BY CHRIS OCHAYI
The Department of State Services, DSS, has denied being the source of the information credited to Australian Boko Haram hostage negotiator, Dr Steven Davis, describing him as “a self-styled and self-appointed negotiator.”
Deputy Director, DSS Public Relations, Marilyn Ogar, nevertheless said the body was investigating Davis claims and has invited former Governor of Borno State, Ali Modu Sheriff to answer some questions bordering on the fresh allegations linking him with the sponsorship of the dreaded Islamic sect, Boko Haram.
However, the department said it couldn’t be true that the immediate past Chief of Army Staff, COAS, Lt. Gen. Azubuike Ihejirika was a financier of the deadly Boko Haram, saying it would be wicked of anyone to link him with the sect.
Davis had listed Sheriff and Ihejirika as Boko Haram sponsors.
Ogar, spoke in Abuja while parading the alleged co-mastermind of the Nyanya blast, Sadiq Ogwuche, along with other suspects, Ahmed Abubakar, Muhammad Ishaq, Yau Saidu, Anas Isah and Adamu Yusuf.
But Ogwuche, the alleged mastermind of the bloodiest bomb blast at the El-Rufai Motor part Nyanya, denied any link with Boko Haram and involvement in the deadly explosions which killed over 100 peoples and injured many others.
While dismissing the allegations by Davis on Azubuike Ihejirika, the DSS spokesperson said, it was “uncharitable for Nigerians to reward someone who laid down his life, to associate him with the sponsorship of the sect.”
She said it was through the doggedness of the military under Ihejirika that insurgents were dislodged from the major cities like Okene, Kano to the Sambisa forest and that “it is wicked of anyone to link him to the sponsorship of the sect.”
On the former Borno State governor, Ogar said, “Sheriff has been invited twice and he has been invited again (over his alleged sponsorship of Boko Haram). Investigation is ongoing to review every aspect of Davies allegations.”
She also noted that contrary to claims by Davies that the CBN official who handled the funding of Boko Haram, is an uncle to three of those arrested in connection with the Nyanya bombings, none of the six suspects in the agency’s custody was related to another.
“In other words, none is a cousin or nephew to any other and only two suspects namely Yau Saidu and Anas Isah have ever lived together at the makeshift clinic called ‘Kishi Clinic’ operated by Rufai Tsiga, a co-mastermind of the bomb blast who is still at large,” she explained.
She added that further interrogation of suspects indicated that none lived with or has any relationship with any staff of the CBN, noting that the clarification was necessary to correct the erroneous impression in the media.
I’m not Boko Haram member
But Ogwuche, who was repatriated to Nigeria from Sudan recently, denied being a member of Boko Haram. He stressed while speaking in an interview with journalists that he had no hand in the Nyanya bombings as he was in Sudan at the time of the incident.
The suspect, however, admitted to have donated N30,000 to widows of Boko Haram members through Tsiga, who had been declared wanted for his roles in the Nyanya blast.
On his deserting the Nigeria Army, Ogwuche said that he did it in order to go and study Arabic in Sudan even as he admitted receiving lectures and taking demonstrations with a Jihadist group in Britain before he came back to Nigeria to which he blamed for his arrest by the security operatives earlier. According to him, “I am not a member of Boko Haram and I don’t know anything about the Nyanya blast. I deny it because I was studying in Sudan when the incident happened.”