Monarch's son aided Sokoto's escape- Senate

NATIONAL MIRROR Newspaper- George Oji

The Senate yesterday gave a graphic detail of how the prime terror-suspect, Kabiru Umar, a.k.a. Kabiru Sokoto, escaped from police custody on January 15 in Abaji Area Council of the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Abuja.
The Senate Committee on Police Affairs, in its report on the escape of Sokoto, the prime suspect in the Christmas Day bombing on St. Theresa’s Catholic Church, Madalla, Niger State, said the incident was masterminded by the son of the Onah of Abaji (the traditional ruler of the town), one Adamu Salihu, who was a neighbour of Sokoto.

“The said Salihu, who was later discovered to be a close associate of Kabiru Sokoto and a member of Boko Haram suddenly went into his room, came out with a copy of the Holy Qur’an, cited some Qur’anic quotes and with a loud shout of ‘Allahu-Akhbar’ (God is Great), mobilised nearby youths who attacked the police with hard objects and forcefully took over the suspect whom they whisked away to an undisclosed location,” the Senate report said.
The report also revealed that: “Immediate efforts to rearrest the suspect indicated that the duo of one Jubrin Aliyu, alias Kaska, and one Abdullahi Sidi, alias Bamanga, had informed one Mohammed Gambo that the principal suspect was with Jubrin Aliyu.

“The said Mohammed Gambo instantly requested Aliyu to produce the suspect at the palace of the Onah of Abaji and thereafter informed the monarch, who requested his police escort and the Army personnel on stop-and-search duty on the Abaji-Lokoja Expressway to rearrest and bring Sokoto to his palace but could not find him.
“The security team then arrested Aliyu and he is currently undergoing interrogation.”

It added that the mob action that effected the escape of the suspect was spearheaded by the son of the Onah of Abaji, Sidi and Abdulahhi Sahabi, who are at large, Aliyu and Ashafa Central (Inuwa) who was shot dead as he attempted to snatch a rifle from the police during the mob action.
The report noted that after the mob action Sahabi, Aliyu, Sidi and Salihu moved Sokoto from Abaji to a village called Nuku, about seven kilometres from Abaji and handed him over to one Dauda Mohammed who provided the suspect with shelter and feeding in an uncompleted building.

Later, one Alhaji Haruna Kaura, a resident of Nuku village, was said to have taken over the suspect and transported him on a motorbike to his farmland located some kilometres away.
Sokoto has since been rearrested by a combined team of security operatives in Taraba State.
The report of the committee, which investigated the escape of Sokoto from police custody, however, showed that on January 14, the day the suspect was arrested at the Borno State Governor’s Lodge, Abuja, the operation was carried out by 58-member police squad.

According to the report, the team comprised operatives from the force analytical tracking and intelligence centre and combat teams from the police mobile service.
Before then, police intelligence had revealed that Sokoto had been in the checklist of Boko Haram sect members.
He was reported to have been seen on the Snake Island, Lagos, last year when the hunt for him began. He left Lagos sometime on December 13, last year and disappeared from surveillance monitoring by intelligent agencies until January 11 this year when he was traced to Abaji in the FCT.

Police detectives traced him from Abaji to Abuja on the same date and to Asokoro where he was finally apprehended.
The suspect was subsequently handed over to the Commissioner of Police, Zakari Biu, who was in charge of terrorism cases for further investigation.
The report, which was read by the Chairman of the committee, Mr. Paulinus Nwagu, also revealed that on the day Sokoto was taken to Abaji for a search on his residence, he was accompanied by five police detectives.
Meanwhile, the Senate, which adopted two out of the seven recommendations of the report, has urged members of the public to assist the security agencies by providing relevant information.

It also directed that Zakiri Biu and all those involved in the escape of Sokoto should have their prosecution expedited to serve as a deterrent to other security operatives.


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