Six suspected Boko Haram members were arrested in Owerri, the Imo State capital in the early hours of yesterday inside the Winners’ Chapel along the Port Harcourt road by the state police command, while planting bombs in the church.
According to an eyewitness account, the security personnel attached to the church had noticed some strange movements within the church premises and monitored their movements.
The security men alerted the senior pastor of the church, Moses Oyedele, who instructed them to alert the police which they did and the police immediately rushed to the scene with soldiers and other security agents.
In the process, it was discovered that about six bombers had taken over the church in order to perpetrate their nefarious activities.
The source indicated that the police were immediately alerted and they cordoned off the church premises in search of the suspects, leading to their arrest.
It was discovered that the suspects had planted a bomb at the entrance gate of the church and had taken position round the premises of the church so as to plant more bombs.
However, the police anti-bomb squad detonated the bombs and conducted a thorough check round the premises to ensure that there were no other hidden bombs within the premises.
When interrogated, the suspects confessed to be suicide bombers who had stormed the state with the intention of bombing five churches in the state.
The church authorities, on getting the information, alerted members of the congregation to relocate the service to the Heroes Square near Imo Concorde Hotel where they conducted their first service which was supposed to begin by 7a.m.
As the security personnel were conducting their normal check, the second service took place within the church premises by 9a.m notwithstanding what had happened.
When contacted, the state Commissioner of Police, Adbulmajid Ali, advised the people of the state to be vigilant now that the Boko Haram members had penetrated the state.
He confirmed that the anti-bomb disposal unit of the state police command had detonated the bombs, adding that investigations to unravel the circumstances surrounding the incident had commenced.
Meanwhile, the state Governor, Chief Rochas Okorocha has condemned the action
Addressing newsmen yesterday, the governor commended the security agencies for their timely intervention.