Police have arrested some suspects in connection with Friday’s bombing of the United Nations building.
Speaking to journalists and members of the diplomatic corps in Abuja yesterday, the inspector-general of police, Mr. Hafiz Ringim, said details of the arrest would be revealed in due course.
Meanwhile, some officials of various United Nations (UN) organs who turned up yesterday at the wrecked building were denied access by officials of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) from the United States. Many of the workers, who came in search of their personal belongings, were asked to stay away until given clearance to do so.
LEADERSHIP gathered that the FBI officials insisted that they needed more time to evaluate circumstances surrounding the attack, and would be unable to carry out their assignment efficiently if the workers were around.
A mobile police officer, who also denied LEADERSHIP access to the building, explained that the FBI officials had handed down an order that on no account should anyone be allowed into the premises. He explained that the directive was to avoid any interference in the job they were invited to do.
Large sections of the building had continued to collapse after Friday’s attack on the UN House, raising concerns about the safety of workers and security operatives combing the area for clues. Operatives of the police anti - bomb squad from the presidency were on ground to partner with the experts.
Sources said more collapses are expected as a major reinforcement in the building’s pillars had been badly damaged by the bomb blast. The building’s staircases collapsed when the
bomb-laden car crashed into the front office.
A suicide bomber had on Friday rammed into the UN building with a bomb-laden car, killing at least 23 people and wounding about 40 others.
In a related development, the president of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Mr. Joseph Daudu (SAN), has said that Nigeria lacks the security apparatus to tackle the onslaught of terrorism.
Daudu said this in Abuja yesterday while fielding questions from journalists at the public presentation of the Project 2011 Swift Count (PSC) published final report of the April 2011 election observation.
He was reacting to the spate of bombing in Nigeria, the most current being the bombing of the United Nations House by terrorists on Friday.
He said, “We lack the capacity to tackle challenges arising from terrorism. The present security reaction to it, that I see, which is inconveniencing to people are long queues of traffic for security checking. I think people are being punished for the lapses of security agencies and the leadership, which I think is not the solution.
“The solution is thorough intelligence work, leading to the arresting of those involved, and again it’s a pointer to the weak security structures that we have. A society where you can easily pass a security checkpoint with any criminal exhibit just by paying a little amount of money cannot prevent itself from terrorist attack,” he said.
He emphasised that it is left for Nigeria to raise up its security apparatus to provide the discouraging environment for terrorism in this country. “The first thing we want to disappear is policemen taking money at checkpoints; this gives the impression that the country is very porous and so long as the country is porous, anyone can pass with anything,” he said.
Dauda described as unlawful, the move by the government to open a line of communication with terrorists. “Our position: don’t open a line of communication with criminal groups. We have the laws of the land and, as of today, the laws of the land do not say you should negotiate with people who take other innocent lives.”