by: Yusuf Alli in Featured,
The military has relocated a Boko Haram kingpin, who is among the 486 suspects detained in Abia State, to a detention facility for a comprehensive investigation, The Nation learnt yesterday.
Of the suspects, 86 are said to have link with Boko Haram, the Islamist sect that has killed thousands. More interrogators, comprising crack officers from Military Intelligence and the Directorate of State Security (DSS), have been sent to Abia State to join the suspects’ grilling.
None of the suspects had been released – as at press time – in spite of pressure from many quarters.
The suspected kingpin was relocated out of Abia because of what a source described as “valuable information and clues” he had released to the military.
It was learnt that the arrest of the kingpin was, however, heralded with a drama as he gave a wrong name to interrogators.
According to a military source, unknown to the kingpin, a DSS officer in the interrogating team was one of those who had been on his trail. He recognised him.
After much gruelling, he disclosed his real name and admitted that he had been on the wanted list of security agencies.
The source said: “Based on confessions, the military has moved the Boko Haram kingpin out of Abia. He has revealed a lot and the clues cannot be ignored.
“He is at present in a secret detention facility.”
The source gave insight into the interaction with the kingpin and why his identity would not be revealed yet.
The source added: “When the kingpin was arrested, he gave a different name to those quizzing him. But luck ran against him when DSS officer, who had been on his trail, succeeded in identifying him. He knew the game was up and he revealed his real name.
“We have to relocate him because we have been receiving enquiries on the real identity of the arrested kingpin. It is quite disturbing that some people wanted to know the exact kingpin.
“So, his arrest has generated more than a mere passing interest from some bigwigs. They were consistently asking which particular one had been picked? Who is the person? Do you have his photograph?
“We are suspecting that some of those raising concerns might have other sinister motives too.”
On the extent of the investigation, another source said: “Contrary to the public outcry on the suspects, there was more to their movement.
None of them had up to N1, 000 as at the time of their arrest. You will then wonder what manner of business they were going to do.”
There were other suspects who claimed that they were going to look for jobs in Port Harcourt and they don’t know the city.
Following the discovery of 86 of the suspects’ link with Boko Haram, more military and SSS officers from intelligence units were yesterday deployed in Abia.
The team is expected to interrogate some of these suspects who have been coming up with fresh information.
The 86 suspects have been isolated for intense grilling. The additional team is expected to speed up the investigation.
“We can only talk of releasing any of the suspects after these new interrogators have completed their assignment”, another source said.
The 486 suspects were arrested last Sunday morning by officers and men of the 144 Battalion of the Nigerian Army in Aro Ngwa and Imo Gate along Enugu, Port Harcourt Expressway.
Their arrest has attracted protects from the Hausa Community in Rivers State, some prominent Northerners and the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF).
But Governor Theodore Orji urged Northern groups to allow security agencies do their work.
He said: “The position of Abia State Government is that security agencies should be allowed to thoroughly investigate the matter.”