It named the suspect behind the coup rumour and missile attack threat as Jones Abiri, aka General Akotebe Darikoro, leader of the Joint Revolutionary Council of the Joint Niger Delta Liberation Force (JNDLF).
He was arrested last Thursday in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital. He is a journalist working for a tabloid in Yenegoa.
The DSS said the JNDLF has “been furthering separatist tendencies in connivance with other criminal gangs in the Niger Delta region.”
Of Darikoro who operates under the nom-de-guerre “General-Kill and Bury”, the security organization said he has “confessed and owned up to some criminal activities committed by the JNDLF, which include:
*The vandalism of Nigeria Agip Oil Company (NAOC) trunk line in Ogboinbiri, Southern Ijaw LGA and bombing of oil pipeline belonging to Shell Development Company (SPDC) at Brass creek on 8th July, 2016, all in Bayelsa State;
*Threat to launch missile attacks against selected targets in Abuja including the Presidential Villa, Aso Rock.
It accused Darikoro of also masterminding the recently circulated hoax of planned overthrow of President Buhari by the military.
Ramat was apprehended at Jabi Motor Park, Utako, Abuja also last Thursday, as he perfected plan to “attack the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and its environs, in collaboration with other elements of an extremist cell of the Boko Haram group.”
The DSS in the statement signed by Tony Opuiyo said its “on-going tactical operations aimed at degrading the capabilities and hide-outs of criminal syndicates across the federation are now paying off with strategic arrests of top-level underground elements.”
It added: “one Stephen Mamayebo aka Oscar, a suspected militant was arrested at OMPADEC Primary School in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State. Mamayebo was arrested in connection with the kidnap of an expatriate staff of Setraco Construction Company and subsequent murder of two soldiers, namely Sgt Garba Umar and Private Bashir Kabiru, along Ogbia-Nembe road on 5th April, 2016.
“Furthermore, on 20th July, 2016, at Travellers’ Mosque, along Kaduna-Zaria Highway in Igabi LGA of Kaduna State, the trio of Ismaila Shuaibu, Kabiru Nasiru and Inusa Abdullahi were arrested during a tactical raid.
“The trio were members of a notorious kidnap gang which has been terrorizing innocent citizens along the Abuja-Kaduna highway, and other environs within Kaduna State.
“On 22nd July, 2016, about 1730 hours, at Total Petrol Station, along Aba road in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, one Chukwunyere Austin Okwaa was apprehended by the Service; he had been issuing death threats against the former Acting-Managing Director, NDDC, Ms Ibim Semenitari.
“Also, suspected handlers of illegal arms and ammunition along with a suspected fraudster were arrested by DSS while a kidnapper who was coordinating plans for the hijack of fuel-supply tankers in Oyo State has also been arrested by the DSS.
“On 22nd June, 2016, a raid on suspected criminals/miscreants hide-outs behind Ado Bayero Quarters at Naibawa area of Kumbotso LGA of Kano State resulted in the recovery of one AK-47 rifle with twenty-eight rounds of live ammunition, one Browning model pistol with two rounds of live ammunition and a P5 pistol with ten live rounds.
“Also, on 22nd July, 2016, the Service apprehended one Saidu Yahaya, during the screening of prospective Hajj pilgrims at the Muslim Pilgrims Board in Jos, Plateau State. He had been under the radar of the Service as a black-market and illegal gunrunner who has been supplying arms and ammunitions to criminal and ethnic/religious bigots in Plateau, Taraba, Benue and Nassarawa states.”
Also in the net of the DSS is one Samson Chijioke Nzegwu said to be the ring-leader of a syndicate which has been using cloned/forged paraphernalia of the Enugu State Governor, Ifeanyi Lawrence Ugwuanyi, to defraud members of the public.
“During his arrest, the sum of one million naira, three laptops, ten different mobile phones, and other incriminating items were recovered from him.”
Similarly, a suspected kidnapper Esan Abiodun Christopher aka Maiyegun was arrested in Ondo State for belonging to the Reuben Akinbehinje-gang which masterminded the kidnap of two Catholic nuns and their driver in Akure, the state capital.
“The suspect was apprehended while coordinating plans to hijack fuel-supply tankers in Oyo State and he is currently under detention with five other members of his criminal gang, with whom he had masterminded the hijack of several fuel tankers in Ondo, Oyo, Osun, Kwara and Kogi States respectively, the DSS stated.
Last month, the JNDLF issued a statement threatening to attack the Presidential Villa, Abuja, the police headquarters, defence headquarters, NNPC Towers, CBN headquarters, National Assembly, military formations across the country, among others.
It warned occupants of the building to ‘vacate urgently.”
It said: “The followings occupants of these buildings should as a matter of urgency vacate them immediately IN THEIR OWN INTEREST to save their lives because our fight is not for ANY HUMAN BLOOD but to destroy all those infrastructures that were built with our oil and gas monies in this country. We will make federal government and oil companies to suffer as they have made the people of Niger Delta region suffer over the years.
It said it had acquired six missiles which it intended to launch “simultaneously at the night, as this will enable every Nigerian to see the movement of the MISSILES and equally to believe us of our seriousness attached to the final breakup as predicted by the United States of America (USA).
“We equally advise the diplomatic community to be neutral on this issue as wrong comments against us will be seen as saboteurs. Where they are staying presently will not be affected which is not part of our targeted areas of destruction in the country.”
It boasted that the deployment of war arsenal in the region would not stop it from operating, saying: “We shall embarrass the self acclaimed Nigerian Air Force with their recent deployment of fighter aircraft, helicopter gunship and surveillance aircraft when at this digital age, countries are talking about missile development, and they still condescend so low of their present obsolete equipment.”
Had the Boko Haram plot to bomb Abuja not been foiled as claimed by the DSS it would have been the latest in the series of attacks on the federal capital territory and neighbouring settlements and towns by the sect over the years.
Some of the previous attacks include the 26 August 2011 car bomb attack on the United Nations building in Abuja in which at least 21 people were killed and 60 others wounded and the Christmas day 2011 attack on St. Theresa’s Catholic Church, Madakka near Suleja, Niger State.
Thirty-five people were killed in the incident.
Two bombs believed to have been planted by Boko Haram also went off an Nyanya near Abuja on April 14, 2014 killing at least 88 people.