Forty-two suspected Boko Haram members were paraded yesterday by the Army in Lagos.
They were arrested in various parts of Lagos and Ogun states, after fleeing the military intervention in some parts of the North. The suspects were arrested between July 12 and 23.
Parading the suspects at the headquarters of the 81 Division, the General Officer Commanding (GOC), Gen. Obi Umahi, said they were seized during raids done in conjunction with intelligence operatives following plans by the sect to unleash terror in parts of the Southwest.
One of the suspects, Ibrahim Abubakar Bori, said they took part in several major operations in Borno State, where several military personnel and civilians have been killed since the insurgency started in 2009.
“We were involved in several major operations in Maiduguri, where several security agents and civilians were killed.
“I and some others here were recruited by Mallam Hassan Ibrahim.”
Ibrahim, 22, admitted recruiting some of the suspects and disclosed that he went with Ibrahim Ismaili and Alhaji Black to kill a soldier and a man described as Buka.
He said: “We rode in a tricycle and it was Alhaji Black that pulled the trigger.
“I met both Ismaili and Alhaji Black in Lagos, while I was riding Okada. We all went to Maiduguri, where we carried out some operations.”
However, some of the suspects denied being terrorists, alleging that they had been in Lagos for many years.
Black, who was indicted by Ismaili, said he had been staying in Lagos for about five years, riding Okada (commercial motorcycle).
He said the army came to Kirikiri to arrest some suspects and he was taken along with them.
The Army said the raids were conducted at Ibafo trailer park and Ileke new trailer garage in Ogun State; Aviation Quarters at Mafoluku, Oshodi; Ketu/Mile 2 Motor Park; Orile Trailer Park; Lekki new extension and Bar Beach, which are fast becoming Boko Haram terrorist enclaves.
Gen. Umahi said the suspects, who were arrested at various intervals, gave information that led to the arrest of others.
The GOC reiterated security agencies’ determination to rid Nigeria of terrorists, adding that the suspects would be handed over to security agencies.
Gen. Umahi, however, refused to disclose if weapons were recovered during the raids.
He said: “In response to intelligence report on the influx of Boko Haram terrorist elements into Lagos and Ogun states, 81 Division headquarters organised and conducted raids with intelligence operatives in these states between July 12 and 23.
“The Boko Haram trickling influx is adduced to their plan to unleash terror in some parts of the Southwest.
“During interrogation, they confessed to have participated in various major terrorist attacks in the North, especially Maiduguri, where majority of the suspects fled from.
“We are bent on ensuring that Lagos and its environs remain safe for Nigerians and will not hesitate to fish out criminals,” Gen. Umahi said.
Security agents March 14, raided Ijora Badia, Lagos following intelligence reports, which led to the arrest of over 14 suspected Boko Haram members.
The suspects were said to have disclosed during interrogation, their planned massive attacks on Lagos, with designated 16 landmarks slated for simultaneous bomb blasts.
That foiled attack was the second in March. No fewer than three suspected Shiite sect members were arrested in Illorin, the Kwara State capital in February, with the allegation that they had plans to bomb Israeli and America’s interest in Lagos.
The group allegedly planned attacks on the Lagos offices of the U.S. Agency for International Development; the Haifa-based ZIM Integrated Shipping Services Limited and the Jewish Cultural Centre.
Also in June, the army said it arrested about 15 Boko Haram suspects at various parts of the metropolis, with most of them arrested at Ijora Badia and Kotankowa areas between February and May, who were handed over to security agencies.
Sophisticated weapons were recovered including explosives and remote controls during the previous raids
The vehicles that were to be used to transport the bombs to their designated places were also among other items recovered during the raid.
When the Presidential Committee on Dialogue and Peaceful Resolution of Security, visited Lagos, it emerged that about 104 Boko Haram members arrested in the Northern part of the country, were being detained in Lagos prisons.