*Role of vigilant by-standers
But for the quick intervention of men of the security agencies, the bombers, who detonated the explosives that destroyed parts of EMAB plaza causing the loss of over 20 people, may have planned to set off another explosion in another part of the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Abuja, Sunday Vanguard can reveal authoritatively.
In fact, one of the suspected bombers still had another bomb in a bag he was carrying before their next move was aborted.
Very dependable security sources disclosed the events that led to the arrest of the detained suspected bomber yesterday.
According to the source, who preferred not to be named, “there were two suspects who took off on a bike immediately after the explosion”.
“You know, because of the alert that had gone out earlier in anticipation of and possible foiling of any attempted bombing within Abuja, the security agencies had been on red alert and had placed policemen and men of the Department of State Services, DSS, at very strategic and busy shopping complexes within the federal capital.
“Unfortunately, the bombers found a way around before being caught on their act of terror; two of the suspects attempted to take off on a power bike immediately after the bomb went off.
“Suspecting their moves, men of the security forces on the scene attempted to stop them while cordoning off the scene of the explosion but the two men refused to stop”, the source revealed.
Continuing, the source explained that because of the way they refused to obey police order and their suspicious movement, they were shot as they tried to speed away.
“Fortunately for the security forces, impact of the bullet on the suspect sitting on the rear seat caused him to destabilize the bike which was already in motion, causing the two men to fall.
“Coincidentally, an Anti-bomb Squad vehicle was coming in the opposite direction and as it got closer to the point where the two suspects were being apprehended, the alarm about the presence of a possible explosive device went off in the bus.
“This further propelled the curiosity of the security men who were trying to apprehend the suspects.
“In the melee that followed, the rider of the bike escaped into the crowd within the scene of the bombing that was still being cordoned off.
“Fortunately, sympathizers at the scene were alert and they suspected that somebody was being chased and had attempted to mingle with the crowd.
“Four people were rounded up by the crowd.
“It was the injured, dying suspect who identified his colleague from among the four persons that had been rounded up”.
Sunday Vanguard was made to understand that the shot suspect later died.
His colleague is, according to sources, providing useful information to security forces.
It was later discovered, based on information provided by security sources, that the bombers were “heading for another part of town when one of them was shot”.
The shot suspect, it was learnt, had an explosive device in the bag he was carrying.
Upon his apprehension, it was also discovered that he had a stop watch on him – possibly to be used for the explosive device in his possession.
Explaining to Sunday Vanguard the role of vigilant Nigerians at the scene of the EMAB Plaza bombing, the source admitted that “but for vigilant Nigerians in the crowd, it may have been difficult to apprehend the suspect”.