UBONG UKPONG, Abuja
Sunnewsonline[March 06, 2012]
The Defence Headquarters (DHQ) yesterday identified Mr. Adams Joseph Ashaba, as the Boko Haram suicide bomber, who allegedly masterminded the bombing of the Church of Christ in Nigeria (COCIN) in Jos, the Plateau State capital on February 26, disclosing that he was actually a member of the church.
The bomber had allegedly attacked COCIN that Sunday morning during service, where he was killed after killing a baby, a worshipper, his accomplice and injuring 38 other persons, including the state’s Commissioner for Information and Communication, Hiljah Abraham and former Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Ezekiel Gomos.
Addressing Defence correspondents in Abuja, the Director of Naval Information, Commodore Kabir Aliyu, on behalf of the Joint Security Information Managers Committee, said that the identification of the mastermind would now end the allegation that the man in military uniform, who was lynched by some angry church members for allowing the bomber into the premises of the church to explode the bomb, was a soldier.
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“The DHQ wishes to clarify that contrary to the earlier reports that a soldier was lynched by aggrieved members of the church for allowing the bomber to gain access into the church premises, no soldier was anywhere close to the church before the explosion. Investigations revealed that on February 27, one Mr Julius came to the Special Task Force (STF) HQ to complain of his missing brother, one Mr Adams Joseph Ashaba. He claimed that the said person was at the COCIN Church Headquarters on Sunday, 26 February, 2012 to worship when the explosion rocked the area. He later confirmed that he was informed that his brother’s body was picked in a bush by men of Civil Defence corps and deposited at JUTH mortuary. He then went to JUTH where he identified the corpse as his brother, Mr Adams Joseph Ashaba and was directed by hospital staff to STF HQ for clearance.
“During interrogation, it was discovered that the alleged suicide bomber who was lynched by the worshippers and in military uniform was the same Adams Joseph Ashaba. With this development, Reverend John D Harung and two other clergymen from the COCIN Headquarters were invited to HQ STF to ascertain that he was a member of their church and not a soldier as alleged”, Commodore Aliyu stated.
He said that the Defence Headquarters viewed the hasty allegation leveled against the military in the unfortunate incident as a calculated attempt to frustrate the operations of the STF by the same elements who have been unduly calling for the withdrawal of STF from Plateau State.