BY CHRIS OCHAYI
ABUJA — The Department of State Service, DSS, yesterday, paraded seven members of the dreaded Boko Haram sect who allegedly assassinated Sheikh Auwal Adam Albani at Gwagwaje area of Zaria in Kaduna State over a month ago.
Sheikh Albani, his wife and son were murdered in cold-blood while returning from a preaching session at Markaz Salafiyya Centre, Tudun Wada, Zaria on February 1, 2014.
The seven suspected killer gang who confessed to committing the crime told newsmen that they decided to assassinate the Islamic scholar because he divulged the secret of their activities to the state government.
They said they got information that Sheikh Albani submitted some documents to the government in which he reportedly indicted them and exposed their activities as the members of the Boko Haram sect.
Parading the suspects in Abuja, the spokesperson and a Deputy Director of the DSS, Marilyn Ogar, said consequent on the murder, investigation to arrest the perpetrators of the heinous crime was initiated and between 13 and 21 February, 2014 this Service arrested seven persons involved in the killing of the Sheikh.
She said those arrested are, Yakub Abdullahi, a.k.a Alhaji Bala/Alhaji Kano Yakub Bulunkutu, Ibrahim Shuaibu, a.k.a Kawu Abu Amar, Bilyaminu Usman, Sahabi Ismail, Umar Farouk, Yasir Ibrahim Sallhu and Musa Abubakar.
According to her, “investigation and confessions by suspects revealed that Aibanl’s pro-western posture and his preaching are contrary to the Boko Haram ideology. It was this hatred that culminated in a meeting by members of the sect, under the leadership of Yakub abdullahi at Hayin Danmani in Rigasa area of Kaduna, where abdullahi declared that the Shura Council, the highest decision making body, had ordered the killing of aibani.
“Consequently, on 23rd January, 2014, an attempt to strike at the cleric failed, as he was said to have travelled. He was subsequently placed on surveillance, and on 1 st February 2014 he was tracked by members of the Boko Haram sect to Markaz Salafiya Centre, where they waited for him till the end of the programme, trailed him and eventually murdered him, his wife and son, while other occupants of the vehicle sustained varying degrees of injuries.
She said Yakub Abdullahi who bears multiple aliases is 42 years old from Danbam LGA, Bauchi State. Until his arrest he was the Kaduna/Niger States Sub-regional Commander of the sect, and was actively involved in the sect’s 2009 insurrection in Maiduguri, Borno State, but later fled to Kouseri town in the Republic of Cameroun, from where he relocated to Kano State to organize fleeing members of the sect.
“Abdullahi equally co-ordinated several armed robbery attacks by members of the Boko Haram sect. He is the arrowhead and mastermind of Sheikh Albani’s killing, as he not only directed the assassination plot, but procured the 2 AK 47 rifles used.”
.Ibrahim Shuaib, a.k.a Kawu/Abu Amar according to her is 22 years old from Rimin Gado LGA, Kano State. He joined the Boko Haram sect in 2008 as an active mobiliser in Zaria, Kaduna State. Shuaibu was at the meeting where the assassination plot was hatched.
He alongside Yasir Ibrahim Sallhu transported the 2 AK 47 rifles used, from Funtua, Katsina State, to Shuaibu’s residence in Zaria for servicing. The weapons could not be serviced in Shuaibu’s house because his wife objected to it. Shuaibu equally participated in the surveillance on Sheikh ALBANI.
On Bilyaminu Usman, A.K.A Bilya, she said subject is twenty two (22) years old from Igabi LGA, Kaduna State. He joined the sect in 2009 and had actively participated in several armed robbery operations and killings under the directive of Yakub abdullahi. Usman handled one of the AK 47 rifles, with which he fired several shots at Albani, his wife and son. He confessed to have exhausted his magazine of 30 rounds of ammunition on his victims.
Ogar said investigation is still ongoing with a view to unveiling other members of the sect operating in the Kaduna/Niger axis.
She said the suspects will soon be charged to court. It is important to state here that all Nigerians must join hands with security agencies to fight the scourge of terrorism, as it has no defined boundaries of religion, tribe, or political consideration.