The Joint Task Force (JTF) “Operation Restore Order” in Maiduguri says it has killed or arrested almost all the suspects involved in last year’s assassination of elder statesman, Major General Mohammadu Shuwa (Rtd).
The former soldier was shot dead by gunmen in front of his house in Gwange area of Maiduguri on 12 November, 2012.
In a statement today, JTF spokesman, Lieutenant Colonel Sagir Musa, said that a preliminary investigation into the incident identified two key Boko Haram terrorists, Mohammed Ibn Saleh and Abdulkareem Ibrahim, as the masterminds of the killing.
“Consequently, a special operation was conducted on 15 November, 2012 by the Task Force with the view to arresting the culprits that led to the death of Ibn Saleh during a shootout in a house at Bulabulin Ngarnam. Similarly, on 2 December, 2012 Abdulkareem was arrested with a fatal injury that resulted to his death on 6 December, 2012. A member of the syndicate one Bulama Bur died in the 2 December, 2012 in an encounter with JTF troops.”
Following Abdulkareem’s confession, the spokesman said, four other members of the syndicate were identified and threebarrested between January and March:
Mustapha Umar (22),
Goni Modu Lawal (22) and
Goni Ali (Bakura Bama (20).
He said that Mustapha Umar was actively involved in the planning and execution of the plan that led to the killing of Maj. Gen. Shuwa (rtd).
While the two others played various indirect roles, he said they have confessed to being members of a Boko Haram underground cell with Abdulkareem as their commander, alleging he received instructions directly from Abubakar Shekau. They equally confessed to other attacks both on both military and civilian targets including extorting about 20 Million Naira on two occasions from late Alhaji Ibrahim Mai Sugar, among others.
With their confession, Lt. Col. Musa said only one of the suspects in the killing of Major Gen. Shuwa is still at large.
In a separate statement, he announced JTF’s rescue of the parents of Mohammed Sanda, a federal legislator representing Kaga- Maigumeri -Gubio constituency of Borno State who were kidnapped last night by a six-man Boko Haram gang.
Eighty-five year old Ummara Sanda Sheriff and his 70-year old wife, Maryam Sanda Sheriff, were snatched in Ngamdu village,a border community between Borno and Yobe States, at about 10:15p.m.
“The terrorists and the victims were heading towards Martaiarea in an Old Model Toyota 4 Wheel Drive with Registration Number Borno XA 625 KGG when they were intercepted at Zabarmari area by the JTF troops on special operation about 30 kilometers from Maiduguri metropolis. The couple were successfully rescued by the JTF today Monday 6 May, 2013 at about 9:00 a.m. ” Lt. Col. Musa said, adding that they appeared to be in good health.
Among the items recovered from the kidnappers were: One AK 47 rifle and a magazine with 30 rounds of 7.62 mm Special Ammunition; seven assorted cell phones; six pairs of wrappers and a set of lady’s shoes; 7 pairs of male clothes; three MTN SIM Cards; two extra vehicle batteries; 1 Identification Card; two jacks; one mat, and two pairs of male shoes.
He reminded the public to be security conscious at all times, to avoid or be very sensitive to strangers and friends that have not been in contact for long, and to avoid isolated areas and shun meetings or friendships organized through telephones or social media.
“This advice is based on the intelligence available to the Task Force that Boko Haram Terrorists have resolved to concentrate more on kidnappings than robbery,” he said. “They allege that kidnapping is more lucrative, less dangerous and requires short time to plan and execute. Consequently a special kidnapping squad has been earmarked and tasked by Boko Haram to kidnap persons who could be a relation, politician, businessman/woman, civil servants, traditional rulers and foreigners alike.”