By Albert Akpor, Evelyn Usman & Monsur Olowoopejo
LAGOSâ€”THE Police in Lagos, yesterday, said the explosive that rocked â€˜Logemo Houseâ€™ in the Onipanu area of the metropolis, was Improvised Explosive Device, IED, adding that they also carried out a search at the suspect’s residence where more explosive items were recovered.Â Â
Meantime, the police had warned against receiving gift items from unknown persons during and after the yuletide.
Speaking on the incident, the Commissioner of Police, Mr.Marvel Akpoyibo, said the suspect was helping the command with relevant information.
The target of the bombing, as reliably gathered, was the Superscreen Television Station, over a yet-to be unravelled cause. The suspect was identified as Olayiwola Ahmed, aged 27.
He is currently being treated at the intensive care unit of the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, LASUTH, IKeja, where policemen are keeping watch over him.
But, a security expert, Mr. Wole Madariola, warned against the continued treatment of the suspect at a general hospital, saying he should be transferred to a military or police hospital.
He added that that would guarantee the safety of the suspect, who, is expected to unravel how he got the deadly parcel and his mission.
Akpoyibo said a check by policemen from the Bomb Disposal Unit led to the recovery of two more devices which were immediately defuse through a controlled detonation process.
The command, he said, was determined to unearth the motive behind the explosion and the suspectâ€™s sponsors, but regretted that the suspectâ€™s condition will hamper investigation. â€œThis is because the suspect is in a critical condition and can barely talk,â€ he explained.
Explosive as ChristmasÂ gift
The explosive, he stated, was neatly wrapped as a Christmas gift and exploded at the fourthÂ floor of the nine-storey building, essentially used for commercial purposes .
He, therefore, warned Lagosians against receiving wrapped gifts, saying, â€œsuch gifts and other materials should not be received from strangers during this season.
â€œCitizens,â€ he further warned, â€œshould desist from stocking their homes with inflammable materials such as petroleum products and others with inflammable tendencies such as fireworks.
He also certified the building safe and fit for normal business transactions.
Workers in fear
When Vanguard visited â€˜Logemo House,â€™ yesterday, it discovered that workers were still gripped with fear, as a majority of them were seen hanging around, with the building still barricaded as at 3p.m. while there was a heavy police presence.
Lagos govt keeps mum
Efforts to speak with the Lagos State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Opeyemi Bamidele, on the development were unsuccessful, as he was said to be out on official duty. Also, repeated calls to his mobile phone line were unanswered.
As at press time, a text message sent to him was yet to be replied but an official in the ministry, who preferred anonymity, said the government would soon issue a statement on the incident.
However, in a reaction to the incident, the International Press Centre, IPC, said: â€œWe are deeply concerned and shocked by the alleged parcel bomb explosion on the premises of the Superscreen Television, Lagos.
”IPC condemns the incident and hereby calls on the Nigeria Police to carry out a thorough investigation that will lead to the arrest and prosecution of the brains behind the dastardly act. This should be done with utmost dispatch.â€
The centre also called on the police authorities to ensure that â€œnothing and absolutely nothing,â€ happens to the suspect that is currently in their custody. His life must be protected so that he could tell all he knows about the aborted evil plot.
It also reiterated its call that all other cases of unresolved murders of journalists should be re-opened and investigated to discourage those who think they could always get away with the murder of journalists.
MRA flays bombing
The Media Rights Agenda, MRA, also condemned the bombing. Its Senior Programme Officer, Mr. Ayode Longe, said:
â€œThe dangerous dimension introduced into the mode of attacks on journalists and media houses is turning Nigeria into a dangerous place to practice journalism, putting the media environment on the same scale as war-torn Iraq and other similar places.