...Investigations on Boko Haram in Lagos Ongoing, Says Army

26 Mar 2013

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Army Headquarters

•Police transfer 100 foreign suspects to NIS

Chiemelie Ezeobi
Following last week's raid on the building housing the suspected Boko Haram members at the Ijora-Badia area of Lagos by operatives of the State Security Service (SSS) and Operation Mesa (OP Mesa), the Nigerian Army Monday said investigations were ongoing.

This is just as the security agencies, including the police and the Lagos State Government, Monday transferred about 100 foreign suspects in their custody to the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS), Lagos for prosecution and possible deportation.

Speaking to THISDAY on the phone, the spokesperson, 81 Division of the Nigerian Army, Colonel Kingsley Umoh, said investigations were ongoing to round up the remaining suspects who are currently on the run.

Although he could not confirm the supposed terrorist cell in Lagos, Umoh said the security agencies involved were on top of the situation, adding that the suspects would have succeeded but for timely intervention and the raid last week.

While stating that the army would address journalists soon to give the full picture of the situation, he reiterated the fact that the raid was a joint operation carried out by the security agencies.

He said: "The raid was a joint operation and our part was to help raid the suspects' hideouts. In fact, our job description was physical and not investigative."

The 100 suspected Boko Haram members included some of those arrested over the weekend in a raid by the state Police Command at the Ijora area of the state.

The operation by the police came on the heels of the raid carried out by OP Mesa and the SSS, which jointly stormed their hideout in Ijora-Badia and arrested 14 suspected Boko Haram members, including the kingpin and armourer. During the raid, a large cache of bombs and remote controls were recovered.

THISDAY gathered that the raids were not unconnected with recent intelligence reports that the dreaded sect might have finally succeeded in infiltrating Lagos and other South-western states.

The suspects, who were transferred to the NIS yesterday were mostly from neighbouring countries like Mali, Niger and Chad and were conveyed in a Black Maria truck to the immigration headquarters in Lagos.

The NIS Spokesperson, Lagos Command, Mr. Muyiwa Odunubi, however said the suspects were about 93, adding that they would be paraded today at the command. He said their prosecution or deportation would follow.
Meanwhile, the monarch of Ijora, Oba Fatai Ojora, during a visit by Arewa leaders to his palace yesterday said efforts to demolish the hideout were in top gear.

While condemning the planned act by the suspects, Ojora warned members of the deadly Islamic sect to stay away from Ijora and other parts of Lagos or be ready for the grave consequences that would follow.

He said: "Our community escaped the incident by sheer providence. The incident was bad but God saved Nigeria. It was prayers that saved us from such calamity."

In response, the Seriki Hausa and the Chairman of Arewa Council of Chiefs in Lagos State, Alhaji Sanni Kabir, described the incident as unfortunate, adding that the Hausa community would remain vigilant.
He said: "Hausa leaders in the state had an emergency meeting and dissociated themselves from the dastardly act, pledging to render assistance wherever necessary.

"However, the federal and state governments need to intensify efforts in the provision of security for Nigerians. I also urge Hausa leaders to report any strange activity or face to the monarch, who in turn would notify the security agencies.”

Also, the state Police Public Relations Officer, Ngozi Braide, a Deputy Superintendent of Police, said the police have fully taken over the suspect's hideout until it is finally demolished by the state government.

Tags: Boko Haram, Featured, News, Nigeria, NIS, SSS

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