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.