Kano state police command confirmed it recovered a vehicle loaded with improvised explosive device (IED) material two days after the blast that rocked the Sabon Gari area of the state, but insisted that the explosion was the result of gases and chemicals.
Police have also confirmed the identities of the nine people killed in Tuesday’s attack, including those believed to have engaged in the “illicit storage of toxic chemicals and other hazardous materials”, identified as Michael Adejo .
Daily Trust on Sunday reports that there was a disagreement between residents of the area and the police as to what led to the explosion, with locals claiming it was a bombing while police said stated that all evidence pointed to a gas/chemical explosion.
Police, in a statement released Saturday by their spokesman, SP Abdullahi Haruna Kiyawa, said the vehicle loaded with IED manufacturing materials was recovered on Thursday.
He said: “On 5/19/2022, following an intelligence report that an ash-coloured Mercedes Benz motor vehicle with suspected sophisticated improvised explosive devices (IEDs) came from the State from Jigawa to Kano State, the Kano State Police Commissioner Command, CP Sama’ila Shu’aibu Dikko, fsi immediately raised an elite team comprising Explosive Ordnance Disposal – Chemical Defense , Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (EOD-CBRN) and Operation Puff Adder.
“At approximately 4:30 p.m. on the same day, following a fierce pursuit, the suspects abandoned the motor vehicle at Bubbugaje Quarters Kumbotso LGA Kano State.”
The police spokesperson said a technical search conducted by the team revealed that the vehicle was fully loaded with improvised explosive devices, two AK-47 rifles, four AK-47 magazines, 1,098 rounds of ammunition real guns and two pistol magazines, and that the investigation was continuing.
Regarding the Sabon Gari explosion, Kiyawa said those who lost their lives as a result of the explosion are; Ejike Vincent (welder), Michael Adejo (chemical salesman), Musa Kalla (tea salesman), Christiana Abosade, Austine Dada, Madame Owoleke, Omo Ben, Bose Oladapo and a woman simply identified as Mary.
“The preliminary investigation revealed that, among the nine victims of the explosion, one of them is involved in the illicit storage of toxic chemicals and other dangerous materials. He was later identified as Michael Adejo (now late),” he said.
He listed items recovered from the scene to include: five bottles of various brands of acidic liquid, three bags of potassium substance, a jerican of mixed chemicals, six and a half cartons of snuff (tobacco) and five drums of polymer (Chemical product) .
“In the meantime, arrests have been made to link one of the collapsed stores to dealings in the sale of illicit toxic chemicals and combustible materials suspected of being used to manufacture Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs). Proofs of purchase were also recovered. An investigation is ongoing,” he added.