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Owo church massacre: Police others deny arrest of perpetrators

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Police in Ondo State have denied rumours making the rounds that the suspected terrorists, who attacked Owo Catholic Church, have been apprehended.

Rumours filtered into town on Thursday evening that the perpetrators of the terror attack were nabbed by the combined team of the Nigerian Army, Amotekun Corps and other security agents.

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NAN reports that on June 5, terrorists attacked St. Francis Catholic Church, Owaluwa Street, Owo, during church service.

Forty of the 127 persons in the church were killed, leaving 87 survivors out of which 61 are currently on admission in different hospitals and 26 already discharged.

A viral video circulated online indicated that those who perpetrated the terror attack had been arrested.

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It was gathered that residents of Owo town besieged the palace of the Olowo, Oba Ajibade Ogunoye, to confirm the news of the purported arrest of the suspects on Thursday evening.

Oba Ogunoye, who addressed the crowd in Owo dialect, said he only heard about the news just the way the residents heard it and asked them to remain calm.

A source within the palace of Olowo, who didn’t want his name mentioned, said the information was only a rumour.

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“It was only a rumour. Youths besieged the palace in their thousands when the rumour broke out, but it was discovered to be a false alarm.

“Kabiyesi was only trying to hail their doggedness as he told them that, ‘I heard the rumour like you too’, admonishing them to be patient to authenticate it.

“But it was later discovered that the story was about a group arrested along the Owo/Benin boundary in possession of dangerous weapons,” the source told newsmen.

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While speaking with the NAN, SP Funmilayo Odunlami, the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) in Ondo State, denied the rumour, saying she could not confirm the arrest of the attackers.

“I can not confirm anything like that. There is no story like that in the state,” the PPRO told NAN.

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Also, a source from Nigeria Army, 32 Artillery Brigade, Akure, who didn’t want his name mentioned, said emphatically that the perpetrators of the Owo attack had not been arrested.

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He said security agents only arrested people caught with Indian hemp.

“It is a rumour, those arrested are those engaged in Indian hemp business. There are about three or so, they were arrested somewhere around Owo forest,” the source told NAN.

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