The Ondo state police command on Friday has denied the arrest of the gunmen who attacked St. Francis Catholic Church, Owo, where no fewer than 40 people were killed, and many injured on Sunday, June 5.
It was earlier reported that the gunmen were arrested by a joint team of operatives of the Nigerian Army, Amotekun corps and other security agencies as well as the local hunters, on Thursday, June 9.
The report stated that the gunmen were taken to the palace of Olowo of Owo, and this caused many residents to besiege the palace in order to catch a glimpse of the assailants.
The Olowo of Owo, Oba Ajibade Ogunoye, however, denied the report saying no suspect in connection to the massacre was arrested.
“I was told some people were arrested in the bush by security operatives, but the suspects were not the ones behind the attack,” he said.
“Truly, people have been trooping to the palace to see the suspects, however, I addressed them, and clarified that no one in connection to the attack on St. Francis Catholic church was brought to the palace.”
Some criminals were arrested by police operatives in the bush, but the people who saw the suspects in the police van assumed they were the gunmen who attacked the Catholic church last Sunday, according to a source.
The state police public relations officer, SP Funmilayo Odunlami, said the report was untrue, adding that nobody had been arrested in connection with the attack.
She said, “There is nothing like that. We have called the police divisions there, and they confirmed that there was nothing like that. We have called the Kabiyesi, Olowo of Owo, to clarify the situation. It is just rumour, and should be discarded.”