The Nigerian Police Force, yesterday, told the Abuja Division of the Federal High Court that the apprehended kingpin of the Boko Haram Sect, Kabiru Umar, a.k.a Kabiru Sokoto, had volunteered names of the sect members that bombed St. Theresa’s Catholic Church at Madalla, Niger State, in 2011.
The attack had resulted in the death of 44 persons and wounded 75 others while Christmas day church service was in progress.
However, a lead Police investigator who gave his name as “Mr. ABC”, in his testimony before the court yesterday, stressed that Sokoto, who is facing a 2-count terrorism charge, confessed that though he got prior information that the attack would take place, he was not part of the terror squad that eventually struck the church. Neverthless, the witness declined to mention the names of the said culprits in the open court.
Meantime, trial Justice Ademola Adeniyi, yesterday, admitted into evidence, a 3-paged statement where the accused person revealed the modus-operandi of the Boko Haram sect and their major source of funding.
According to the masked witness who told the court that he personally took the statement of the accused person shortly after he was caught at the Borno State Government Lodge in Abuja on January 14, 2012, “Sokoto confessed that the sect believes that it is lawful to rob Christians and disposess them of their belongings.”
The witness stressed that the accused person, who he said in the hierarchy of the sect, was the “Governor of Sokoto State”, made his confession in front of a former Commissioner of Police for the FCT, Mr Zakari Biu, who was dismissed from the police for allegedly assisting the accused to escape from custody.
Sokoto had on January 16, 2012, vanished from Police custody on a day a team of investigators went to search his residence at Abaji, a suburb in Abuja, but subsequently re-arrested on February 10 by underground operatives of the State Security Service at Taraba State.
His mysterious escape also culminated in the sacking of the erstwhile Inspector General of Police, Mr. Hafiz Ringim.
The witness further told the court that after some members of the sect loyal to Kabiru Sokoto attacked and killed three policemen in Kano, “We were able to arrest some of them including one M. Aliyu, the owner of the house they camped in and recovered eight AK-47 Riffles and IEDs.
“Subsequently, we got information that some of the sect members that attacked us had escaped to Sokoto State in three Golf cars, immediately, we left Kano for Sokoto on December 19, 2012. On getting there, we identified the house they hid in at Mambilla Housing estate in Sokoto State. The team went in and attempted to arrest the occupants of that house, a move that resulted in a one-hour gun battle that led to death of one of their members.
“We caught the owner of the house and his wife and in the course of interrogation, the suspect said he was planted in the house alongside seven others by Kabiru who he said gave them one AK-47, one Police Riffle and 2000 rounds of live ammunition which they use for terrorist activities.
He told the court that though the accused person was inducted into the Boko Haram movement by one Hameal Abdulrazak, he was latter relocated to Mutum-Biu in Taraba State but ran away from there during the 2009 crisis in Maiduguri that led to the death of the sect leader, Mohammed Yusuf.
“He told us that because Police was looking for them, he left Mutum-Biu and relocated to Abaji.”
Meantime, a previous witness identified as “Mr XYZ” had on Thursday, told the court how the accused person disclosed that the sect receives sponsorship from another terrorist organization, Muslim-Yama, based in Algeria.
He further revealed that it was in the process of sharing funds sent by their foreign counterparts that the sect became factionalized.
“He told us that there is a group in Algeria, Muslim-yama, which he said meant ‘the group from the sunset’, that sends money to them and also told us how they spend the money. I am not sure of the exact amount he said they collected as at the time he was caught, but he told us how the money is making the Boko Haram sect to split into two because of the way it was shared,” he stated.