The driver of the explosive-laden car that blew up at 10.55am this morning at the national headquarters of the Nigerian Police Force drove into the compound in the wake of the convoy of the Inspector General of Police, Hafiz Ringim, NEXT has learnt.
Unconfirmed police sources said Mr Ringim himself might have been the target of the attack, but the bomber was thwarted when the car was stopped from parking near the disembarking police chief by a traffic officer who on realizing the vehicle was not part of the police IG's convoy, directed the driver to move to the visitor's car park .
The car, eye witness say, was driven by heavyset man who was expensively dressed. According to the witnesses, there was a second man in the car and he was making a phone call as the car drove into the police headquarters. The car is reported to have exploded before it had reached the parking space allotted to it.
The explosion killed the two men in the car as well as the police parking attendant that was trying to lead the car to the right parking space. The police are trying to ascertain the number of other visitors to the building who were caught by the explosion while trying to park their cars. Only after this would the number of those who died in the explosion be clear.
The massive explosion shook the police headquarters building, shattering windows and causing cracks on parts of the wall. Tens of staff of the police headquarters also suffered various degrees of injury in their bid to escape from the building. They are currently being treated by emergency medical staff from the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps, the Federal Road Safety Corps and others.
No group has claimed responsibility for the bombing. It is the second major blast in the city , less than a year following the devastating twin blasts of October 1st last year which left over 20 dead.
The police, in an press conference addressed by its spokesperson, Olusola Amore, said two people - the driver of the car and a traffic warden - died in the attack. He said body of the bomber has been recovered and police has launched an investigation into the incident. Mr Amore said although the police thinks Boko Haram is the prime suspect, it is limiting its investigation to the group.
Meanwhile, in a statement issued in Hausa, Boko Haram said some of its members have just returned from Somalia where they went for training. The group said it will be making announcement to reduce the number of casualties from its future operations.
The Inspector-General of Police Hafiz Abubakar Ringim, NPM, mni has expressed his displeasure over the suicide bomb attack on vehicles parked at the Force Headquarters, Abuja car park.
The unfortunate incident which led to the death of the suicide bomber and a Police traffic warden occurred at about 1100hrs of 16/06/2011 when the suicide bomber vehicle was intercepted and directed to the car park for searching and checking.
The Traffic Warden who entered the vehicle of the suicide bomber to direct him to the car park was blown off along with him as soon as they got to the car park.
The IGP wises a appreciate the efforts of the fire service and the team of armed forces fire service who promptly responded to put off the fire.
The body of the suicide bomber has been recovered and a full investigation has commenced.
Members of the public are assured that the criminal elements behind this dastardly attack will be fished out as the government, the Police and other security agencies will not succumb to the demand of any criminal group or individual.