The Defence Headquarters on Thursday said two additional suspected terrorists linked with the Owo attack have been arrested.
The Chief of Defence Staff, General Lucky Irabor, during a meeting with media executives and editors on Tuesday; announced the arrest of some suspected terrorists including the mastermind of the Owo attack.
Armed men stormed the St Francis Catholic Church, Owo on 5 June 2022 and killed no fewer than 40 worshippers.
However, in a statement on Thursday, the Director of Defence Information; Major General Jimmy Akpor, said the duo of Al-Qasim Idris and Abdulhaleem Idris were arrested at the Omialafara (Omulafa); Ose LGA in Ondo State during a joint operation with the DSS, Police.
The statement was titled, ‘Arrest of two additional suspected terrorists in connection with the Owo Catholic Church on June 5, 2022.’
It read, “Recall that the Chief of Defence Staff during his parley with media executives and editors yesterday, Tuesday 9 August 2022, informed of the arrest of 4 terrorists among those who carried out the attack on 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 four of the Owo Catholic Church attackers; two additional ISWAP terrorists, who were also connected to the attack on the church were apprehended at Omialafara (Omulafa); Ose LGA, Ondo State yesterday, August 9 2022.
“The arrests were made through the collaborative effort by military and DSS personnel. The suspects are Al-Qasim Idris and Abdulhaleem Idris. ”
However, he said that Abdulhaleem, alongside other high-profile ISWAP commanders, had previously coordinated attacks on military targets in Okene, Okene LGA, Kogi State, which led to the death of many.