Leadership (Abuja)

12 May 2012

Nigeria: JTF Arrests Yoruba Boko Haram Chief in Kano

A man suspected to be the operations commander of the Boko Haram sect was yesterday arrested by the Joint Task Force (JTF) in Kano. Suleiman Mohammed, who hails from Ogbomosho in Oyo State, believed to have masterminded several deadly attacks in Kano, has been moved to Abuja for interrogation.

The Kano State police commissioner, Mr. Ibrahim Idris, who confirmed the arrest, described Mohammed as a high-profile operative of the sect. He was nabbed along with his wife and five children during a raid on his Farawa Babban Layi residence.

According to the police commissioner, Mohammed's capture was made possible by good intelligence work as well as cooperation from the public. He also affirmed that no shots were fired during the raid.

Idris said that the sect commander had been flown to Abuja where he was handed over to one of the security agencies. He said that weapons including 1,000 rounds of ammunition, 10 crates of improvised explosive devices (IEDs), a rifle and three pistols were seized from him.

"The arrest came after a tip-off from a member of the public who noticed suspicious movement of people into the sect leader's house and alerted the security agencies. They successfully arrested the top sect leader, whom we believe to be the operational commander of the sect in the state," he said.

Idris stated that Suleiman was likely to be the person behind the series of organised deadly attacks in Kano State, particularly the attack on Christian worshippers inside the BUK campus and the targeted killings of innocent persons in the state.

A highly placed security source in Abuja, who pleaded anonymity, confirmed Mohammed's arrest.

In another development, gunmen yesterday killed a top leader of the Shiite Islamic sect, Mohammed Alli, in his residence in Gadan Kaya area of Kano.

A source close to the deceased said that a group of gunmen suspected to be Boko Haram operatives came to the home of the Shiite leader and asked to use one of his motorbikes. Alli was said to have turned down the request following which he was promptly shot at close range by the men.

The late Alli, described as one of the richest Shiites residing in Kano, lived in the Gadan Kaya area of Kano. The remains of Alhaji Alli have been deposited at the Murtala Muhammed Hospital in Kano while preparations were being made for his burial according to Muslim rites.

Kano State commissioner of police Mr Idris confirmed the killing but said investigations were still going on to unravel the perpetrators.

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