Australian Davis’ Allegations: SSS to quiz Sheriff, absolves Ihejirika as Boko Haram sponsor

Ali Modu Sheriff

The State Security Service, SSS, has said it has invited a former governor of Borno State, Ali Modu Sheriff for questioning over his alleged sponsorship of the Boko Haram insurgents.

It however absolved a former Chief of Army Staff, Azubuike Ihejirika, over the same allegation.

The spokesperson of the service, Marilyn Ogar, disclosed this at a press conference Friday in Abuja during which some suspects of the Nyanya bombing were paraded.

An Australian, Stephen Davies, who was contracted by the Federal Government to negotiate the freedom of the abducted Chibok girls had alleged that both Messrs. Sheriff and Ihejirika were major sponsors of the sect.

They however denied the allegation.

On Wednesday at a press conference in Abuja, Mr. Sheriff, a former senator, described the allegation as “callous and unwarranted, and that those linking him with the sect were either ignorant or completely out for mischief.

He also threatened to sue Mr. Davies.

Ms. Ogar, a Deputy Director however said the former governor had been summoned for interrogation though he had earlier been quizzed twice.

“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,” Ms. Ogar said.

On Mr. Ihejirika, she said it would be “uncharitable for Nigerians to reward someone who laid down his life, to associate him with the sponsorship of the sect.”

“I would want to say here that it is absolutely uncharitable for us as Nigerians to reward somebody who laid down his life in pursuing this same people (Boko Haram) for us to accept that he can in any way be associated, be seen as sponsoring the same sect,” Ms Ogar said.

She added: “He together with this service, the military together with this service succeeded in bringing their activities in Kano, Okene and other parts of Nigeria to a halt and pushing them to Sambisa forest. Its the same man we want, because he is no longer in office, to say he is the one sponsoring the sect. I think its being wicked. That shouldn’t be the way we reward people who lay down their lives to provide a secure environment for us.”

Ms. Ogar described Mr. Davies as “a self-styled and self-appointed negotiator.”

During the briefing, the SSS spokesperson paraded the alleged mastermind of the Nyanya, Abuja bomb blast. Those paraded are Sadiq Ogwuche, Ahmed Abubakar, Muhammad Ishaq, Yau Saidu, Anas Isah and Adamu Yusuf.

She denied Mr. Davies’ claims that the CBN official, who coordinated the funding of Boko Haram, was an uncle to three of those arrested in connection with the Nyanya incident.

According to her, none of the six suspects in the agency’s custody had any blood link with one another.

She stated, “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 said the clarification was being made to correct the wrong impression being created in the media.

In a chat with journalists, Mr. Ogwuche, who was repatriated to Nigeria from Sudan, said he was not a member of Boko Haram.

He said he was in Sudan at time the incident occurred.

He however admitted giving the widows of some Boko Haram members N30, 000 through one Tsiga, who has since been declared wanted for allegedly participating in the Nyanya bomb blast.

Mr. Ogwuche said he left the army to enable him pursue a course in Arabic in Sudan. He however confessed that he received lectures and trained with a jihadist group in the United Kingdom when the incident occurred before returning to Nigeria.

“I am not a member of Boko Haram and I don’t know anything about the Nyanya blast. I deny it because I was studying in Sudan when the incident happened,” he said.

However, Mr. Saidu said Mr. Ogwuche regularly visited to Tsiga “clinic” where the plot to carry out the bombing was hatched.

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