DETECTIVES on Sunday prevented the father of Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike from holding service at his Christian Universal Church International. Hoodlums bombed the church on Saturday night.
A source said officers of the anti-bomb squad discouraged the priest from using the building following fears that the explosion had compromised the integrity of the building.
The security experts were said to have turned back members of the church, who arrived for their normal worship programme.
Police spokesman Nnamdi Omoni, a Superintendent of Police (SP) said three persons have been arrested in connection with the incident.
He added that the suspects were on admission in the hospital following various degrees of injuries they sustained from the scene of the attack.
Omoni, in a statement in Port Harcourt said: “I can confirm the attack on Governor Wike’s father’s church by suspected members of IPOB.
“Three persons have been arrested in connection with the attack, one of them is even a Rivers indigene and they are helping us in our investigations.
“The church has been swept by our bomb department; we cannot ascertain exactly the kind of explosive that was used till a test is run to confirm whether it was dynamite, bomb or something else.
“Integrity test will hereafter be run on the building to determine whether to renovate or pull down the entire structure.”
Hoodlums numbering about five sneaked into the church on 25 Azikiwe Street Mile, 3 Diobu, on Saturday night and detonated the explosives suspected to be dynamite.
It was gathered that a significant part of the church was damaged by the explosion, which created panic in the area.
The operatives of Eagle crack, an outfit of the state police command, Mopol 19 and other security agencies were said to have cordoned off the area.
The Assistant Chief Security Officer of the Azikiwe Street Security, Collins Johnbull, said one of his men was hit by a bullet in the process of chasing the suspects.
He, however, said the affected Local vigilant group member was immediately rushed to a nearby hospital for treatment.
Narrating the incident, Johnbull said: “On Saturday, 28th November, 2020, while I was on my duty post, we observed some movements around 8pm to 9pm and we were on the alert, before then we saw some strange faces, about five of them, that entered into the governor’s father’s church.”