By IKECHUKWU NNOCHIRI
ABUJA—Federal Government, yesterday, told a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja that investigations revealed that the Islamist sect, Boko Haram, received sponsor-ship from another terrorist organisation based in Algeria.
The Federal Government, which made the disclosure on a day the high court commenced trial of one of alleged kingpins of the sect, Kabiru Umar, a.k.a Kabiru Sokoto, who allegedly masterminded the Christmas day bomb blast that killed about 44 persons and wounded 75 others at St. Theresa’s Catholic Church at Madalla, Niger State, in 2011, gave the name of the Algerian terrorist group as Muslimiyama.
A masked witness, who was identified as Mr. XYZ in his testimony, further told the court that the sect not only received funds from the foreign terror network, but also robbed Christians whenever the need for money arose.
He added that the accused person, in a statement he made on January 14, 2012, confessed that it was in the process of sharing a particular fund that was received from Muslimiyama, that the Boko Haram sect became factionalised.
Narrating how Kabiru Sokoto was caught, the witness, who told the court that he was a terrorism expert, said the accused person had confessed that he was inducted into the sect by Hameel Abdulrazak in 2007, noting that prior to that time, the accused worked as a laboratory assistant at a Specialist Hospital in Sokoto State.
He told the court that before the accused person was apprehended at Borno State Government Lodge on January 13, 2012, after the police searched for him in so many northern states following his alleged complicity in sundry acts of terrorism, he had been an ardent follower of the late leader of the sect, Mohammed Yusufu, who was killed in 2009.
The witness said: “I had trailed the accused to Abaji where he has a house, I stayed there three days but he was nowhere to be found.
“However, I later got information that he was sighted at Borno State Governor’s Lodge, so I immediately went there with my team. We searched the lodge and got to the boys quarters where he ran and hid at room two.
Given away by phone
“When we knocked for over 30 minutes and he didn’t open, I decided to break the door with my leg, but the accused pushed from the inside until I called my team and we overpowered him.
“Because we didn’t know him in person then, I asked him if he was Kabiru Sokoto and he denied. Then I searched him and found an LG phone on him which I used and dialed my own number only for Kabiru Sokoto’s number, which we have been using to trail him to appear.
“Then I asked him again, and he said he was not Kabiru Sokoto but Kabiru Umar.
“My Lord, he spoke in fluent English and told me he lives at Abaji but hails from Sokoto State.”
The witness told the court that when he took the accused to the station, he informed the dismissed Commissioner of Police for the FCT, Mr. Zakari Biu, who he said arrived from Kano.
He said: “When I brought the accused from his cell, Zakari Biu was seated with CSP Augustine Pam, late Inspector Fatoni Larano, who died because of this case; ex-Corporal Francis Ameh who was also dismissed, Ibrahim Agu and two other policemen, I can’t recall their names.
“At that time, the CP ordered Inspector Agu to take the leading statement.
“The accused voluntarily made his statement where he revealed his involvement with the Boko Haram. He told us that in the hierarchy of the sect he was the governor of Sokoto State and also told us their source of fund.
“He told us that there is a group in Algeria, Muslimiyama, which he said meant ‘the group from the sunset,’ that sends money to them and also told us how they spend the money.
“I am not sure of the exact amount he said they collected at the time he was caught. But he told us how the money is making the Boko Haram sect to split into two because of the way it was shared.”
Meanwhile, a second witness, identified as Mr. ABC, in his own testimony, narrated how the accused person empowered members of the sect that attacked and killed three policemen in Kano State
He said: “I was a police officer in the team that travelled to Kano on December 11, 2012, to monitor the activities of the sect. While in Kano, we carried out surveillance and discovered a house at Naibawa, belonging to the sect members and the house was placed on 24-hours surveillance.
“However, the information got leaked to the sect which mobilized in hundreds and came with cars and Motor bikes and attacked our team, resulting in instant death of D. Hamza, S. Musa and S. Idris, who were all attached to Kano State command.
“We were able to arrest some of them, including one M. Aliyu, the owner of the house, and recovered eight A-K47 riffles and assorted weapons.”