Operatives of the State Security Service have arrested more suspects over the twin bomb attacks at the Nigerian Military Cantonment in Jaji, Kaduna State.
Saturday PUNCH’s investigations showed that the suspects, excluding the 16 arrested last week by the army authorities, were mainly civilians.
Related Article: Jaji Bomb Attack: Army Arrests 16 More Soldiers
The recent arrests came just as the authorities of the Nigeria Army and Defence Headquarters continued their probe into the suicide bombings.
Two bombs planted by a terror group exploded one after the other in front of the St. Andrew’s Protestant Military Church in the premises of the Armed Forces Command and Staff College, Jaji, on Nov. 27.
The attacks within the military formation, which is also host to four other military facilities, ignited far-reaching measures by the military high command.
These included the immediate redeployment of the Commander of the AFCSC, Rear Admiral Abubakar Kure, and his counterpart in the Nigerian Army Infantry Corps and Centre, Maj.-Gen. Mohammed Isah.
Both the Defence Headquarters and the authorities of the Nigerian Army set up two boards of inquiry into the bomb blasts under the leadership of the Head of the Directorate of the Nigeria Army Standard Evaluation, Army Headquarters, Maj.-Gen. S.U. Abdulkadir.
As at the time of filing this report, the DHQ and the authorities of the NA were awaiting the outcome of the investigation into the Jaji blasts.
It was learnt that the military was collaborating with the Department of State Security to widen the scope of the investigation into the Jaji attacks, which they believed could have been prevented.
An embittered Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Azubuike Ihejirika, attributed the successful bombing of the Jaji cantonment to laxity while speaking at the COAS conference in Asaba, Delta State.
It was gathered that while the NA relied on its intelligence to probe the circumstances surrounding the bombings, similar efforts were being made by operatives of the SSS to investigate the incident outside the military formation.
Investigations showed that operatives of the SSS had swooped on Jaji for days after the incident.
The SSS operatives had arrested an unspecified number of suspects at a residence in Jaji town in relation with the bombings.
It was learnt that the men were arrested with items suspected to be used for the production of Improvised Explosive Devices.
Ihejirika had emphasised the need for effective collaborative efforts among the security agencies in the country in the battle against insecurity.
Last week, Saturday PUNCH reported exclusively that the military was holding more officers and soldiers totalling 16, ap from those earlier detained in relation with the bomb attacks.
It was stated that four civilians, three of which are resident in the Jaji cantonment and one other from outside the barracks, were being held in relation with the bombings.