Suspect Held In Connection with NNPC Fire

Nigerian secret police are holding a man for questioning after he claimed responsibility for the fire that was set at the main Lagos office of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation. The fire, which started on Monday night and lasted until Tuesday, destroyed the nine-story office building. The building housed the offices of the NNPC's joint venture operations with multinational oil firms.

Chris Nwokobia, the leader of political movement called the Youth Democratic Movement, appeared on local and international broadcast media on Tuesday evening, claiming his group set fire to the building in protest against corruption and warned of future attacks throughout the country. Nwokobia's lawyer said that he turned himself in on Wednesday. "I accompanied him the day before yesterday to the state director of the SSS in Lagos, and from the moment I took him there he has been formally detained." He said the secret police are considering the possibility that Nwokobia claimed responsibility as a "publicity stunt".

Emmanuel Ighodalo, a spokesman for the regular police in Lagos, said that he could not confirm whether Nwokobia was being held. He said that a number of people had been arrested for questioning over the fire.


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