Ahmed Salkida, the journalist who was declared wanted along with two others – Ahmed Bolori and Aisha Wakil – by the Nigerian Army over Boko Haram’s latest video, was yesterday arrested by the security operatives.
Salkida, who arrived the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja aboard Emirates flight EK 785, was said to have been arrested from the door of the aircraft.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) gathered that following a conversation between him and a passenger on-board the flight, Salkida had said he knew he would be arrested because he had been declared wanted by the Department State Services (DSS)
“I recognised the journalist from photos posted on the Internet and engaged him in conversation throughout the seven-hour flight,” said the passenger who sat next to him during the journey.
She said Salkida told her that he was expected to be arrested upon arrival because he was traveling with an Emergency Travel Certificate (ETC) and that the State Security Service (SSS) was aware of his coming. He expressed fear that he would not be given a fair trial and accused the government of pronouncing him guilty without trial.
He also said he didn’t know the whereabouts of the missing Chibok girls as claimed by the Nigerian army.
However, he admitted to receiving two video clips from Boko Haram before they were released to the public.
He said Boko Haram had confidence in his objectivity as an investigative journalist, having previously interviewed Mohammed Yusuf, the founding leader of Boko Haram.
Recall that barely a day after being declared wanted by the federal government for alleged association with Boko Haram terrorists, Salkida, had said he should be commended for making sacrifice to free the Chibok girls rather than being labelled an accomplice.
Salkida has been living in the Middle East since the outbreak of the Boko Haram crisis and is believed to have close on Monday said he had commenced preparations to return to country to honour the invitation.
According to a statement declaring them wanted, the Acting Director Army Public Relations, Col. Sani Usman, had said the wanted persons had information on the conditions and the exact location of those girls.
“Therefore, the Nigerian Army hereby declares the two gentlemen and the lady wanted for interrogation.
“We are relying on the relevant laws of the land, and in particular the Terrorism Prevention Act 2011 (as amended) where Nigerians could be punished for failure to disclose information about terrorists or terrorists” activities.
“This becomes necessary as a result of their link with the last two videos released by Boko Haram terrorists and other findings of our preliminary investigations.
“There is no doubt that these individuals have links with Boko Haram terrorists and have contacts with them.
“They must therefore come forward and tell us where the group is keeping the Chibok girls and other abducted persons to enable us rescue them,” Usman said.
He called on all Nigerians and other peace-loving people to give useful information on the whereabouts of the suspects. “We are also liaising with other security agencies for their arrest if they fail to turn up,” he said.