Department of State Security (DSS) on Wednesday paraded an alleged Iranian-trained Nigerian terrorist who was allegedly planning to kill former military President, Ibrahim Babangida, and former Sultan of Sokoto, Ibrahim Dasuki. The suspect, named Abdullahi Mustapha Berende, an Ilorin, Kwara state-born 50-year-old local leader of Shiite sect, was also accused of espionage.
Two of his lieutenants, Sulaiman Olayinka Saka and Saheed Aderemi Adewunmi, were also paraded.
According to the DSS, Berende made several trips to Iran where he interacted with some Iranian elements known to operate high profile international terrorist network.
Deputy Director of Public Relations of the DSS, Marilyn Ogar, addressed a press conference on Wednesday where Berende and his lieutenants were paraded.
She said the suspects had made confessional statements. Berende allegedly confessed that he gained admission to study a six-month course in Modern Shi’a Islamic Teaching (Da’awa) at Imam Khomeni University, Iran, in 2006, and was subsequently recruited by some Iranian elements when he returned to Iran for further studies in 2011. He confessed to being trained on the use of AK 47 assault rifle, pistols, production and detonation of Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs).
He disclosed that he was mandated to provide specific details on targets like USAID, Zim International Shipping Company, A.A. Consulting, Peace Corps and the Jewish Cultural Centre (Chabad) in Lagos. Babangida and Dasuki, he added, became prominent targets for execution when he was tasked to provide names of prominent Nigerians who, if attacked, could unsettle the West. He disclosed further that his Iranian handlers formulated codes for targets with names like Uncle (Israel) and Aunt (America) to conceal and secure their communications. Lagos, he said, was chosen as point of attack, because his handlers believe that the Israelis have an intelligence facility there that is being used in spying on Iran.
Meanwhile, the Plateau State House of Assembly Speaker, John Clark Dabwan, on Tuesday night escaped death by the whisker when some unknown gunmen attacked an evening church crusade in the Jos South Local Government area of the state.
Daily Independent gathered that about nine other worshipers sustained gunshot wounds.
The incident took Jos South residents by surprise.
The wounded are currently receiving treatment at the Plateau Specialist Hospital, Jos.
According to eyewitnesses, the gunmen entered the Christian Rural and Urban Development Association of Nigeria (CRUDAN), wielding dangerous weapons and demanding the whereabouts of the Speaker.
It was said that Dabwan drove into the church premises and shortly after, the attackers came looking for him.
It is still not clear if the attackers were armed robbers as being claimed by government officials, or kidnappers.
It took the timely arrival of members of the Special Task Force (STF) to scare the attackers away.
The STF men from the Lomay Hotel area later conveyed the wounded to the Plateau Specialist Hospital. No arrest has been made.
Chief Press Secretary to the Speaker, Nandak Shingle, confirmed to Daily Independent that he (Speaker) was at the church when the gunmen struck.
State Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Emmanuel Onuigbo, could not be reached on his GSM phone.