Prime Suspect In Port Harcourt Blast Arrested

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The Rivers State Government said it has found the suspect who detonated an explosive device near the state-owned Presidential Hotel during a pro-police protest in Port Harcourt on Tuesday.

This came less than 24 hours after the State Commissioner for Health, Dr Adaeze Oreh, alerted management of both public and private medical facilities in the state on the identity of the suspect, injury signs and the need to detain him if found.

A substance believed to be dynamite went off near the Presidential Hotel axis of the Aba expressway causing panic in the area.

Oreh, while speaking to newsmen on Tuesday evening said, “Now the Rivers State Ministry of Health is calling for an alert to all medical facilities in the state, both public and privately owned facilities to be vigilant and look out for an individual, a young man with a traumatically dismembered upper limb because this injury which was sustained will require medical attention.

“If such an individual and their accomplices are present in any of the facilities, immediately notify the Commissioner for Police, Rivers State and the Rivers State Ministry of Health.”

However, later on Tuesday night, Oreh, told newsmen that the yet-to-be-identified suspected bomber, was rushed to the Rivers State University Teaching Hospital for treatment by his friends who are now at large.

She explained that those who brought the man to the facility claimed that he was involved in a road accident when he arrived at the hospital.

The commissioner stated, “Following that call, our medical facilities in the state were on a heightened sense of alert and so when a young man was brought to the Rivers State University Teaching Hospital with alleged injury sustained during what was said to be a road traffic accident the medical personnel that were on hand to examine him and offer care were on alert.

“And immediately recognised that the injuries seen on this individual were not in tandem with a road traffic accident, but rather resemble injuries that would have come from a blast.

“The individual was taken to the theatre for immediate resuscitation because as of the time he was brought in he was semi-conscious.

“The medical personnel did the needful and immediately informed the Rivers State Government. Immediately informed the Commissioner for Police and the Rivers State Ministry of Health about the presence of that individual in the facility even when providing emergency medical care to revive and resuscitate him.”

The commissioner, however, disclosed that the suspect is now stable after receiving medical attention at the facility, saying, “We are working with the Rivers State Police Command and so the Hospital has been fully secured, the premises and the perimeter have been fully secured.

“The patient is undergoing medical treatment. He is stable and the police are doing their own part in carrying out the necessary investigations.

“And so in this manner, we just seek to inform the public that this is the update following the earlier incident of today in Port Harcourt.”

Efforts to reach the State Commissioner of Police, Olatunji Disu, on Wednesday morning proved abortive as his mobile was not connected.

When contacted, the spokesperson for the state Police Command, Grace Iringe-Koko, said she was yet to get information if the suspected bomber had been found.

Iringe-Koko, a Superintendent of Police promised to find out and get back to our correspondent but had yet to do so as of the time of filing this report on Wednesday morning.

On Tuesday night, the State Commissioner for Police, Olatunju Disu, while confirming the explosion said following preliminary investigations, the suspect actually detonated the explosive device.

Disu, however, did not link the incident to the protesters who were in support of the barricade of the 23 local government council secretariats of the state earlier the same day, noting that the command has opened an investigation into the incident.

He stated, “We got that information that four persons in a white Corolla vehicle somewhere along Aba Road stopped their vehicle and there was an explosion.

“The information we gathered was that two of the occupants of the vehicle were injured, while two others came out, put them in the vehicle and drove off.

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