This past weekend, six Boko Haram members were arrested in Lagos State by a civilian Joint Task Force.
It was alleged that the suspects’ identities matched those on the list of 100 most wanted terrorists released recently by the military. Five of the terrorists were identified as Ibrahim Ali, Abubakar Ahmed, Goigoi Kamsalem, Ibrahim Mohammed and Babagana Blam Ali.
The Head of the vigilante group, the Mai-Kanuribe of Lagos and the Seriki Hausawa of Ijora Kingdom, Alhaji Mustapha Mohammed said at a conference yesterday in Ijora that five of the suspects were picked up at different locations in Lagos on Friday.
Mr. Ibrahim and Mr. Babagana, who hail from Bama and Konduga local government areas respectively, were arrested at Isheri-Ojodu Berger. Mr. Kamsalem and Mr. Mohammed, both from Bana, and Mr. Ahmed of Baga council area were apprehended at a hideout in Victoria Island at their friend’s house.
They were found looking unkempt with signs of starvation. The sixth suspect, who goes by Adam, was arrested close to a church in Festac Town, where he was hiding in a 40-feet container inside the church.
According to the Guardian, speaking on Adam’s arrest, Mr. Mustapha stated, “Adam is one of the top most wanted Boko Haram members on the wanted list of the military. We got intelligence report that Adam was hiding inside an abandoned 40-feet container in church premises. It was the security man attached to the church that hid him inside the container.”
“When we arrived the church premises looking for him, the security man attached to the church was not around then. The container was locked from the outside with a padlock.
Further describing the arrest, he said, “The pastor of the church was embarrassed to see us, but by the time we explained our mission to him, he in company with others gave us the go ahead and by the time we broke open the padlock, Adam was hiding in the far corner of the container. As soon as the Pastor sighted the suspect, he started singing praises.”
Mr. Mustapha described the task force’s operations, he stated that his group had made several arrests that led to the Department of State Service (DSS), donating a patrol van to the group to enhance its operation. The group has “people back home” in Borno State who alert them when someone from their communities leaves Maiduguri.
“Once they arrive any community in Lagos, our members are always on ground to fish them out based on intelligence report and once they are arrested, we hand them over to security agencies for further investigation and prosecution,” he added.
Meanwhile in Borno State, at about 5:00PM on Friday, a fire exchange began between Boko Haram terrorists and Nigerian troops at the troops’ location at Rann, Kala Balge LGA of Borno State. The Nigerian troops were able to fight off the terrorists.
The Director of Army Public Relations (DAPR), Col. Sani Usman, disclosed that a total of 16 terrorists were killed and two were captured alive. He also stated that two soldiers were killed in action while three others sustained minor injuries.
The Boko Haram terrorists continue to kill and displace people in North Eastern Nigeria, rendering the region utterly unsafe. As Nigerian troops intensify their efforts against the insurgency, the recent arrests in Lagos point to the fact that the terrorists continue to expand their activities to other parts of Nigeria.