The police in Lagos State, western Nigeria, have arrested a young man identified as Dada Ajibo from Niger Republic for attempted arson.
He was said to have been found under a car parked at a filing station in Akowonjo with a lighter while attempting to set the car ablaze and cause explosion in the area.
The incident caused serious commotion in the area Tuesday because the residents were apprehensive that Ajibo might be a member of terrorist group, Boko Haram, bombing and killing people in northern Nigeria.
Ajibo was arrested and detained at Gowon Estate Police Division where he is being interrogated for allegedly attempting to set the filing station ablaze, along with three other accomplices now at large.
The middle aged man was found under a red Volkswagen Golf car with a razor blade and lighter beside Oando Filing Station located at 170, Akowonjo road by Cele bus stop, Akowonjo.
While he was attempting to cut the fuel pipe with the blade under the car, the residents who suspected him alerted a mobile policeman guarding a nearby bank who arrested him. The policeman found on him two Niger Republic passports, a razor blade and a lighter.
This gave rise to suspicion by the residents that he wanted to cause explosion and destruction in the area.
The manager of the Oando filing Station where the incident happened, Mr Rabiu Omoniyi, said that the man went under a parked Golf car without the knowledge of the owner with lighter and a blade, ostensibly to burn the car which could have set the filing station and other companies around the area ablaze.
The policeman who arrested him said when the suspect attempted to escape, he threatened to shoot him, which made him to stop running. He said he alerted the DPO at Gowon Estate who sent his men to take him to the station.
“He confessed that he was an illegal immigrant from Niger Republic,” the policeman said. When the correspondent visited Gowon Estate Police Division, the DPO was not around to comment on the matter.
The golf car under which the suspect was found with a razor blade and lighter
However, a police source comfirmed the arrest and said that the police have commenced investigation on the matter.
The suspect was detained in the cell with his name written on the board as illegal immigrant.
A human rights activist, Commrade Babatunde Ashafa, said that Lagos residents should be more vigilant and report any suspicious movement in their area to the police to forstal any danger.
He said that the Boko Haram sect have scattered after they were dislodged in the north and there is possibility that they have entered Lagos, recalling that 42 members of the sect were arrested recently by soldiers in the state.
Ashafa also called on the security agencies to collaborate more with the citizens and human rights groups in the state to ensure that the citizens are protected.