By Iorakpen Ishu-Josef
As FG denies hiring Davis as negotiator
Department of State Security, DSS has said it will investigate former governor of Borno State, Modu Sheriff, over allegations of his involvement in the sponsorship of Boko Haram.
Consequently, the secret police has invited Sheriff to its yellow house headquarters for interrogation.
This is even as the Federal Government yesterday denied hiring Australian, Stephen Davis, as a Boko Haram negotiator.
Coordinator of the National Information Centre, Mike Omeri, who disclosed government’s position on the issue in Abuja yesterday, said the government has no plan of prosecuting any Nigerian for now following the allegations made by the Australian.
Davis has insisted that former governor of Borno State, Ali Modu Sheriff and former Chief of Army Staff, Gen. Azubuike Ihejirika are Boko Haram sponsors.
But Omeri insisted that government has not hired anybody to negotiate on its behalf with the Boko Haram.
“For now nobody has been hired by the government to negotiate on its behalf with Boko Haram. Anytime the government decides to do so, it will make it known to the public.
“The government is still investigating the allegations made by the alleged negotiator. However, the government has no plan to question anybody because of those allegations made by the Australian,” he stated.
Nigerian Pilot Saturday recalls that the DSS had on two occasions quizzed Sheriff in connection with his alleged involvement with the sect.
But briefing newsmen yesterday in Abuja, DSS’ Deputy Director, Public Relations, Ms. Marilyn Ogar said that investigation was ongoing into various aspects of the allegations by the Australian negotiator, Stephen Davies, who named the former governor as one of the financial backers of the sect.
Ms. Ogar, while parading the co-mastermind of the April 14 Nyanya blast, Sadiq Ogwuche, along with other suspects, Ahmed Abubakar, Muhammad Ishaq, Yau Saidu, Anas Isah and Adamu Yusuf, dismissed allegations by Davies that a former Chief of Army Staff, Azubuike Ihejirika, was one of the sponsors of the sect.
She stated, “It was uncharitable for Nigerians to reward someone who laid down his life, to associate him with the sponsorship of the sect. Sheriff has been invited twice and he has been invited again (over his alleged sponsorship of Boko Haram). Investigation is ongoing to review every aspect of Davies’ allegations.
The DSS spokeswoman said contrary to claims by Davies that the CBN official, who handled the funding of Boko Haram, is an uncle to three of those arrested in connection with the Nyanya bombings, none of the six suspects in the agency’s custody was related to another by blood.
“In other words, none is a cousin or nephew to any other and only two suspects namely Yau Saidu and Anas Isah have ever lived together at the makeshift clinic called ‘Kishi Clinic’ operated by Rufai Tsiga, a co-mastermind of the bomb blast who is still at large”, she explained.
She also denied that the DSS was the source of the information credited to Davis, describing him as “a self-styled and self-appointed negotiator.”
Ogwuche, who was repatriated to Nigeria from Sudan, denied being a member of Boko Haram in an interview with journalists, stressing that he had no hand in the Nyanya bombings as he was in Sudan at the time of the incident.
The suspect, however, admitted to have donated N30, 000 to widows of Boko Haram members through Tsiga, who had been declared wanted for his role in the Nyanya blast.
Asked why he deserted the Army, he stated that he did it in order to go and study Arabic in Sudan even as he admitted receiving lectures and taking demonstrations with a Jihadist group in Britain before he came back to Nigeria.
Saidu, a boy to the co-mastermind of the blast, however, identified Ogwuche as a regular visitor to Tsiga’s ‘clinic’ where the plot to bomb the Nyanya Bus stop was hatched.