Suleja explosion: 'Bomb was implanted'

THE PUNCH Newspaper- Toyosi Ogunseye and Mike Odiegwu

Preliminary intelligence investigations into the Suleja bomb blast that claimed the lives of several members of the National Youth Service Corps and other civilians, have revealed that the bomb was composed of imported materials.

It was authoritatively learnt that the bomb, which was an Improvised Explosive Device, was made up of foreign elements which could not be sourced within the country.

A top intelligence officer told one of our correspondents that the materials of the explosive were used for commercial purposes in international manufacturing companies.

She said, “The velocity of that bomb was very high because of its components. We have not had that type of explosive in our country before.”

Following the Suleja incident, security was beefed up at all collation centres and offices of the Independent National Electoral Commission nationwide. Even though all INEC offices were last week Saturday swept for bombs, the exercise was repeated after the Suleja explosion.

In Lagos for example, INEC’s Yaba Office was swept twice for bombs on Saturday morning. The Commissioner of Police, the Anti-Bomb Squad, Ambrose Aisabor, said that the action was necessary in the light of the Suleja explosion.

He said, “I monitored the exercise myself twice in Lagos and the same thing was done in all the states. We have doubled the anti-bomb explosive in all the states.”

Aisabor added that the explosive in Suleja was planted outside the premises of INEC. The police boss said that it was impossible to plant the explosive inside INEC.

He said, “It is almost impossible. We swept that place and we had heavy presence there. You know what they did? They planted it in a wall outside the INEC office and walked away. No one knew it was there only for the bomb to explode and wreck so much havoc. The corp members that died and were injured were checking the notice board which is just behind the wall and that was why it affected them badly.”

One of the ad-hoc staff of INEC who survived the incident, Aminu Mojeed, also said many casualties were recorded in the incident because many employees were swarming around the notice boards to check their areas of assignments for the election.

Mojeed, who just completed the NYSC scheme said, “The notice board was the major centre of attraction for people mostly corps members who were in their hundreds at the commission.”

Narrating how he escaped the blast, he said, “I just finished checking the first notice board. I was approaching the second notice board after leaving the first one when I heard the loud explosion. I am sure the explosion came from the second notice board as I was greeting a friend then. The sound from the bomb came from the direction of the board which I was about going to.”

Another survivor, Amadi Francis, said the blast came from the direction of the notice board where he said most of the corps members gathered to check their names.

The Niger State Police Public Relations Officer, Mr. Richard Oguche, however, told one of our correspondents that nobody had been arrested in connection with the incident.

Oguche said officers of bomb disposal and forensic unit had gone to the venue of the incident to gather exhibits as part of their investigation.


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