More details have emerged about how the escapee suspected Boko Haram kingpin, Kabiru Sokoto, was re-arrested by the State Security Service, Nigeria’s secret police.
Mr. Sokoto, we gathered, was arrested in the early hours of Friday in an emerging Boko Haram cell in a remote village in Taraba state by a high calibre squad of the State Security Services. A source gave the name of the village as Muntum Biu but that could not be independently confirmed as at the time of this report.
He was brought into Abuja at 2.45 this afternoon, heavily guarded by fully armed operatives.
Sources within the service say the secret police infiltrated the Boko Haram cell in Abaji, Abuja, shortly after Mr. Sokoto fled, gathering a lot of information about his movement.
After tracing him to Taraba, the agency deployed its most effective security gadgets to track the suspect down.
Mr. Sokoto was arrested with few members of the sect after a gun battle with members of the sect in the sect’s budding training camp in Taraba.
The source said a Boko Haram cell, led by Mr. Sokoto, was establishing a base in the state before his arrest.
He is currently being held in one of the state security’s interrogation centres in Abuja. He will be transferred to the military for safe keeping.
Mr. Sokoto was arrested at the Borno State governor’s lodge in Asokoro, Abuja, alongside a serving military officer, was taken to Abaji on Sunday by police officers investigating the case to search a house believed to be owned by him.
He subsequently escaped from police custody in Abaji Area Council of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), his residence, where he was taken for routine house search.
Following his escape, Zakari Biu, the head of the Zonal Command 7 of the Nigeria Police Force handling Boko Haram investigation in the Crime Investigation Department was suspended by the IGP and subsequently placed under house arrest. He oversees the team that lost Mr. Sokoto. He is currently in detention in an undisclosed location.
The other junior police officers in the team that lost the Mr. Sokoto were also been arrested and detained.
President Goodluck Jonathan supposedly gave the then Inspector-General of Police, Hafiz Ringim, a 24-hour ultimatum to produce the Boko Haram suspect. He failed and was later retired.
Mr. Sokoto is considered a key official of the Boko Haram sect, founded by Mohammed Yusuf in 2002, to congregate people committed to the propagation of Islam and Jihad. The organisation is an extremist sect that seeks to abolish the secular system of government and establish a Sharia system in the country.
Since July 2009, when Boko Haram launched its violent attacks, it has claimed responsibility for bombing churches, police stations, military facilities, banks, and beer parlours, in northern Nigeria, as well as the United Nations building and police headquarters in Abuja.