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19 Suspects Arrested Over Borno Killings in Nigeria

Published on Tuesday 1st February 2011

Nineteen suspects, who police said have direct connection with the killing of Alhaji Modu Fannami Gubio, the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) gubernatorial candidate in Borno State and six others, on Friday were yesterday arrested by the joint military/police task force and the State Security Service (SSS) in Maiduguri.

"We have strongly established that the suspects that are now in our custody are political thugs who have connection with some powerful politicians in the state," police commissioner Mohammed Jinjiri Abubakar told newsmen yesterday.

Those arrested according to the commissioner include Ibrahim Ali, Gambo Saadu, Mohammed Umar, Mohammed Abubakar, Saidu Ibrahim, Yahaya Audu, Ibrahim Moto, Musa Ibrahim, Rabiu Mohammed and Rabiu Yahaya. Others are Mohammed Audu, Adamu Mohammed, Hamisu Sule, Hudu Yau, Sanusi Kabiru, Hamisu Sani, Shaabiyu Sule, Hussaini Sani and Sani Ali.

Asked about the names of politicians responsible for the killings and the party they are representing, the police commissioner said disclosing names would tamper with the investigations by officers and men of the joint security forces.

"It will be wrong to tell you the names now, we will give you details at the appropriate time. All I can say is that we have made a significant progress in our findings," the commissioner added. He said the arrests were made in different locations in the state capital after the launch of a 24-hour "house to house" search in Shehuri, Abbaganaram, and many parts of the state capital. When contacted, officials of some political parties reacted to the development, calling on the police and relevant security outfits to release the full details of the perpetrators on time "so as to reduce suspicion and disharmony". The Borno State chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Alhaji Baba Basharu, in a telephone interview, condemned the Friday killings and several others before it. He said his party was not responsible for the act.

"In the first place, all our supporters are intact, nobody has been arrested. Again, the PDP does not have thugs. We only have supporters and admirers and we don't have the were- withal and even the intention of exhibiting criminal tendency," he said.

The chairman of the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) Comrade Zanna Shettima could not be reached but a stalwart of the party, who does not want to be named, commended the police for the arrest but urged them to parade the suspects and the party they belong. "Unless the security agents explain everything to the public, all of us would remain in fear of the unknown," he said.

State chairman of the ANPP, Mala Othman was among government officials receiving condolences and did not respond to telephone calls.

"The arrest is a breakthrough by the security agents, but, if they didn't tell us who and who are responsible, the tendency is that the case will die away naturally, which will be unfortunate," an official of the ANPP said. Gubio and Goni Modu Sheriff, a brother of Governor Ali Modu Sheriff and five others were killed at the residence of Gubio's father in Lawan Bukar ward of Maiduguri metropolis Friday.

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