The suspect, Abiodun Amos, aka Senti, was said to be a bomb expert, who had participated in several robbery attacks and kidnappings in Lagos and Ogun states.
It was learnt that two Ak-47 rifles concealed in a bag and a vehicle loaded with dynamite and detonators were recovered from the suspect’s hideouts around the creeks in Majidun.
It was gathered that Amos’ arrest followed an intelligence report received by the office of the National Security Adviser to the President.
The report was said to have been passed onto the Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, who directed the Inspector-General of Police Intelligence Response Team, led by ACP Abba Kyari, to go after the group.
A police source disclosed to a Punch correspondent that Amos was a top commander of a militant group, which had been terrorising communities in Lagos and Ogun states.
The source said, “The suspect is a member of a militant group operating from the creeks of Ikorodu and Arepo areas of Lagos and Ogun states. The police got an intelligence report from the office of the NSA that Amos and his gang members wanted to blow up the Third Mainland Bridge.
“The group was trailed to a river bank in the Majidun area, where the suspect, an expert in explosive, was arrested. Two Ak-47 rifles hidden in a Ghana-Must-Go bag were found in his possession and he led operatives to a vehicle parked discreetly within Ikorodu, and a large cache of dynamite and detonators were recovered from its boot.”
Punch Metro learnt from another source that some members of the gang earlier arrested gave detectives information that led to Amos’ arrest, adding that the police were on the trail of other members of the gang.
“After receiving the report, the IG directed the IRT operatives to commence a full-scale investigation and it was discovered that the group actually planned to blow up the bridge at the end of November 2016. The suspect, who coordinated the plan, was arrested before the scheduled date,” the source added.
In his confessional statement, Amos, who hails from Arugbo in the Ese Odo Local Government Area of Ondo State, reportedly told the police that his gang was frustrated by the military operations against pipeline vandals.
The 43-year-old man said his gang went into kidnapping after the bombardment of the creeks, adding that the botched attack on the bridge was initiated by the overall ringleader identified as General Ossy.
“We went into bank robberies and kidnapping because we wanted to get government’s attention and all we wanted was for them to grant us amnesty and offer us pipeline protection contract. We have made several appeals, but the government is not listening to us.
“General Ossy said if we didn’t blow up the Third Mainland Bridge, government would not listen to us. We had concluded plans and we decided to carry out the attack by November ending. I am the group’s explosive expert. We were about going into the creek to conclude plans on how to carry out the attack when I was arrested.”
The Force Public Relations Officer, DCP Don Awunah, confirmed the arrest and seizure of the explosives, saying investigation was ongoing.
He said, “An arrest was made of an individual. While the police operatives were pursuing another one in a vehicle, he abandoned the vehicle and ran but he was tracked down. Some explosives were discovered in the vehicle and two Ak-47 guns were recovered from him.”