9 November 2012

Nigeria: Boko Haram Commander Escapes From Police Detention

Photo: Leadership
Suspected Boko Haram sect members.

A suspected Boko Haram commander, Sani Mohammed, has reportedly escaped from police custody in Abuja yesterday.

LEADERSHIP learnt that the suspect, arrested alongside another top Boko Haram operative, Kabir Sokoto in January, 2012, allegedly escaped from the cell where he was kept with other terror suspects.

Although the police, in a swift reaction, denied the report claiming that no terror suspect escaped, security sources confirmed that Mohammed absconded from custody of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad, SARS.

The details of his escape was however sketchy as at press time.

It would be recalled that a similar incident occurred early this year when Sokoto, the alleged mastermind of the Christmas Day bombing of Saint Theresa Catholic Church, Madalla, Niger State, escaped from police custody at Abaji, a satellite town in the Federal Capital Territory.

Sokoto, who was arrested alongside a serving military officer, was said to have been tracked to Abuja by security agents after several weeks of investigation.

The Force Headquarters suspended the commissioner in charge of the investigation, Zakari Biu, for negligence. He was later dismissed from the force by the Police Service Commission, PSC.

The incident which reportedly embarrassed the police high command, also led to the sacking of Inspector-General of Police, Abubakar Ringim. The five policemen that were with Sokoto at the time of his escape were also sanctioned. Sokoto was later re-arrested by the State Security Service at Mutum Biu in Taraba State in February.

The police in a statement by the Deputy Force Public Relations Officer, Frank Mba said no terror suspect escaped from its custody, adding that a check of its records shows no such name as Mohammed on its list of detainees.

It said, " The attention of the Police High Command has been drawn to a News flash being relayed by African Independent Television,Abuja. The Television station today 8th November, 2012, alleged the escape from Police custody in Abuja, of one Mohammed Sani purported to be a top Boko Haram member.

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