. Owo is not far from Kabba in Kogi State, an area which, according to multiple sources, is used by ISWAP as a transit camp.

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Adejumo Kabir

Kabir works at HumAngle as the Editor of Southern Operations. He is interested in community development reporting, human rights, social justice, and press freedom. He was a finalist in the student category of the African Fact-checking Award in 2018, a 2019 recipient of the Diamond Awards for Media Excellence, and a 2020 recipient of the Thomson Foundation Young Journalist Award. He was also nominated in the journalism category of The Future Awards Africa in 2020. He has been selected for various fellowships, including the 2020 Civic Media Lab Criminal Justice Reporting Fellowship and 2022 International Centre for Journalists (ICFJ) 'In The Name of Religion' Fellowship.

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