Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Man Linked to Chibok Abductions Arrested
By Abubakar & Omirin Olatunji (Maiduguri) & Ronald Mutum (Abuja)
Nigeria Daily Trust
Jan 21 2016 5:42AM

A wanted Boko Haram kingpin, Jarasu Shira, was arrested yesterday morning in Damboa, Borno State, Daily Trust learnt. The suspect, who also goes by the alias Jarido, was arrested at a motor park at about 8.30am along with 10 other suspected members of the group who escorted him to Damboa to board a vehicle to Biu.

The suspected terrorists were arrested by members of the vigilante popularly known as Civilian JTF. The JTF provide support to the Nigeria military battling the militant group in the north-east. Shira is said to be number one on a new list of wanted men by the Nigeria military. “He was disguised in a cowboy outfit to escape arrest but the vigilance of the civilian JTF paid off, Daily Trust further gathered.

A source who pleaded for anonymity because he was not authorised to speak on the arrest told Daily Trust that the suspect was on his way to Lagos. He is believed to be the leader of the Boko Haram militants in Damboa, Chibok and Askira Uba local government areas of Borno state. The source said the suspect is believed to be a ranking figure in the Boko Haram hierarchy. He is also thought be so powerful in the group that he might have knowledge of the whereabouts of the Chibok girls kidnapped in April 2014 from their school. The Defence headquarters in Abuja yesterday confirmed the arrest.

Defence spokesman Brigadier General Rabe Abubakar said the arrest of Shira was not surprising as security agencies have been arresting several Boko Haram suspects in the North East. Brigadier General Abubakar told Daily Trust last night that the harvest of arrests in the north east was as a result of the renewed synergy amongst security agencies. He said these arrests are taking place as suspected Boko Haram members are spotted at motor parks and other routes trying to escape from the north east into other ‘free or safe zones.’

Daily Trust learnt that the suspects have been handed over to military authorities in Biu, Borno state. In a related development, a road side bomb suspected to have been planted by members of the Boko Haram went off on Wednesday when a passing military vehicle stepped on it. Details of the blast remained sketchy at press time.


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