•Jalo: FG should arrest him
Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja
The embattled former National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Senator Ali Modu Sheriff, has offered himself to be investigated by the federal government for his alleged role in the criminal activities of the terrorist group, Boko Haram.
The Attorney General of Borno State, Kaka Shehu, had alleged that the state government has a dossier about Sheriff’s links with Boko Haram.
As the highest law officer in Borno State, his indictment of the former governor has attracted a lot of public attention, including Sheriff’s political opponents.
A former deputy spokesman of the PDP, Abdullahi Jalo, yesterday asked the federal government to immediately arrest Sheriff and try him for allegedly sponsoring Boko Haram.
Addressing a press conference in Abuja yesterday, the Special Assistant to Sheriff on Media, Inuwa Bwala, described the allegation against his boss as a mischief taken too far.
According to the media aide, Sheriff is urging President Muhammadu Buhari to order a full scale probe of all the alleged sponsors of Boko Haram, adding that he is ready to present himself for such investigation.
“And so from the position of the attorney general of Borno State on the sponsorship of Boko Haram, we challenge the federal government, to as a matter of urgency, investigate, no matter who is involved to expose those whose antecedents show they have links with Boko Haram,” he said.
Bwala who addressed the media shortly after Sheriff inaugurated a panel to organise the governorship primaries to produce his faction’s candidate for the Ondo State election, threatened to sue the Borno State government if it fails to tender of apology within one week. Among those who bought nomination form, from Sheriff and were being screened yesterday for the governorship ticket were: Jimoh Ibrahim, Prince Bamiduro Dada, Hon. Niran Sule, Hon. Sola Ebiseni and Mrs. Abeye Ademoye
While expressing Sheriff’s dismay, Bwala accused the state commissioner of attempting to destroy the image of the former governor who while in office, did everything within his powers to stop the terrorists.
“As you may have noticed, casting aspersions on the person of Sheriff by the Borno State officials is sad. And this is not the first time they will be making such allegation. This one coming from somebody who is supposed to know the law is going to be one allegation too many, because Sheriff has already initiated processes of slamming N10 billion suit against the Attorney General and Borno State government, unless he proves otherwise that what he said is backed with evidence, they will catch up with him,” he said.
“That is to say, the attorney general may have to face us in court to explain where he got the fact of his statement from. We are going to join the state government was the suit if they do not apologise within the next seven days.
“Instead of admitting their failures, which is obvious in the face of diversion of relief materials from IDPs in Borno, they decided to embark on this rascally, mischievous adventure and campaign of calumny against the person of Sheriff. We have waited for this opportunity, all those who made similar allegations have link with government.
“The attorney general is not a security expert and we have the best security men in the world, and they are in a good position to tell us whether someone is directly or indirectly linked to Boko Haram.
“By taking it upon himself to inform the world that this noble man is linked with Boko Haram, I think it is the greatest disservice to the fight against insecurity. I think they are trying to cover up their own culpability in the whole matter. The commissioner is trying to divert attention from the real culprit of Boko Haram
Meanwhile, the former PDP deputy spokesman of the state, has asked the federal government to act on the allegation made by the state Attorney General and arrest Senator Sheriff.
“Government of Borno State is talking, stakeholders in Borno State are talking. Buhari who is the president of this country, has said times without number that his administration is going to dig deep into the root of this insurgency, and that there will be no sacred cow,” he said.
Speaking with journalists in Abuja yesterday, Jalo said: “If the statement credited to Attorney General of Borno State, Shehu, is anything to go by, and if the EFCC, ICPC, APC and the Buhari-led administration are serious, they now have enough evidence, without wasting time, to quickly arrest Sheriff.
“I am from the North-east, as soon as you arrest Sheriff, Shekau will surrender, there is no doubt about it. The US Secretary of State, John Kerry, has said there is no need to use excessive force against Boko Haram but to dialogue with them.
“Last week, Aisha, Bolori and others, went to Defence Headquarters and got serious information from them that led to the killing of 300 Boko Haram members that were holding meeting in Batoli axes, which means that the government of Muhammadu Buhari is getting a upper hand in the fight against Boko Haram, meaning that information is coming out. But what is now left is for Buhari to show that it is a serious government is to quickly arrest Sheriff based on what the Attorney General of Borno State said. He made this statement at NBA meeting. So this statement is not defamatory, it is a statement of fact.”
He said the Attorney General is custodian of the law of Borno State, while the governor is the chief security officer, “they are from the same state with Sheriff, which means they have their own dossier. What is left is for Sheriff to go to court and argue that they cooked up the allegation against him, which is difficult.
Jalo alleged that the former Commissioner for Islamic and Culture Affairs in Borno State under Sheriff, was treasurer of Boko Haram.
He said the appointment was based on the alleged agreement he had with Mohammed Yusuf, founder of Boko Haram sect.
According to Jalo, there was an agreement that Sheriff would give them five commissionership slot and he reneged, and gave them only one commissioner.