Nigerian security forces arrested the brother of a former militant group leader in the country's oil-rich southern delta, saying they suspected him of involvement in a bombing that killed 12 people, an official said Sunday.
The official told The Associated Press that investigators on Saturday raided a Lagos home of Charles Okah, taking him into custody over his alleged role in funding the bombings that struck independence anniversary celebrations in Nigeria's capital, Abuja.
Henry Okah, the man's brother, already faces terrorism charges in South Africa for allegedly masterminding the attack. Henry Okah is a former leader of the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta, the main militant group operating in the oil-rich region.
Charles Okah "has been mentioned ... by suspects with us as source of funds for the blast," the security official said. "He is with us in Abuja."
The official requested anonymity as he was not allowed to speak to journalists about the ongoing investigation.
The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta, also known by the acronym MEND, issued a warning to journalists about an hour before the Oct. 1 attacks, telling people to stay away from festivities at Eagle Square in Abuja. It blamed Nigeria's government for doing nothing to end the unceasing poverty in the delta as the nation receives billions of dollars from oil revenue.
One car bomb exploded, drawing police, firefighters and curious onlookers to the street near a federal courthouse. Five minutes later, a second car bomb exploded, apparently intended to target those drawn to the scene.
The security official told the AP on Sunday that investigators believe Charles Okah sent that e-mail warning from a Yahoo! e-mail address used by MEND. The e-mails are always signed with the nom de guerre of Jomo Gbomo. Security analysts operating in Nigeria long have believed Henry Okah was one of several people who wrote statements under the name.
Since the bombing, MEND has issued statements denying Henry Okah had any role in the attack. Okah, an alleged arms dealer who brought the arms needed for the insurgency, left Nigeria for Johannesburg after being released from prison in July 2009 while facing treason and gun-running charges.
Nigeria, which is vying with Angola to be Africa's top supplier of crude oil, is a major supplier to the U.S. Violence in the delta can increase global oil prices drastically.