ON WEDNESDAY, the 10th of August 2022, a popular Nigerian blog, Instablog9ja at about 2:06 pm posted on its social media pages (Instagram and Twitter), the identities, including names and photos, of the five arrested suspected killers of victims of the Owo massacre.
In the Twitter link archived here, Instablog9ja on its Twitter handle @instablog9ja listed the names of the arrested suspects as Idris Ojo, Ishaq Farouk, Abdulmannan Obadiki, Abdulkareem Musa, and Abdul Azeez Obadaki, all from Kogi state.
Attached to these names were photos of four men in green uniforms and one in blue uniforms.
The tweet was accompanied with a caption that reads: “Owo church mass@cre: identities of the five arrested suspects revealed. The identities of the five suspects arrested in connection with the brutal killing of worshippers at St. Francis catholic church, Owo, Ondo state have been unveiled.”
The post, now deleted from its Instagram page, had on Twitter garnered over 1,500 likes, and over 560 retweets as of 5:30 pm on the 11th of August, 2022.
The ICIR had on the 5th of June this year reported how gunmen suspected to be from the Islamic State West African Province (ISWAP) invaded St. Francis Catholic Church located in Owo LGA of Ondo state.
The attack led to the death of scores of worshippers, leaving many others severely injured.
Two months later, Premium Times reported that Nigeria’s Chief of Defence Staff, Lucky Irabor, a general, had on Tuesday addressed the press in Abuja and announced the arrest of some suspected persons behind the gruesome Owo attack.
That the tweet shows the names and photos of the five arrested suspected killers of worshippers in Owo Catholic Church attack.
Findings by The FactCheckHub show that the claim is FALSE.
Earlier on Tuesday, the Chief of Defence Staff, Lucky Irabor, a general, had announced the arrest of five terrorists suspected to be behind the Owo church attack.
The CDS said that, through the collaborative efforts of military and DSS personnel, four terrorists were arrested at Eika, Okehi LGA, Kogi State on 1st of August, 2022.
Those arrested, according to Irabor, included Idris Abdulmalik Omeiza (a.k.a Bin Malik), Momoh Otohu Abubakar, Aliyu Yusuf Itopa, and Auwal Ishaq Onimisi.
The Defence chief also mentioned the arrest of another suspected terrorist, Idris Ojo (32 years), who was apprehended at Ayetoro in Osi LGA of Ondo State through the combined effort of military and DSS personnel on 7th of August 2022.
In another statement, General Irabor said that preliminary investigation revealed that Idris Abdulmalik Omeiza was the mastermind of the terror attack on the Owo Catholic Church as well as the attack on a Police Station in Adavi LGA, Kogi State on 23 June 2022, during which a policeman was killed, and weapons carted away.
Idris Ojo, the CDS said, was one of the suspected ISWAP terrorists who escaped from the Kuje Medium Correctional Centre earlier on the 5th of July, 2022.
The CDS added that “Ojo was arrested alongside Jimoh Ibrahim (39 years), a sympathizer of the terrorist group, who accommodated him,” The ICIR reported.
Further findings revealed that the names and pictures of the people posted by Instablog9ja were those of prisoners who escaped from the Medium Security Correctional Centre, Kuje, Federal Capital Territory (F.C.T) following the jailbreak that took place on July 5, the ICIR had reported.
Similarly, further checks revealed that the uniforms worn by the suspects whose photos were uploaded suggest that they have been convicted and were serving jail terms in the correctional facility.
The Nigerian Correctional Service (NCoS) had, following the Kuje jailbreak, posted the identities of the escapees on the run on its portal.
The claim that the tweet shows the names and photos of the five arrested suspected killers of worshippers in Owo Catholic Church attack is FALSE; findings revealed that the identities of the five persons tweeted by Instablog9ja were those on the wanted “escapees” list of the nation’s Correctional authority and not suspects connected to the Owo church attack.