August 1, 2009

38 Boko Haram members arrested in Abuja

Thirty eight members of the Boko Haram Sect were yesterday arrested in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Police Command has said.
According to the PPRO, Mr. Jimoh Moshood who briefed the Press at the Command Headquarter, the sect members who were in two buses were arrested with various dangerous weapons.

He said those arrested were from Yobe initially claimed to be travelling to the Western part of the country in search of menial jobs

However, the PPRO revealed that those arrested could not give satisfactory explanation when subjected to further questioning.

It was also revealed that they would be charged appropriately even as Mr. Jimoh said investigations were ongoing

Boko Haram must not come to Kano, Dike warns security chiefs

Chief of Defence Staff, Air Marshal Paul Dike read a riot act to security chiefs in Kano yesterday to ensure that the Boko Haram assault does not come to Kano. But the police in Bauchi yesterday quizzed 121 suspected Bauchi female members of Boko Haram.

Suspected members of Boko Haram killed by Police

Suspected members of Boko Haram killed by Police

They were arrested in Maiduguri over the sectarian crises are now undergoing interrogation at police Criminal Investigation Department Bauchi in order to know the level of their involvement in the sect.

Meanwhile, Nigerian Islamic sect leader Mohammed Yusuf was alive when he was captured, the commander of the operation against the militant group has told the BBC.

The comments by Col Ben Ahanotu appear to contradict police statements that Mr Yusuf, 39, was killed in a shootout as he was being detained. Human rights campaigners have alleged Mr Yusuf was executed by the police.

Mr Yusuf’s bullet_riddled body was shown to journalists on Thursday just hours after police said they had captured him in Maiduguri.

Col Ahanotu, the commander of the operation against the Boko Haram group, said he had personally captured Mr Yusuf and handed him over to the chief of police. He said Mr Yusuf had been unarmed when caught, hiding in an empty building, a short distance from his enclave, and that he gave himself up willingly.

“All I know is that in the attack, I was able to pick him up from his hide out and hand him over to police,” he told the BBC. “I asked him why he did what he has done and his response was that he would explain to me later.”

Col Ahanotu said Mr Yusuf had a wound on his arm which had already been treated. “But he was OK. As I got him alive, I handed him over to the authorities,” he said.

Investigation call

Regional police Assistant Inspector-General, Moses Anegbode, had earlier told Nigerian television that Mr Yusuf had been “killed by security forces in a shoot-out while trying to escape”.

Amnesty International called for a full investigation into Mr Yusuf’s detention and alleged killing and said that anyone responsible for or tolerating illegal killings should be brought to justice.

Information Minister Dora Akunyili earlier told the BBC that the government “does not condone extrajudicial killings” and that she was concerned about the death.

However, the Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria (CSN) has said the root cause of the latest religious violence was a result of the growing poverty in Nigeria. The Catholic statement was contained in a statement issued by the Secretariat and signed by Rev. Fr. Louis Odudu, Deputy Secretary_General of CSN, a copy of which was made available to newsmen yesterday.

“Government should, therefore, take urgent steps to address the problem of poverty and undertake concrete steps toward wealth creation in Nigeria, the statement said.

Paul Dike, who was accompanied on an assessment tour of worst areas affected by the recent assault by the religious extremists, tasked the Commissioner of Police to be alive to his responsibilities.

“Our intention is to ensure that the occurrences in Bauchi and Maiduguri do not occur here and I have tasked the head of security agencies here that I will personally hold them responsible should anything go wrong, particularly the CP whose responsibilities it is to secure law and order”, the CDS stressed.

Air Marshal Paul Dike who arrived Kano from Maiduguri was briefed on arrival by General Officer Commanding 3 Motorized Brigade, Major General Muhammad Abubakar, and the Commissioner of Police, Mamman Tsafe on how the combined team nipped the crisis on the bud.

Paul Dike’s order in Kano might not be unconnected with erroneous impression about the status of Kano regarded as a ‘melting pot’ for ethno religious crisis in the country.

Paul Dike who was apparently satisfied with what he saw in Wudil town, expressed happiness on the performances of the security agencies in containing the bloody assault.

The Bauchi women fundamentalists who were arrested with children were among those who were secured by the military from the militants’ custody in Maiduguri .

According to her, “We were in the class room studying Quran one day in Bauchi where my husband enrolled me. Then the Malam who was teaching us told us that we would continue our teaching in Maiduguri and we did not object to his proposal. So, we followed him without our husband’s knowledge.”

She said they were being fed with rice and tuwo which their captors provided for them as well, and cooked the food themselves. They slept on the floor for the period they were in Maiduguri .