• Abuja mall shuts operations over terror alert


‘Seun Ibukun-Oni, Abuja


Insecurity fears heightened on Thursday, at the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), after security agencies reportedly arrested a terror suspect at the Trademore Estate, in the Lugbe area of the capital city on Tuesday.


Reports said the sting operation in the Phase 3 section of the estate allegedly led by the Department of State Services (DSS), uncovered boxes of explosives from the building where the middle-aged man was picked up.


Two pistols were also allegedly recovered from the apartment rented by the alleged terrorist.


Residents of the estate have also claimed that security officers had been searching vehicles at random in some parts of the neighbourhood.


However, the Spokesperson of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Police Command, Josephine Adeh, has dismissed the rumoured sting operation as fake.


But a viral message from the management of the estate to residents urging them to be vigilant has gone viral on social media.


The management claimed that the operation was carried out by a combination of the American Army and the DSS team.


The management advised residents to report any suspicious movements, persons or activities to its executives, street representatives or the police.


The message said: “Good Evening Fellow residents, it’s no longer News that there was a High Powered Sting Operation in Phase 3 this afternoon, culminating in a complete shutdown of our estate. A combination of American Army and our DSS team were responsible.


“We are unable to give full details of the reason(s) behind the operation, however, we can confirm that there was an allegation of terrorist activities.


“It is therefore desperately incumbent on every resident to remain vigilant, know your neighbours and report any suspicious movement, person or activities to the Exco, Street Reps and/the Police.


“We will continue to do our utmost best to keep the estate safe for all of us. Everyone is responsible for security and there should be no iota of abdication of this responsibility.


“Finally, let’s remain calm and continue to carry out our daily activities within the parameters of the Law. God bless and protect us all”


The development at Trademore came a day after men dressed in Nigerian Navy woodland camouflage trousers and “Special Forces” shirts picked up one Shafiu, a native of Kogi State, in the Lugbe area of Abuja.


Shafiu, a death row inmate at the Suleja Custodial Centre was, however, released in controversial circumstances just weeks before the 2019 general election.


He was picked up by a squad led by a certain Lt. Charles, just a few days after declaring support for one of the opposition parties.


Jabi mall shuts operations over terror alert


On Thursday, a popular Mall in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), shut down operations.


Jabi Lake Mall is on the Lake side of Jabi and is renowned for its vast selection of over 150 stores.


Beyond shopping, the elegant mall also houses a number of restaurants and entertainment options, including Silverbird Cinema, KFC, and PEP among other business enterprises such as Shoprite and Games.


The management of the mall in a memo, signed by its Operations Manager, Franklyn Ogene, issued to all shop owners, members of staff and customers of the shopping mall, said the shutdown of the Mall took effect on Thursday.


The memo titled “The Abuja Security Alertness”, reads: “Further to the email trail below, and based on intel reaching us, a decision has been made to shut down the mall tomorrow 27th October 2022.


“This decision has been taken in the overall interest of the safety of all staff and customers of the mall.


“Management is constantly reviewing the security situation in consultation with relevant security authorities and will keep you informed as to when the mall will be re-opened.


“Please be assured that power, mall security, and all the other services will be provided to the mall, as always.”


The development came a few days after the US warned its citizens about the possibility of terror attacks in Nigeria’s capital city.


In the security advisory posted on its website, the US Embassy said the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), stands a high risk of attack.


It said terrorists may target government buildings, places of worship, schools and markets.


The security adviser said, “There is an elevated risk of terror attacks in Nigeria, specifically in Abuja. Targets may include but are not limited to, government buildings, places of worship, schools, markets, shopping malls, hotels, bars, restaurants, athletic gatherings, transport terminals, law enforcement facilities, and international organizations. The U.S. Embassy will offer reduced services until further notice.”

“Avoid all non-essential travel or movement. Stay alert. Avoid crowds. Review your personal security plans and keep your cell phone charged in case of emergency. Carry proper identification.”