- Â More sect members surrender in Yobe
Paul Obi in Abuja and Ibrahim Shuaibu in Kano
The Kano State Police Command in the wee hours of Sunday averted planned attacks by members of the Boko Haram terrorist group and arrested five suspects who the command later claimed died from the wounds they sustained during a gun duel with policemen.
The command said the five persons arrested were three males and two females.
The state Police Commissioner, Mr. Rabiu Yusuf, said the suspects met their waterloo at 02:00 am at their hideout in Gayawa village of Ungoggo Local Government Area where they were planning to attack various public places in the Kano metropolis.
Yusuf also revealed that three police officers sustained various degrees of injuries from some improvised explosive devices that went off during the shootout with the suspects.
The injured policemen are receiving treatment at a Kano hospital, he added.
Yusuf said one of the suspects who escaped with gunshot wounds during the operation was a dismissed Nigerian Air Force officer who is now at large.
The suspects were Abba Muhammad from Niger Republic (20), Usman A. Buhari (23) who hailed from Borno State, and Illiasu Abdullahi (46) of Gezawa Local Government Area of Kano State.
The two females were Aisha Yau (25) and Ladidi Yunusa (27) both of Kwana Hudu quarters in Nassarawa Local Government area of Kano State.
All five, he added, died from the injuries they sustained during the gun duel.
According to the police commissioner, â€œThe suspects were arrested following active intelligence information gathered by the Nigerian Police Force indicating that the remnants of the Boko Haram group who had escaped from Sambisa forest had started regrouping in some states in the north including Kano.
â€œIn order to ensure that they did not attack any location in any state, the Inspector General of Police, Mr. Ibrahim Idris, set up a joint Special Force Intelligence Unit under the supervision of the Kano command which launched a mission to trace Boko Haram members in various locations in Kano and its environs.
â€œThe special forces of the police have prevented several attempts to attack various places in Kano and its environs by this Boko Haram group.
â€œThe operation by the special forces yielded positive results this morning (Sunday) when the team intercepted the remnants of Boko Haram who were planning attacks on markets, places of worship and other public places.
â€œExhibits recovered from the terrorists included one AK47 rifle, three sets of air force uniforms, four air force caps, one set of military boots, four magazines, 47 rounds of ammunition, one hand spoke, vehicle keys, a laptop and iPad, and some operational black masks with pictures of the suspects in military uniforms.
â€œAll the suspects confessed to being active members of the Boko Haram group. They equally volunteered confessional statements on the planned attacks they were about to carry out in Kano and other North-eastern States.â€
In another incident, other suspected Boko Haram terrorists along with members of their families reportedly surrendered to troops of the 27 Task Force Brigade in Borno State on Saturday.
According to a statement by the Nigerian Army spokesman, Brig.-Gen. Sani Kukasheka Usman, the suspects were escaping from Boko Haram hideouts at Kafe, Njubulla and Buk villages in Damboa Local Government Area of Borno.
He said: â€œIn the early hours of Saturday July 22, three acclaimed suspected Boko Haram terrorists â€“ Usman Ali, aged 22, Ibrahim Matukur, aged 13, and Usman Hussaini, aged 25 â€“ willingly surrendered themselves to troops of 27 Task Force Brigade of Operation Lafiya Dole at Buni Yari, Gujba Local Government Area of Yobe State.
â€œOthers that surrendered are Ali Baba, 25 years, Modu Wakil, 15 years, Usman Mahamadu, 47 years, Goni Bukar, 50 years, Modu Konto, 20 years, and Isah Ali, 25 years old.
â€œDuring preliminary investigation, the surrendering Boko Haram terrorists revealed that they belong to the Mamman Nur faction of the Boko Haram terror group.
â€œThey said that they deliberately surrendered because they had realised the folly of their ways and no longer wished to continue with the criminal terror attacks and the insurgency.
â€œThey stated that they escaped from the terroristâ€™s hideout at Buk village in Damboa Local Government Area of Borno State, adding that there were many more Boko Haram fighters willing to surrender because of the untold hardship they suffer.
â€œThey pleaded for sympathy and forgiveness from members of the community, saying they were misguided and deceived all these years into believing they were fighting a just cause.
â€œThey pleaded with the military authorities to make concerted efforts to reach out to other terrorists in the forest since they were willing to surrender.â€
Gen. Usman added that troops of the same formation in conjunction with vigilantes at about 6.00 pm on Saturday also arrested a suspected Boko Haram terrorist at Bungai in Gujba Local Government Area of Yobe State.
â€œThe suspect, Madu Kwari, aged 25, was intercepted while fleeing the terroristâ€™s hideout. He escaped along with three others still at large.
â€œIn a related development, troops of 159 Battalion have also arrested one Hassan Yusuf, aged 43, a suspected logistics supplier to Boko Haram terrorists.
â€œThe suspect who hails from Dangana in Chad Republic, was intercepted while attempting to cross over to Chad with smuggled spare parts and other items across the border in a Toyota Hilux vehicle, with registration number AE-646-VBY (Benue). He is being interrogated,â€ he said.
Deputy Director, Public Relations of the Theatre Command in Borno, Col. Onyema Nwachukwu, also stated that about 43 Boko Haram insurgents who recently surrendered to Nigerian troops in the North-east were on Saturday air lifted to join other surrendered insurgents in Gombe State, where they are to immediately commence a de-radicalisation and rehabilitation programme under the auspices of Operation Safe Corridor.
The Commander of the operations in the region, Maj.-Gen. Ibrahim Attahiru, had recently promised that the insurgents would be given a new lease of life when they commence their journey back to civil society through the de-radicalisation and rehabilitation process.
He urged them to embrace and undertake the programme whole-heartedly to enable them benefit and positively reorient their views about life and the society in general.
Over 70 Boko Haram insurgents earlier this month surrendered to Nigerian troops in the North-east, taking advantage of the window of grace given by the federal government for insurgents who were willing to give up terrorism and turn a new leaf by surrendering to any military location closest to them.