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Ibadan explosion: Three suspects identified for possible prosecution

No fewer than three suspects in connection with the recent explosion at Bodija, Ibadan have been identified by Oyo state government for possible prosecution.

 

The three persons of interest comprise immediate and extended family members of the main person who rented the property but said to have left Nigeria about three years ago on health grounds.

Other persons of interest are indigenes of Mali believed to have fled from the scene of the explosion.

Special Adviser to the Oyo Governor, Mr Fatai Owoseni made this disclosure while giving journalists at the Oyo governor’s office, Ibadan, updates on ongoing investigation into the Bodija incident.

Though he noted that the state faced a challenge of getting those persons who had fled to Mali due to the country’s exit from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), Owoseni said the state would be seeking assistance from Interpol to bring in those persons.

While noting that interrogation and investigation into the Bodija incident were still ongoing, Owoseni particularly stated that the person whose name was circulated on social media had been interrogated and not found really connected with the explosion.

Owoseni said: “There is also a conclusion, so far, that there are three persons of interest that can be immediately prosecuted.

“The main person that rented that property had left Nigeria about three years ago on health grounds, and he left some of his extended family members at that property, including his wife.

“Among the three persons of interest that the investigating team can prosecute now are those people that were in occupation of that house as of the time the incident happened and based on the findings deducted from their interrogation and investigation that was carried out.

“It is still an ongoing process. Some persons of interest weren’t there when the incident happened and they were believed to have fled. The state, through the necessary mechanism, is going after them.

“The state is aware that Mali where majority of these people of interest originated from has exited ECOWAS. But there is an Interpol protocol under which we can also get assistance to bring them in.

“It is also worthy of mention to say that the particular name that had featured so much on social media has not been really found connected with that explosion but he has been interrogated.

“The immigration status of all those people of interest have also been checked.”

On the manner of device that got blasted, Owoseni said it was a water gel explosive that was triggered by an electric spark.

Giving the results of the integrity test conducted, chairman, Nigerian Institution of Structural Engineers, Mr Mbim Okutiyang said it checked 282 houses within 500 metres radius from the epicentre and four are considered dangerous to live in and would be marked for complete demolition.

He, however, noted that the assessment team had attempted to check 423 houses within the 1kilometre diameter from the epicentre but couldn’t access about 141 houses as many of them were under lock and key.

Okutiyang said the 278 were deemed habitable as they had repairable issues like blown-off roofs, broken doors, shattered windows, and damaged burglary.

He said the institution would be giving advice on how concerned persons can go about repairing their houses.

On the medical side, the incident manager, Professor Temitope Alonge said only five out of 80 victims were presently on admission at the University College Hospital (UCH) Ibadan and at the Redeemers Hospital.

Out of the five on admission, Alonge said one was being managed for Spinal cord injury, while surgeries had been done on others who had injuries with lower limbs.

He added that four victims suffered perforated eardrums as a result of the high decibels of the blast, some of whom will have surgical repair of their ripped-off eardrums.

Alonge also noted that some residents of the area grappled with respiratory problems, cough, soreness of throat, bronchitis urging them to seek medical help from the Emergency Operations Centre.

He added that a clinical psychologist had been arranged to help victims and residents of the area deal with Post Traumatic Stress Disorders like being easily irritable, agitated, insomnia, depressed, and unapproachable.

 

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