This Day (Lagos)

13 January 2013

Nigeria: Boko Haram Chieftain Arrested in Abuja

Photo: This Day
JTF soldiers

The manhunt by security operatives for militants of the dreaded fundamentalist Islamic sect, Boko Haram, Saturday yielded results with the arrest of one of the wanted chieftains of the group, Hassan Pagi Bukur in Gwrinpa in Abuja. Bukur was arrested at the residence of the former member of House of Representatives, Hon. Tijani Umar Kumalia.

A security source told THISDAY in Abuja last night that part of Bukur's brief was to receive stolen vehicles from two of the sect's most wanted members, including one Babwo and Senior. He was arrested at the residence of the ex-lawmaker alongside his security guard.

Meanwhile, the former lawmaker, who was in the House between 2003 and 2007, has been telling operatives what he knew about the two men. He was quoted to have told his interrogators that his security guard was employed from Sokoto State to guard his house.

THISDAY source also said that Bukur has admitted to being a member of the sect but added that his host, the ex-lawmaker, also buys some vehicles from him.

Hon Kumalia is however battling to distance himself from the allegation. Although the former lawmaker is not being detained, he has been placed under close surveillance and compelled to report regularly to the state security office while further investigations on him are being carried out.

Security agents before Saturday's arrest had established that almost all the vehicles used for suicide bombing, including the Isuzu jeep used to bomb THISDAY Abuja office by the sect, were stolen.

The former lawmaker from Borno State increases to three the number of top politicians accused of collaborating with the militant sect, whose insurgency since 2009 has caused the death of thousands of Nigerians.

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