15 February 2012

Nigeria: Sokoto Names Boko Haram Sponsors

Photo: Vanguard
The threat posed by Boko Haram militants to Nigeria was a major topic of news from the country in 2012.

Abuja — Re-arrested hatchet man for the killer Islamic sect, Boko Haram, Kabiru Sokoto yesterday buckled to the interrogation of security agents and opened up on the sponsors and sources of arms and ammunition of the sect.

Daily Champion gathered from reliable sources that Sokoto has confessed to the veracity of the contents of the various telephone handsets earlier recovered from him.

Information gathered from the interrogators showed that upon arrest at the Borno State Governor's Lodge at Asokoro, Sokoto had with him, three Blackberry handsets, two Nokia sets and two other Samsung handsets.

Upon screening these handsets, several text messages and call logs to influential political figures and traditional rulers were said to have been discovered. Some of such text messages were said to have contained some coded messages which Sokoto is assisting them to decode.

Operatives who are also knowledgeable in this area are also working on such messages so as to collaborate what Sokoto had said.

Apart from this, Sokoto is said to have provided details of the sponsors of the sect who comprise mainly politicians, traditional rulers and some influential business men.

"The man is co-operating well with us. He has said a lot, though some of the revelations he made are chilling and nerve racking. He has named some top personalities in the society as their sponsors.

"He has also named some of the bank managers who have been facilitating them to make some transactions and how they bring in their deadly weapons, including the explosives they use in their bombings.

"We have put some construction companies on surveillance and we shall screen the permits they obtained for dynamites and explosives and we shall cross-match these with the activities they had to carry out for which they applied for such explosives," the sources stressed.

It would be recalled that Monday, one other chieftains of the sect, Abdul Qaqa said the group engaged in criminal activities, breaking banks and seeking for money from every available illicit sources.

Qaqa, informed that after every robbery operation, the monies realised would be shared out to five groups. It was further gathered that he "married" the wife of their erstwhile leader, Mohammed Yusuf and other wives of deceased members, purporting to be giving them protection.

He spoke on the exploits of the dreaded body and stated that though they agreed to split such monies into five, "nobody dared ask how the money was spent and nobody dared ask questions for fear of death".

He added that even those who participated in each bank robbery were compelled to pay zakat on their share to the leadership, while Shekau would appropriate the other four shares they had collected.

Qaqa, who has been with the a team of interrogators detailed by the National Security Adviser (NSA) to probe all sources of their income, added that even widows whose husbands had died carrying duties assigned to them by the body, would not be pities by Shekau, who would appropriate what should have been handed over to them after each bank robbery.

Security operatives probing the matter are currently comparing the information given out by both Qaqa and Kabiru Sokoto who was re-arrested last Friday so as to ascertain the synergy between them and also to find out more about their sponsors, whom they are already closing in on.

Said Qaqa at Monday's interrogation: "A major source of distrust and acrimony in the group was a N41million got from bank robbery that was not accounted for.

"Normally, the money is supposed to be shared to five groups: the less privileged, widows of those that died in the Jihad, Zakat, those that brought in the money and the last to the leadership, to be used in prosecuting the Jihad.

"We don't know how this money was spent and nobody dare asked questions for fear of death. Even those that took part in the robberies are also always compelled to pay Zakat on their share to the leadership.

"The leader (Shakau) appropriates what goes to the widows, less privileged, Zakat and leadership.

"The leadership also gives out wives of those killed the way he wants and marries some in the name of giving them protection. "For instance, he's 'married' to one of Mohammed Yusuf's (deceased leader of the group) wives.

"I never for once believed I could be arrested. I thought I was invincible. But now I've realised that if I could be arrested, if Abdullahi Damasak, the spiritual adviser, could disappear (arrested), then it's a matter of time before everyone is caught".

Sokoto, along with several of their leaders have been arrested by security agencies. Even Alhaji Kabiru Sokoto, who escaped from the hands of his kinsman, Zakari Biu, has equally been re-arrested and undergoing interrogation.

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