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DSS: FG Requested Mamu’s Arrest, Extradition
•Says he has critical questions to answer
•Identifies intelligence gathering as key to winning terror war
•Says new strategy by security agencies will end hostilities
Kingsley Nwezeh in Abuja and John Shiklam in Kaduna
The Department of State Services (DSS), yesterday, said the Nigerian government made the request that led to the arrest of media consultant to Kaduna-based Islamic cleric, Sheikh Ahmad Gumi, and negotiator for the release of the abducted Abuja-Kaduna train passengers, Tukur Mamu. DSS said Nigeria made the request through its military, law enforcement, and intelligence community.
Mamu was arrested in Cairo, Egypt, by Interpol and had since been in the custody of DSS, after he was extradited.
The agency said Mamu had answers to provide to some critical questions relating to ongoing security investigations.
Mamu’s arrest came as Director-General of DSS, Yusuf Bichi, said effective intelligence gathering and proactive operational strategy by the security agencies would bring an end to the country’s raging security challenges.
The DSS, in a statement by its spokesman, Dr. Peter Afunanya, said it had been inundated with enquires regarding Mamu, and it confirmed the development without much explanations.
The statement said, “This is to confirm that Manu, as a person of interest, was intercepted by Nigeria’s foreign partners at Cairo, Egypt, on September 6, 2022, while on his way to Saudi Arabia. He has since been returned to the country, today, (yesterday), September 7, 2022 and taken into the service’s custody.
“The act followed a request by Nigeria’s military, law enforcement and intelligence community to their foreign partners to bring back Mamu to the country to answer critical questions on ongoing investigations relating to some security matters in parts of the country. The public may wish to note that the law will appropriately take its course.”
Bichi, on his part, spoke at the closing ceremony of a two-day workshop held at the headquarters of the DSS in Abuja, themed, “Terrorism Financing Risk (TFR) for Anti-Money Laundering/Combating the Financing of Terrorism/Countering Proliferation Financing (AML/CFT/CPF).”
The event, hosted by DSS, was attended by representatives of the Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA), Nigeria Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU), Nigerian Correctional Service (NCoS), judges, and other security agencies.
Bichi affirmed that intelligence gathering and effective counterterrorism strategy were key to containing rampaging non-state actors in the country.
He said efforts by the security forces to tackle security challenges would be futile without intelligence, even as he called for synergy among the security agencies to defeat the country’s adversaries.
Bichi stated, “There is the need for synergy of security agencies in the fight against terrorism. Equally important is intelligence. Without intelligence, our efforts will be in vain.
“If you want success in counterterrorism, you have to have intelligence. You have to know yourself and know your enemy. If you don’t know yourself and your enemy, chances of success are 50-50.
“It’s only through intelligence that you will know the adversary’s associates and strategy and prosecute your cases effectively and plan how to fight terrorism.
“Next to intelligence is strategy. The terrorists are also intelligent people, so with strategy, you can win the war.”
He explained that with the current strategy adopted by the armed forces, the war against criminalities would be won.
“We have fought terrorism for over a decade but we are yet to see the end but with current efforts, we are about to bring it to an end,” he said.
Mamu was arrested by security operatives in Cairo on his way to Saudi Arabia for lesser hajj with his family members.
According to agency reports, he was detained at the Cairo International Airport for 24 hours before being repatriated back to Nigeria.
Mamu was said to have left Nigeria on Tuesday and after being investigated by the Egyptian security agencies, nothing incriminating was found in his possession.
Efforts to reach him by telephone failed, while WhatsApp messages sent to him did not deliver.
Mamu had negotiated the release of some victims of the abducted train passengers before he pulled out following alleged attempts to blackmail him.
Those released were said to have paid several millions of naira before the bandits freed them.
When contacted, Sheikh Gumi said somebody told him of the incident, but he did not have the details.