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Falana to FG: Start acting on intelligence reports from security agencies

  Femi Falana, human rights lawyer, says the federal government needs to act promptly on intelligence reports compiled by the security agenc...


Femi Falana, human rights lawyer, says the federal government needs to act promptly on intelligence reports compiled by the security agencies.


On Sunday, St Francis Catholic Church in Owo, Ondo state, was attacked by gunmen while mass was in progress. Many — including women and children — were killed in the attack.


In a statement on Monday, Falana commiserated with the government and people of Ondo state over the massacre.


“Our hearts go to the bereaved families who lost their loved ones in the dastardly attack,” he said.


However, the senior advocate of Nigeria (SAN) said the government must go beyond issuing threats and alerting citizens of imminent attacks.


He recalled that the Department of State Services (DSS) had on March 20 issued a statement claiming that it had discovered plans to cause violence in parts of the country, particularly in the north-central.


“Exactly nine days later, a group of terrorists attacked the Abuja-Kaduna train, killed over a dozen passengers and injured several others,” he said.


“Once again, on April 26, 2022, the SSS alerted Nigerians on alleged plans by some dangerous elements to launch bomb attacks on critical infrastructure and public places like worship and relaxation centres, especially during and after the festive celebrations.


“As predicted, a group of unmasked armed terrorists stormed the St Francis Catholic Church in Owo, Ondo state where they detonated explosives in the church and then gunned down worshippers during service on Sunday, June 5, 2022.


“After the terrorist attack, the Ondo police command was reported to have deployed officers of the explosive ordinance disposal (EOD) unit,  better known as the anti-bomb squad, to Owo local government area.


“As expected, the federal government has condemned the reckless attack on the worshippers and threatened to bring the criminal elements to justice.


 “However, governments at all levels must go beyond issuing threats. It is common knowledge that every country involved in the prosecution of war on terror is required to train security personnel and acquire adequate security gadgets to protect the people.


“Therefore, the federal government should ensure that the nation’s airports, trains, buses, courts, schools, malls, churches, mosques, banks and other public places are provided with screening machines and CCTV cameras.


“As a matter of urgency, the federal government and the various state governments should promptly act on intelligence reports compiled by the State Security Service and other security agencies.


“We urge the security forces to continue to frustrate the nefarious agenda of the terrorists.  We also call on citizens to be security-conscious and report suspicious security threats to law enforcement agencies.”

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