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Nigeria: Bomb blast – FG Arrests Dokpesi

Chief Raymond Dokpesi

Operatives of the State Security Service (SSS) yesterday arrested the director-general of the Ibrahim Babangida Campaign Organisation, Chief Raymond Alegho Dokpesi, linking him to the last Friday bomb blasts in Abuja which killed more than 16 persons and injured dozens of others.

Top security sources and government officials told LEADERSHIP last night that the basis of the implication was text messages retrieved from the telephones of two of the suspects already in SSS custody.

The text messages, which the security sources said that Chief Dokpesi responded to, claimed that the suspects told Dokpesi ‘that the job had been done, when do we get our balance’.

The director of media and publicity of the IBB Campaign Organisation, Prince Kassim Afegbua, confirmed the arrest of Chief Dokpesi by security operatives to LEADERSHIP.

Afegbua said that the organisation was yet to establish links with Dokpesi to ascertain why he was been held and what transpired between him and the security operatives during his incarceration.

An emergency meeting of the campaign directorate was convened yesterday afternoon over the development. But the IBB campaign manager had raised alarm in the past that the presidency was after his life.

Addressing a press conference, yesterday in Abuja, the spokes person of the SSS, Ms Marilyn Ogar, said all the arrested persons have been found to have direct links with Henry Okah.

The police, however, insisted that no further arrests have been made, even as the Force Public Relations Officer (FPRO) would not speak further on the matter, stating that investigations were on-going.

According to Ogar, the names of suspects and their sponsors cannot be disclosed because of the on-going investigations.

“When plan A of the group was foiled, they resorted to the penetration of the Eagle Square in an attempt to plant explosive devices, however, the services deployed hi-tech equipment in and around the Eagle Square and jammed the detonation of any of such explosives.

“These efforts which lasted till the morning of October 1, 2010 saw 65 abandoned vehicles removed. It is worthy of note that out of seven vehicles removed from the three arms zone, four are yet to be collected”, she said.

In related development, Okah was yesterday arraigned in South Africa for alleged terrorism act; although he pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Meanwhile, the UN Security Council yesterday condemned last Friday’s bombings in Abuja and urged all member-states to “cooperate actively” with Nigeria to bring the perpetrators to justice.

The Council’s statement, read by Mr Ruhakana Rugunda, Permanent Representative of Uganda and President of Council for the month of October, called the attack that killed at least 12 people a “reprehensible act of terrorism”.

The Council expressed deep sympathy and condolences to the victims of the “heinous crime” and to the people and Government of Nigeria.

The Council reaffirmed that terrorism in all its forms and manifestations was criminal and unjustifiable, regardless of its motive.

The 15-member Council stressed the need to combat all forms of threats to international peace and security caused by terrorist acts, in accordance with the Charter of the UN.

“The members of the Security Council reminded states that they must ensure that measures taken to combat terrorism comply with all their obligations under international law, in particular, international human rights, refugee and humanitarian law,” Rugunda said.

The October 1 car bombings came as Nigeria marked 50 years of independence. It happened some metres away from the official venue of the celebrations at Eagle Square in Abuja.