Thursday, December 8, 2011

How Boko Haram leader Yusuf was arrested, by Army chief

Mohammed Yusuf Mohammed Yusuf
The Commander of the task force that arrested the late Boko Haram leader, Mohammed Yusuf, on July 30, 2009, Col. Benjamin Ahanotu, has relived the incident.
Col. Ahanotu said his men waded in “when the police could not curtail the crisis”.
He spoke under cross-examination before Justice Donatus Okorowo of an Abuja Federal High Court in the case against five police officers standing trial for allegedly murdering Yusuf.
The police officers and men on trial include: Assistant Commissioners of Police (ACP) J.B. Abang, Y. Akeera and Mada Buba.
The others are Chief Superintendent of Police (CSP) Mohammed Ahmadu and Sgt. Adamu Gado.
They are facing a two-count charge of conspiracy to commit an offence, to wit, a terrorist act, contrary to Sections 315 and 516 of the Criminal Code and punishable under Section 15 (1) (2) of the EFCC Act, 2004.
Responding to questions from Kanis Nkpe, counsel to the first to fourth accused, Col. Ahanotu said “Mohammed Yusuf was arrested during an operation.” he said there was “no stiff resistance” from the late Boko Haram leader.
He told the court that military uniforms, AK47 rifles and anti-tank weapons were retrieved from the group in the raid.
The witness said  before his mysterious death in the police custody, Yusuf had been arrested and released three times by the police.
He said he was aware that the Boko Haram group claimed responsibility for the attacks on the Police Headquarters, the United Nation (UN) House in Abuja, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) office in Suleja, Niger State, and other government establishments.
Col. Ahanotu said the sect has refused to stop carrying out its attacks after the death of Yusuf.
“After handing over Yusuf, I didn’t follow the police to their station”, he added.
The witness on October 24 testified that Yusuf was handed over to the Police alive by the Nigerian Army.
Col. Ahanotu said the original copy of the handover note was with the police authority in Maiduguri. According to him, Yusuf was arrested by his men following an intelligence report that he was hiding in an enclave. He was arrested as his men fled in disarray from the enclave.
The Commander also tendered a photocopy of the handover note and it was marked as an exhibit and admitted by the court.
The trial continues today.