It is alleged that Boko Haram suspects apprehended and detained in a secure military facility in Lagos are no where to be found and may have been summarily executed by security agents in Nigeria. Over three weeks after the Nigerian Army paraded 42 suspected Boko Haram members in Lagos, their whereabouts has been shrouded in secrecy.
Although there are speculations that the suspects have been moved out of Lagos to a safer zone, a top security personnel told reporters that they are still in Lagos. It was learnt that security agencies are collaborating to keep the whereabouts of the suspects a secret to stop the Boko Haram network. In a country where extra judicial killings are the norm, some commentators have alleged that the suspects may already be dead through secret executions.
An annonymnous security source source said the network of the sect is massive, adding that “in times like this, it is better to keep mum on where the suspected terrorists are.”
The suspects were arrested in Ogun and Lagos states by the 81 Division of the Nigerian Army, following intelligence reports that the state of emergency in three northern states had dislodged the sect’s members, who were relocating to regroup in other states.
It was learnt that those who had resettled in the Southwest had been strategically deployed to launch attacks on infrastructure and public places to prove to Nigerians that they have not been defeated.
At the parade of the 42 young men, some of whom confessed to taking part in some attacks in Borno State, 81 Division’s General Officer Commanding (GOC), Gen. Obi Umahi, said they were arrested between July 12 and 23.
He said a joint raid by the security agencies conducted at the 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 beech, led to the arrest of the suspects.
Police spokesperson Ngozi Braide said she had no idea where the suspects were.
Said she: “I don’t know if they are in our custody and I have no idea where they are. I will confirm and get back to you.”
Army’s spokesman Col Kingsley Umoh also said he did not know the whereabouts of the suspects.
He added: “I cannot respond to you unless I get the appropriate information. The intelligence officer is on an assignment out of the office and is not picking his calls.”
The GOC was also contacted, but he said: “I will rather keep quiet on where the suspects are. They are safe and healthy and investigations are still ongoing to smash the Boko Haram network.
“We are not hiding information from the public. We believe it is in the best interest of the country for their whereabouts not to be known.”
The Director, State Security Service (SSS), Ben Olayi, confirmed that the suspects were not in their custody yet, noting that they could also be handed over to the police.