Recent discovery has shown that members of the Boko Haram terrorists group in Nigeria have began to troop into Lagos and Enugu states in a bid to carry out their nefarious activities in the states.
Between July 8 and August 25, 2015, no fewer than 20 suspected Boko Haram commanders arrested were commanders in Lagos, Kano, Enugu, Plateau and Gombe states by the Department of State Services.s
The arrested suspects include the masterminds of the suicide attacks in Potiskum, Kano, Zaria, and Jos.
A statement by Tony Opuiyo, a DSS official, on Sunday in Abuja, said those arrested were notable commanders and frontline members of the notorious group from different parts of the country.
According to the statement, the group’s new pattern of movement and spread was caused by the pressure being put on it by security forces in its core areas of strength in the North-East.
Listed among those arrested by the service in Lagos include Bakura Modu who was apprehended on July, 20 at Kara, Ogun State; Mustapha Jamberi, who was picked up on July 24 at Gowon Estate.
Others are Abuyi Sheriff, who was nabbed at Ebute-Meta; Babagana Ali and Babagana Koloye, who were arrested on August, 7 at Eric Moore, Surulere.
Abba Sagma was picked up at Ijora Badia on August 9; Grema Abubakar and Tijani Bagudu were apprehended at Amukoko, Ijora Badia the next day, while Baba Alhaji and Abass Ibrahim were arrested earlier on the same day at the Alaba International Market, Ojo, the service said.
According to the DSS, a Boko Haram commander, Usman Shuaibu, aka Money, revealed that he coordinated the suicide attacks in Potiskum, Kano, Zaria and Jos, which claimed several lives, with N500, 000 that was provided by his Amir, one Isa Ali, who had a direct access to the sect leader, Abubakar Shekau, from whom he collected money to fund operations undertaken by their Markaz.
A statement by the agency said, “Shuaibu also revealed that he had participated in several Boko Haram attacks, including the attacks at Gwoza Divisional Police Station in 2014.
“He admitted to being the leader of the team of nine sect members that was dispatched from Sambisa Forest to carry out the attacks. He disclosed that four out of the nine of them were used as suicide bombers in executing all the (suicide) attacks.
“Nigerians and indeed the general public have to note that the arrest of Shuaibu, aka Money, and the core members of his cell, stemmed the spate of bombings by the extremist sect. It will be recalled that Money and his group were arrested on their way to Bauchi State where they had planned to execute another bomb attack, and this was frustrated by the arrest.
“The sudden influx of Boko Haram members into Lagos State points is due to the determination of the sect to extend its nefarious terrorist activities to the state and in fact, to other parts of the country.
“The arrest of these confessed terrorists has, however, helped in no small measure to avert devastating attacks in the area. However, the service is making efforts to conclude its investigations and commence prosecution of the suspects.”
It said a Boko Haram Improvised Explosive Device expert, Ahmed Mohammed, aka Abubakar), admitted to making the IEDs used in the various suicide bombings in the country.
“Mohammed also averred that he was the one who strapped the suicide bombers, notably Sule and his wives, with IED vests, which they used in the attacks in Jos,” the DSS said.
It also stated that Adamu Abdulahi, aka Babpa, confessed that Shuaibu motivated him to work closely with IED expert, Mohammed, in the preparation of the IEDs used in the attacks under reference.
Another suspect, Ibrahim Issa, was said to have confessed that he was the one who carried out reconnaissance on the targets in Jos ahead of the attacks, while Muttaqa Yusuf (aka Mohammed Sani/Mudtaka), disclosed that one Aliyu believed to be Aliyu Gombe in Sambisa forest, was the one that ordered the serial attacks which the syndicate carried out.
He further confessed that he assisted Shuaibu in planning and executing the said attacks.
Other suspects include Ibrahim Audu, who was arrested on August 19 at New Artisan Market, Enugu; Ibrahim Haruna, arrested on August, 21 at Kwomi village, Kwami Local Government Area, Gombe State; Ali Mohammodu, nabbed on August 22 at Ibrahim Taiwo Road, Fagga LGA in Kano State; and Adam Jilbe, who was apprehended on August 23 at Obanikoro, Lagos State.
The DSS had called on citizens to volunteer useful information to the service and other security agencies, indicating its commitment to work with other stakeholders in the fight against terror and other forms of criminality in the country.
The service noted that it has stepped up covert operations to dismantle Boko Haram cells across the country, particularly in the South-West, South-East and South-South where suspected terrorists are hiding.
The arrest of notable Boko Haram commanders, the DSS said, has provided credible leads and intelligence that could assist the service to track down insurgents and their supporters, including ‘sleeper cells.’