Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State has cleared the air on a mix-up in the identity of a Kuje escapee.
At a meeting with select media executives on Tuesday, Chief of Defence Staff, General Lucky Irabor, had announced the arrest of the attackers of St Francis Catholic Church in Owo, Ondo.
Over 40 worshippers were killed in the attack which happened on June 5, 2022.
The arrested suspects were listed as Idris Ojo, Jimoh Ibrahim, Idris Abdulmalik Omeiza, also known as Ibn Malik, Momoh Abubakar, Aliyu Itopa and Awwal Onimisi.
Meanwhile, Ojo escaped from Kuje Prison when the Islamic State in West Africa Province (ISWAP) invaded the facility exactly one month after the Owo attack.
However, Irabor was said to have listed Ojo among those arrested over Owo attack.
Clarifying the issue in a statement signed on his behalf, Richard Olatunde, his spokesman, Akeredolu said the arrest of the escapee coincided with that of the church attackers, hence the mix-up.
“The attention of Ondo State Governor, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, SAN, has been drawn to the announcement of Idris Ojo as one of the attackers of St Francis Catholic Church, Owo, arrested by the security agencies.
“Governor Akeredolu acknowledged the confusion the statement has created in the public space, considering that the ugly event of June 5 attack in Owo preceded the unfortunate incident on Kuje prison.
“The Governor said there was a mix up in the announcement by the Chief of Defence Staff, General Lucky Irabor. Governor Akeredolu explained that Idris Ojo, who is number 14 on the wanted list of Kuje Prison Escapees was arrested in his brother’s house in Akure.
“The announcement of the arrest of Idris Ojo as one of the perpetrators of the June 5 attack on St Francis Catholic Church, Owo was a mix up from the Chief of Defence Staff, General Lucky Irabor.
“Idris Ojo, who is number 14 on the wanted list of the Kuje Prison Escapees was arrested in his brother’s house in Akure. His brother, Jimoh Rasheed Ibrahim, received and accommodated him after his escape from Kuje prison.
“He was thereafter moved and kept in the custody of the security operatives at the same time the attackers of Owo Catholic Church were arrested and brought into custody. Hence, the mix up,” the statement read.
Governor Akeredolu urged members of the public to remain vigilant and give necessary supports to the security agencies in the State.
(Courtesy, excluding headline, Daily Trust)