Nigerian media mogul arrested after bombings

Nigeria was celebrating 50th I-Day when bombs exploded at different places.

Last Updated: Oct 05, 2010, 13:36 PM IST

Abuja: Authorities on Monday arrested Nigerian media mogul, Raymond Dokpesithe, also the chairman of a former military dictator`s presidential campaign, in connection with multiple bombings here which claimed 14 lives.

Dokpesi owns the African Independent Television (AIT) and is the campaign director for former dictator and presidential aspirant, General Ibrahim Bagangida.

Like President Goodluck Jonathan, Dopkesi is from the Niger Delta, a region where Nigeria`s oil is produced.

State Security Service has refused to issue statement or make comments regarding his arrest but the Babangida campaign organisation confirmed the arrest.

Ten persons were earlier arrested in connection with the multiple bombings, according to SSS.

Also, Henry Okah a former militant leader of MEND, who was arrested in South Africa after the attacks, appeared in court on Monday.

He was charged by the South African prosecutors with conspiracy to commit terrorist acts and detonating bomb in Abuja.

On Sunday, the police declared two persons, Chima Orlu and Ben Jessy, both Nigerians wanted in connection to the attack.

They also claimed to be holding a suspect who is a foreigner but did not disclose the identity of the person. According to the SSS spokesperson, the bomber had a bigger plan which they were able to abort and could have commenced attack earlier.

Nigeria was celebrating its 50th year of independence when bombs exploded at different places close to the venue where President Goodluck Jonathan was inspecting a military parade in the company of some heads of states and government delegations.

MEND, a guerrilla group claiming to be fighting for greater resource control in the oil rich Niger Delta region had issued a warning prior to the attack and later claimed responsibility for the attack after.

Three explosions were witnessed, including one at the venue where the President was present just 40 metres away but the ceremony went ahead despite the explosions.

MEND first message had warned that there is "nothing worth celebrating after 50 years" as the people of the Niger Delta have had their land and resources stolen.

Nigeria country got independence from Britain in 1960 and was later ruled by the military.

It returned to presidential democracy in 1999 and has been striving hard to become Africa`s largest democracy since then.

India commenced diplomatic relations with the country two years before independence and the two have remained friendly.

PTI