Nigerians are asking why the country’s counter terrorism agencies have failed to release photos of Boko Haram leaders arrested in Lagos recently. Many are also wonderings why there hasn’t been a major conviction of arrested Boko Haram members lately.
The Department of State Services (also known as the State Security Service) over the weekend announced the arrest of 10 seniors members of Boko Haram following a stint operation in Lagos (in the south west) and Enugu (in the south east). A statement by the agency’s spokesman, Tony Opuiyo, suggests that members of the islamist outlawed group were planning another attack in the north-east region of Nigeria and were preparing to leave for Bauchi when they were arrested. The first of these latest arrests was made more than a month ago on July 20, 2015 in Ikeja, Lagos.
Mr Opuiyo hasn’t reply to our inquiries about releasing photos of the alleged terrorists.
Meanwhile, ten members of Boko Haram have been executed by firing squad in Chad on Sunday morning. Those executed include Mahamat Mustapha who was accused of masterminding a deadly summer attack in Chad’s capital, N’Djamena.
Statement from the Department of State Services
In line with the Department of State Services’, DSS, re-strategised Counter Terrorism measures to combat the menace of the Boko Haram insurgency in Nigeria, the Service has continued to make significant breakthroughs in this direction. This followed the rounding up of notable commanders and frontline members of the notorious group from different parts of the country. It should be noted that the group’s new pattern of movement and spread is necessitated by the pressure being put on them in their core areas of strength in the North East.
2. Consequently, a number of them have been arrested in Lagos, Kano, Plateau, Enugu and Gombe States between July 8 and August 25, 2015. Of particular note was the arrest on July 8, 2015 in Gombe State of those responsible for the coordination and execution of the suicide attacks in Potiskum, Kano, Zaria and Jos. They are:
Usman SHUAIBU (a. k. a. Money):
3. SHUAIBU revealed that he coordinated the attacks under reference with the sum of N500,000 which was provided by his Amir, one Isa ALI. He claimed that the said Isa ALI has links to the leader of the Boko Haram sect, Abubakar SHEKAU, from where he collects monies to fund operations undertaken by their Markaz. Also, he revealed that he has participated in several Boko Haram attacks, including the attacks at Gwoza Divisional Police Station in 2014.
4. SHUAIBU admitted being the leader of the team of nine (9) sect members that was dispatched from Sambisa Forest to carry out the attacks. He disclosed that four out of the nine of them were used as suicide bombers in executing all the (suicide) attacks.
Ahmed MOHAMMED (aka ABUBAKAR):
5. Suspect, an IED expert, confessed to the preparation of the IEDs used for the mentioned attacks. He also averred that he was the one who strapped the suicide bombers, notably SULE and his wives, with IED vests, which they used in the attacks in Jos.
Adamu ABDULLAHI (aka Babpa)
6. Suspect confessed that Usman SHUAIBU motivated him to work closely with Ahmed MOHAMMED (aka ABUBAKAR) in the preparation of the IEDs used in the attacks under reference.
7. Suspect confessed that he was the one who carried out reconnaissance on the targets in Jos ahead of the attacks.
Muttaqa YUSUF (aka Mohammed SANI/Mudtaka):
8. Suspect disclosed that one ALIYU, believed to be Aliyu GOMBE, in Sambisa forest, was the one that ordered the serial attacks which the syndicate carried out. He further confessed that he assisted Usman SHUAIBU in planning and executing the said attacks.
9. Other arrests include:
i. Bakura MODU:- He was arrested on July 20, 2015, at Kara, Isheri Berger, Ikeja LGA, Lagos State;
ii. Mustapha Alli JAMNERI:- He was arrested on July 24, 2015, at Gowon Estate, Egbeda, Alimosho LGA, Lagos State;
iii. Abuyi SHERRIFF:- suspect was arrested on August 7, 2015, at Ebute-Metta, Lagos Mainland LGA, Lagos State;
iv. Babagana ALI and Babagana KOLOYE:- were arrested same day (August 7, 2015), at Eric Moore, Bode Thomas Street, Surulere LGA, Lagos State;
v. Abba Modu SAGMA: He was arrested on August 9, 2015, at Ijora Badiya, Apapa LGA, Lagos State;
vi. Grema ABUBAKAR and Tijani BAGUDU: were arrested on August 10, 2015, at Amukoko, Ijora Badiya, Apapa LGA, Lagos State;
vii. Baba Alhaji and Abass IBRAHIM:- were arrested earlier on the same day (August 10, 2015), at Alaba International Market, Alaba, Ojo LGA, Lagos State;
viii. IBRAHIM AUDU: Suspect was arrested on August 192015, at New Artisan Market, Enugu, Enugu State;
ix. Ibrahim HARUNA: The 30-year old suspect from Kanawa village, Sumaila LGA, Kano State was arrested on August 21, 2015, at Kwomi village, Kwami Local Government Area, Gombe State;
x. Mal Ali MOHAMMODU: The 33-year-old suspect was arrested on August 22, 2015, at Ibrahim Taiwo Road, Fagga LGA in Kano State;
xi. Adam Wakil Abdul JILBE: was arrested on August 23, 2015, at Obanikoro Area, Mushin LGA, Lagos State; and
xii. Mohammed USMAN: was arrested on August 25, 2015, at Atuashe Estate, Gbagada, Kosofe LGA, Lagos State.
10. Nigerians and indeed the general public have to note that the arrest of Usman SHUAIBU aka Money and the core members of his cell, stemmed the spate of bombings by the extremist sect. It would be recalled that MONEY and his group were arrested on their way to Bauchi State where they had planned to execute another heart-rending bomb attack and this was frustrated by the arrest.
Furthermore, the sudden influx of Boko Haram members into Lagos State points to the determination of the sect to extend its nefarious terrorist activities to the State and in fact, other parts of the country.
The arrest of these confessed terrorist elements has however helped in no small measure to avert devastating attacks in the area. However, the Service is making efforts to conclude its investigations and commence prosecution of the suspects.
11. Drawing from the above, the DSS reiterates its avowed determination to work with other stakeholders in the fight against terror and other forms of criminality in our country. Citizens and residents are therefore called upon to rise to the occasion by volunteering useful information to the Service and relevant security agencies.
Department of State Services