Ex-Gov. Sheriff under probe over alleged Boko Haram ties- Presidency

Goodluck Jonathan exchanging pleasantries with Ali Modu Sheriff in an event recently.

The Nigerian government has opened an investigation into allegations linking a former governor of Borno State, Modu Sheriff, with extremist sect, Boko Haram.

President Goodluck Jonathan’s office said Thursday that recent allegations by an Australian negotiator that Mr. Sheriff has been a longstanding financier of the deadly group, is being examined by government investigators.

Mr. Jonathan will not interfere “wilfully” with the probe or its findings, his spokesperson, Reuben Abati, said in a statement.

“President Jonathan is fully aware of the allegation made against Senator Sheriff by Stephen Davis. That allegation is already being investigated by the security agencies who will make their findings known to the public in due course,” Mr. Abati said.

He added: “The president assures all Nigerians that he has not wilfully taken any action that could prejudice the outcome of that ongoing inquiry”.

Mr. Jonathan assured of his “total commitment to doing all within his powers to bring all identified and verified sponsors of terrorism to justice, and ending the menace of violent extremism in the country”.

The comments are the first official reaction from the presidency over the allegations tying Mr. Sheriff to the group.

An Australian negotiator, Stephen Davis, who has worked to help release more than 200 schoolgirls abducted by Boko Haram since April 14, recently accused Mr. Sheriff of being a secret backer of Boko Haram.

Mr. Davis also accused a former army chief, Azubuike Ihejirika, of being a sponsor of the group.

In what appeared the government’s first response to the allegations, the spokesperson for Nigeria’s secret service, Marilyn Ogar, dismissed the claims against the former army boss before an investigation.

Ms. Ogar said Mr. Ihejirika had given so much to Nigeria and fought Boko Haram aggressively to be accused of supporting the same group.

She however disclosed that the former governor, Mr. Sheriff, had been quizzed in the past on allegation of Boko Haram ties, and that he would be invited again for questioning.

Mr. Sheriff himself has denied having any links to Boko Haram.

But while Nigerians called on the government to immediately probe the allegations made by the Australian, the president’s office on Monday released photographs of Messrs Jonathan and Sheriff attending a meeting with President Idris Derby of Chad, in Ndjamena, the country’s capital.

Mr. Abati on Thursday denied that Mr. Sheriff travelled to Chad alongside the president. He also denied there he took part in any important meeting.

Ex-Governor Ali Modu Sheriff and President Jonathan at a meeting with the President of Chad
Ex-Governor Ali Modu Sheriff and President Jonathan at a meeting with the President of Chad

He said Mr. Sheriff had already been in Chad ahead of the president’s visit.

“Those who associate with Senator Sheriff know that he has longstanding interests in Chad and often spends a lot of his time there. He happened to be in Ndjamena at the time of President Jonathan’s visit and joined other Nigerian residents of the Chadian capital in coming to the airport to welcome their president,” Mr. Abati said.

“The former Governor’s presence in Chad was certainly not at President Jonathan’s instance and he did not participate in any of the President’s discussions with President Idriss Deby or his other engagements in Ndjamena.”

But the explanation was silent on the nature of discussions Mr. Sheriff had with the two presidents.


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  • amazing2012

    And you still travel with him at your right hand side. Again what of Ihejirika ? Who cleared him ? How and when ? For fairness he should be tried also. Then the director at the CBN is he free also ? What of the retired CBN executive also disappear in maneuver ? What a justice? This means even sharif will be cleared soon.

    • Rico

      The ethnic jingoists will come after you very soon and start insulting you as usual, those that can sell their pedigree for money and sentiment.

    • Alcindo Satori

      who indicted Ihejirika? That’s the question you should answer. You’re taking the words of a self-appointed Australian negotiator as an indictment? Slave brains!!

  • amazing2012

    Rico, I am Igbo by tribe from Arochukwu and advocates justice. By the way what are you losing if Ihejirika is tried and found guilty and jailed ? You will still remain a poor, Nigerians leaders are the same only the poor people were divided. Whether Igbo, Hausa, Yoruba or other tribes they are the same, looting our treasury and me and you defending/ fighting for them. Their children are schooling abroad with our stolen money while me and you can hardly finish University ! Just think and think is not ethnicity is fact. All of them should be tried for fairness and justice !

    • Rico

      I hear you, but we can’t deny some people tread the ethnic part, you are surely not one of them and I did not make a stereotype in my comment, my comment was directed to those that has made it a habit to do so, sorry if you are offended, but we can’t all deny it exists in every ethnic group and that some people are in the habit of defending blindly even when a probe is a necessity, my comment is directed to such people not the likes of you with a free mind as they don’t belong to your class of thought, that’s what set you apart from them and we should never allow such people to bring us down to their levels, i only give advise to learn from Mark Twain – ‘Never argue with s****d people, they will drag you down to their level and beat you with experience’ sorry again if my previous comment offends you, i am sure I have made it clear that it was not directed at thoughtful person like you.

  • Wähala

    Ihejirika nko? Nobody who washes his hands with one hand comes out clean… it takes two hands to clean out iniquities!
    What about the Aussie’s allegation about Gen. Ihejirika… abi dem transfa dat one go Hague? Ali Modu was not the only ‘Sheriff’ in town that day, villagers also identified Ihejirika as one of the perpetrators of crime against humanity. This one-sided investigation does not bode well for Nigeria, it is cosmetic and knee-jerk reaction… but it has to go the distance by investigating all and sundry, not just scape-goating one He-Goat while others committed the same rape and plunder…
    That said, Abati knows he doesn’t believe himself that Ali Modu Sheriff was one of innocent Nigerians who do legitimate business in Chad and coincidentally happened to be there as Dumbo visited, the foto-up does not justify that bogus claim bcos Höly Wähala did not see “other Nigerians” living in Chad taking pictures with their President…
    abi, odeku don enter my eyes?

  • cincerned9ja

    Certainly, Jonathan and his office lack quality, deep-thinking officials and that is why every of their step is always a calamity. For releasing such photograph of Jona and Idriss Debby holding diplomatic discussions in the presence of SAS, the so-called media advisers must be fired. How can they now be denying the unholy friendship between Jonathan and SAS?
    Definitely, the hasty clean-up is an after-thought. Only a person like Jona would believe the Abati story. Nigerians are not surprised. They know this desperado would even bear-hug Satan if only it could back his 2015 ambition.

    • Wähala

      That’s it… “his 2015 ambition”.
      You nailed it before me… kudos!

    • Fulani Nomad

      Abacha has the likes of Professor Sam Aluko. Obasanjo has the likes of Soludo among others. Yar’adua has people like Dora Akunyili, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi. GEJ has who? Reuben Abati, Doyin Okupe or abi na Reno Omokri and Asari Dakubo + Edwin Clack?

      • Wähala

        To be fair…
        Dumbo has Dr. Ngz. Iweala, Olusegun Aganga, Dr. Adeshina… and, shikena!

    • Mosaku 147

      Abati might be right that Jonathan and SAS did not travel together because SAS is and has been resident in Ndjamena in the last 3years. If not,where has he being staying in Nigeria that his creation has not caught up with him?

  • adegbola

    He is under probe and u allow him to travel outside the country, whom are they fooling mtchewwwww

    • Wähala

      …while he blocked Sanusi at Kano Airport from travelling abroad!

  • Scalywag

    Clearly the Presidency holds nigerians in grievous contempt and cares less about their feelings and sensibilities. The presidency appears not to give a damn about nigerians, especially the hapless and helpless masses that have continued to bear the brunt of the mindless insurgency that has reduced them to the status of sub humans. SAS has been investigated by Jonathan’s agents twice in the past, according to Marilyn Ogar. Nothing came out of it. Now however some concerned Nigerians have taken the matter to the ICC. So let Jonathan facilitate investigations by Fatouma Bensouda. Whatever the outcome of her investigations would be more credible and acceptable to Nigerians. And all the characters in the Davis List: SAS-GAS, Ihejirika, the shadowy fellow at CBN should be expeditiously extradited promptly to face investigation by the ICC. No more pulling wool over our eyes.

  • Ikechi Ngwube

    Hahahaha This Abati guy sef. So Sherrif was already in Chad and joined other Nigerians to welcome the president? And they believe themselves for this hefty lie? So how come he found himself in the same room with the president and was among one it two other Nigerians that met the Chad officials at their so called meeting? You see, PDP, Jonathan and their presidency take Nigerians for brainless fools and that is why they are weaving all these childish lies and thinking they are fooling Nigerians. I used to believe that Jonathan and the PDP have nothing to do with BH despite late agen. Azazi’s security report that links PDP with BH. Recently I have very convincing reasons to believe that PDP is the real Boko Haram. Every Nigerian knows that Sherif is the financier of Boko a Haram and was the reason PDP was frantically linking APC with BH. I was shocked that the PDP opened a closed Maiduguri airport just for this Sherif the time he indicated interest to join PDP. Now, this shameless presidency deems Sherif so competent to join presidential entourage to a foreign country and they are spinning these rubbish and you want me to believe that PDP is not deep into this Boko Haram thing? I now know why this regime cannot deal with the Boko Haram menace. And peace! Who says Ihejirika may not know more than he is letting us know about BH? Nigeria is really in deep shit!

    • Rico

      Very deep shit indeed, honestly I don’t know how to qualify it, all these big leaders and politicians with their powerful supporters from all parties have a link with BH or knows so much about the secret that they are not saying or ready to tackle, it’s so disheartening and so sad that after the mistakes of the past leaders, present crops still could be going this path.

    • redeem

      “I can’t believe it and I still don’t believe it. There must be something wrong somewhere. Because it stands against all logic and commonsense.
      “Ihejirika is a Christian, he is an Igbo man. He is a beneficiary of Jonathan’s government in terms of appointment.
      “The Igbo Christians and their churches, especially the Catholic churches, were initially the first victims of Boko Haram at the beginning.

      “Even up till now, the Igbos still form the largest percentage of casualties, especially when you consider the bomb blasts at luxurious bus parks, most of them heading to the East.
      “So, I don’t see how a very high official of state, appointed by Jonathan’s government to protect the country against Boko Haram will now instigate Boko Haram against his country, against Christians, against his fellow Igbos and against his culture and everything he stands for.

      “I don’t think it is possible. So, there must be a mistake somewhere.
      “Unless I have very concrete, irrefutable proof, honestly I still believe that Ihejirika possibly had nothing to do with Boko Haram’s activities.”
      Permit me to add that, there is no where in the World where Terrorists freely mention their Sponsor’s name, so Whatever Steven Davis said makes no meaning.
      Even petty thieves and ‘Ransom Kidnappers’ cant reveal such sensitive information to anybody let alone a foreign Journalist or peacemaker. Whatever. An Asian friend told me that its only gullible that can believe Steven Davis tales

      • Wähala

        Biko tell Prof. Sagay…
        to believe it’s quite possible, a precedent exists with the Niger Delta militancy ati terrorism. Back then, late NSA Andrew Azazi, was once disgraced out of the Army for stealing armory, selling them to MEND kidnappers and terrorists… that racket was financed by Gov. DSP Alams with Dumbo as Deputy Governor. MEND and other creek militants didn’t kill Igbos, Yorubas or Abokis… they killed their kin! Therefore, it is folly to acquit Gen. Ihejirika without even investigating the charges made by a non-partisan Australian without a Naija voting card, no horse in the race. Finally, obviously, Prof. Sagay is no criminologist… he does not understand the inner-workings of the mind of a psychopath. Gen. Ihejirika is a murderous psycho… reminds me of Ike Nwachukwu of cursed Biafra war memories. Sagay doesn’t understand why sh*t hits ceiling, he’s just mouthing off for cheap propaganda. Dindinrin!

  • janjaweed3

    what about ihejiruka the butcher of baga bama and buni yadi?

  • Dankasa

    Don’t worry, they will all go to Hague including Dumbo himself, is just a mater of time!

    • redeem

      Its now clear that Ruben Abati is the brain behind most of the leaks from the presidency——————time for him to be fired—————————its really sickening to say the least————————to have him deny this event—what is the sense in this press release if i may ask—? What type of image maker is this man——————i dont understand——–it at all————————–is abati now telling Nigerians that it was right for elrufai to arrange with the publisher of thisday–to deceive Nigerians with this David thing—why is it that elrufai was the first to get hold of the interview—————–what type of security men and women do we have working with the presidency—–this is why I have often asked that dasuki be sacked———–for heavens sake——————was this pictures with sheriff a Photoshop———what is wrong with the president travelling with sheriff to Chad—————-why must it always take the media team working with the president weeks to answer simple questions——why must the opposition alway pressurre the presidency into submission–why—————-if this was a Photoshop they should tell the nation——-we have just had———————the governor of Ondo state——–Mimiko deny he ever planned to decamp to PDP——who was behind that publication also——————————where is the NUJ in all this rubbish———for heavens sake—————what a country—-

      • Wähala

        You want his job abi? Tief. Go and fire him nah!
        Gulp some Og. You need greedy shots before you get a heart attack… not that I care!
        Very soon Dumbo will be scared of even his own shadow, you never know who’s got the knife to stab him in the back, just like he stabbed others to get to where he is. Hahahaa chai… na laffu for kalabari.

  • redeem

    “I don’t think it is possible. So, there must be a mistake somewhere.
    “Unless I have very concrete, irrefutable proof, honestly I still believe that Ihejirika possibly had nothing to do with Boko Haram’s activities.”
    Permit me to add that, there is no where in the World where Terrorists freely mention their Sponsor’s name, so Whatever Steven Davis said makes no meaning.
    Even petty thieves and ‘Ransom Kidnappers’ cant reveal such sensitive information to anybody let alone a foreign Journalist or peacemaker. Whatever. An Asian friend told me that its only gullible that can believe Steven Davis tale

    • Wähala

      Biko tell Prof. Sagay…
      to believe it’s quite possible, a precedent exists with the Niger Delta militancy ati terrorism. Back then, late NSA Andrew Azazi, was once disgraced out of the Army for stealing armory, selling them to MEND kidnappers and terrorists… that racket was financed by Gov. DSP Alams with Dumbo as Deputy Governor. MEND and other creek militants didn’t kill Igbos, Yorubas or Abokis… they killed their kin! Therefore, it is folly to acquit Gen. Ihejirika without even investigating the charges made by a non-partisan Australian without a Naija voting card, no horse in the race. Finally, obviously, Prof. Sagay is no criminologist… he does not understand the inner-workings of the mind of a psychopath. Gen. Ihejirika is a murderous psycho… reminds me of Ike Nwachukwu of cursed Biafra war memories. Sagay doesn’t understand why sh*t hits ceiling, he’s just mouthing off for cheap propaganda. Dindinrin!

  • redeem

    “I can’t believe it and I still don’t believe it. There must be something wrong somewhere. Because it stands against all logic and commonsense.
    “Ihejirika is a Christian, he is an Igbo man. He is a beneficiary of Jonathan’s government in terms of appointment.
    “The Igbo Christians and their churches, especially the Catholic churches, were initially the first victims of Boko Haram at the beginning.

    “Even up till now, the Igbos still form the largest percentage of casualties, especially when you consider the bomb blasts at luxurious bus parks, most of them heading to the East.
    “So, I don’t see how a very high official of state, appointed by Jonathan’s government to protect the country against Boko Haram will now instigate Boko Haram against his country, against Christians, against his fellow Igbos and against his culture and everything he stands for.

    • Wähala

      Biko tell Prof. Sagay…
      to believe it’s quite possible, a precedent exists with the Niger Delta militancy ati terrorism. Back then, late NSA Andrew Azazi, was once disgraced out of the Army for stealing armory, selling them to MEND kidnappers and terrorists… that racket was financed by Gov. DSP Alams with Dumbo as Deputy Governor. MEND and other creek militants didn’t kill Igbos, Yorubas or Abokis… they killed their kin! Therefore, it is folly to acquit Gen. Ihejirika without even investigating the charges made by a non-partisan Australian without a Naija voting card, no horse in the race. Finally, obviously, Prof. Sagay is no criminologist… he does not understand the inner-workings of the mind of a psychopath. Gen. Ihejirika is a murderous psycho… reminds me of Ike Nwachukwu of cursed Biafra war memories. Sagay doesn’t understand why sh*t hits ceiling, he’s just mouthing off for cheap propaganda. Dindinrin!

    • Scalywag

      You need to be further educated. The ruling class does not belong to a tribe. They have interests which they protect such as feathering their nests with stolen funds, creating conditions that will maximise their loots, criminal and primitive acquisition of unearned wealth, conversion of the public treasury to their private property, deliberate impoverishment of the general populace, creation of division among ordinary citizens to disable them from recognising their common enemy and many such sundry tricks. In all these, tribe and religion don’t count. Now if a man is in a position to steal trillions of naira meant for purchase of for example weapons of war then he is likely to encourage the continued existence of the conditions that would lead to the need for the continous availabilty of such funds. In this his tribe or religion would not matter. People kill their children for money rituals so be wise please.

    • alexei

      My friend igbos in maiduguri are safer than their kanuri counterparts. If u need proof just go to any of the luxurious bus parks and u will be ashamed of ur statement abt igbos in north east! The initial casualties of igbos were just planned to incite violence and secondly, biz rivalry between them

  • redeem

    Its now clear that Ruben Abati is the brain behind most of the leaks from the presidency——————time for him to be fired—————————its really sickening to say the least————————to have him deny this event—what is the sense in this press release if i may ask—? What type of image maker is this man——————i dont understand——–it at all————————–is abati now telling Nigerians that it was right for elrufai to arrange with the publisher of thisday–to deceive Nigerians with this David thing—why is it that elrufai was the first to get hold of the interview—————–what type of security men and women do we have working with the presidency—–this is why I have often asked that dasuki be sacked———–for heavens sake——————was this pictures with sheriff a Photoshop———what is wrong with the president travelling with sheriff to Chad—————-why must it always take the media team working with the president weeks to answer simple questions——why must the opposition alway pressurre the presidency into submission–why—————-if this was a Photoshop they should tell the nation——-we have just had———————the governor of Ondo state——–Mimiko deny he ever planned to decamp to PDP——who was behind that publication also——————————where is the NUJ in all this rubbish———for heavens sake—————what a country—-

  • redeem

    PT should be extremely careful with the way they report events———————–this is no journalism at all————————-Its madness of the highest order———-another janjaweed journalism—-in d making————–it often takes one brief sentence from a media house to start a full scale war ———————-just one stroke of the pen and PT ati sharia reporters working for the janjaweeds in APC—–will not be able to quench the fire—————they knowingly ignited for tinubu—-ati APC——————–why not present the report concerning sheriff as he narrated it–why sex up the news item————————————–concerning the visit—must our lives be directed by APC at every turn of events in Nigeria–why must APC always be the one to raise false alarm instead of going to the field to sell their ideas————–if they have any————-i repeat the president has a very weak media team————-they would have sent these janjaweeds islamic party to the cleaners long b4 now——–its disgusting to say the least—dirty–it stinks-the way APC is going about the whole rubbish—they have no moral right to even talk about sheriff———-was sheriff not with APC just hours ————-ago————————–what did they do————who is fooling whoooooooooooooooooo———–ibegi

  • redeem

    Ex- Borno Governor, Senator Ali Modu Sheriff, has responded to the statement made by the All Progressives Congress, APC that he was travelled with the President to Chad as lies.

    In a statement made through his media aide, Mr Inuwa Bwala, Sheriff said; “It has become necessary to correct this misinformation, mischief and smear campaigns targeted at former Governor of Borno State, Senator Ali Modu Sheriff, where in the leadership of the All Progressives Congress, APC has been using to sway public attention.

    “The APC was reported misled Nigerians into believing that Senator Ali Modu Sheriff was on the official entourage of Mr President to Chad recently.

    Speaking further he said; “We wish to state that Contrary to reports in some sections of the media that Former Borno state Governor, Senator Ali Modu Sheriff was on the entourage of President Goodluck Jonathan during his recent visit to the Republic of Chad, the former Governor was in Chad before the visit and was amongst many other Nigerians who received Mr President at the airport in Ndjamena.

    “It is necessary to clarify that Ali Sheriff is more or less a resident of Ndjamena, as he has been in Chad pursuing his legitimate business since leaving office in 2011 and it was not out of place for him to receive his own President in Chad,” said Sheriff.————-what a shame on PT

    • Wähala

      Damage control by brain-damaged presidency ati collaborators = more kerosene for fire!
      Tell them to give up! Modu Sheriff cannot extricate himself from the Abati-twitted pictures gone viral…
      Abati lied that BH-kingpin, Modu Sheriff, was not at any meetings with Dumbo and the President of Chad…
      But a picture in this case truly speaks a billion words. No! it is no photo shop, there is audio version of their discussions before Dumbo makes further ahss of himself and his Boko Haram hugging PDP via “SAS Brigade of Psychopaths” led by Gen. Ihejirika, a perfect conduit. Well, I guess their Goodluck ran out of runway…
      Hahahaa chai… indeed!

  • Mosaku 147

    Abati might be right that SAS did not travel in the same aircraft as Jonathan,because SAS has been resident in Ndjamena in the last 3years. He flys from there to Nigeria every other day including when he visited maiduguri and when he had his media briefing in Abuja.
    redeem,true or false?

    • redeem

      thanks–all these facts were missing in the report by PT———–

    • Toke Franklin

      thanks for this facts

    • Stephanie

      Abati said SAS wasn’t in the meeting, but isn’t that SAS in the picture? LIARS!

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  • simon tor gideon

    As far as SAS remains a member of PDP and they want to use him to win Borno state in the forthcoming elections the man will be exonerated of any wrong doing by the panelists whether DSS which is now a dept in PDP secretariat or any govt agency as far as Boko haram is concerned.Watch out and see

    • usman ahmed

      How do they want to use him to win elections in Borno when the place is barely safe for habitation ? who would vote there ? Stop talking OP.

  • usman ahmed

    The Man is under Probe doesn’t mean he is guilty yet, When the probe comes out with a report, we can all be sure of any indictment but for know we all are ignorant as to his legal stance.

  • Jones

    The probe will continue till 2015 elections are over. If Dr Clueless wins, a committee will be set up to review the probe report and advise the Emperor who will now refer him to be pardoned. Case closed. Up Population of Dumb People.!!! PDP. The most corrupt political party on earth.

  • Newsday

    ‘WHERE I STAND’ – BY REUBEN ABATI

    “You may for political reasons say you are attacking the office of the president,
    but don’t insult President Jonathan. If you try to ridicule President Jonathan,
    i am not likely to be nice to you at all. If you throw a punch, i will connect you
    with an upper cut and maybe a kick to the groin.”

    ………..Reuben Abati
    October, 12, 2013
    [Punch Newspaper]

  • Guguru

    CBN is in the business of distorting the Nigerian economy. That is what they do well. CBN penalizes transformational ideas and rewards transactional ideas.

  • abodes_124

    At the moment there is no economic team, finance minister or even o known economic adviser. There is in effect no person or body at the moment to shoulder what you highlight as the ‘governments responsibility’. We are economically adrift and your voice and those of others off stage are warning of an impending ship wreck.
    It is D day in Greece today. I wonder when ours will be.

  • Mo Mody

    The CBN cannot solve Nigeria’s economic problems alone. Any day the government did not act on the economy brings Nigeria nearer to the brink.