Jaji bomb attack: Army arrests 16 more soldiers
Military authorities have arrested 16 more soldiers in connection with the November 25 twin bombing of the Armed Forces Command and Staff College, Jaji, Kaduna State.
Some high-ranking officers were among the freshly arrested soldiers.
Also being detained in connection with the terror attacks are four civilians, including three residents of the Jaji cantonment and one outsider.
SUNDAY PUNCH investigations showed that a senior non-commission officer in the barracks was among those arrested.
A highly-placed official in the army confirmed this to our reporter in Abuja on Friday.
The source, who pleaded anonymity because he was not authorised to speak on the matter said, “Apart from the first 10 arrests we made, there is an additional 16. Investigations continue on the matter.”
When our correspondent contacted the Director of Defence Information, Col. Mohammed Yerima, he said it was the army that could speak on it.
However, the Assistant Public Relations Officer of the Infantry Corps and Centre, Major E.M. Adeniyi, said he was not aware of the development.
Adeniyi, said, “What you are saying is still new to me. I don’t know this one you are talking about.
“Today (Friday) we had the graduation of some of our men: There were young officers’ corps, company commanders’ corps, commanding officers corps, senior infantry non-commissioned officers’ corps, and the infantry non-commissioned officers’ corp. In all, about 260 people graduated from the tactics wing of the Nigerian Army School of infantry.
“We also had 10 participants from Central African Republic.”
The Director of Military Intelligence, Maj. Gen Ahmed Jibril, said on Thursday that the military was holding some people in connection with the Jaji attacks but he was silent on the number of those in custody.
He said while it was true that some people were in custody, the number of those being held could only be made public when the report of the board of inquiries set up by the army and the defence headquarters had been submitted.
Both panels are being coordinated by Major-Gen. S.U Abdualkadir, who is the Head of Directorate Army Standard Evaluation at the Nigerian Army Headquarters, Abuja.
The military high command removed the Commandant of the AFCSC, Air Vice Marshal Abubakar Kure, and the Commander of the Infantry Corps and Centre, Jaji, Maj. Gen Mohammed Isah, to pave the way for unimpeded investigation into the incident.
Air Vice Marshal E.E Osim was appointed to take over from Kure while Major Gen. K.C Osuji replaces Isah.
SATURDAY PUNCH had on December 3, 2012 reported that 10 officers and soldiers had been arrested over the twin bomb blasts at Jaji.
A statement from the Director of Army Public Relations, which put the initial death toll at 11, also stated that 30 people were injured and taken to the hospital.
The Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Azubuike Ihejirika, had attributed the successful bombing of the military establishment to laxity.