The man suspected of carrying out today’s deadly bomb attacks that targeted the editorial offices of Thisday and Daily Sun in Kaduna has been chained and is under heavy security surveillance in a hospital.
In a related development, a security source said several eyewitnesses had detailed how the attacks took place. He said the bomber reportedly came in an ash-colored Honda Academy car that carried eleven gas cylinders that contained Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs). Five of the IEDs were in the trunk of the car, with six in the front and back seats.
The source said the bomber forced his way into the SOJ Plaza that houses Thisday, The Moment, and Daily Sun, but the bombs did not explode. When the occupants of the plaza heard some commotion, they rushed out and saw the bomber. Other onlookers soon joined and began to beat the suspect. In turn, the man began to recite what seemed like prayers and then confessed that he was carrying bombs. Ordered by the mob to evacuate the bombs, the bomber picked up one of the cylinders and threw it hard on the ground, causing a huge explosion that immediately killed three persons. As the man tried to flee, a mob gave chase, caught him, and was about to set him on fire when a team of police and soldiers rescued him.
“There was a big battle between the mob and security agencies,” said the source, adding that the security agents fired several gun shots in the air before they could whisk the suspect away from the angry crowd.
Contrary to the speculations in widespread text messages in Kaduna that the captured bomber is of Igbo extraction, the Kaduna State Police Commissioner, Mohammed Jinjiri Abubakar, has stated that the suspect is a Northerner from Borno State. The police disclosure about the identity of the bombing suspect tallies with an announcement by Nigeria’s secret service agency in Abuja.
At a briefing in Kaduna on Thursday evening, the police commissioner described the suspect as dark, well-built, and bleeding from his head. The police chief said the bomber sustained head injuries from a mob that sought to kill him after the explosions went off. The police boss also assured that the police had taken all measures to prevent any possibility of escape by the suspect as happened in the Kabiru Sokoto saga. Mr. Sokoto’s escape whilst being held on terror charges cast the Nigeria police in embarrassing light.
At the press briefing, Mr. Abubakar said the three persons who died in today’s fiery explosions deserved posthumous recognition for the sheer patriotism they exhibited that eventually led to their painful death.
The commissioner of police disclosed that two persons were injured by a second bomb that hit the Ungwan Mua’zu area of Kaduna. He said the two victims were receiving treatment at the Nigerian Army Reference Hospital in Kaduna. He added that security agencies would henceforth enforce the 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. window for motorcycle riders to operate in the state.