Doubts on whether the 486 arrested suspects in Abia state were either innocent Nigerians or members of the Boko Haram terrorist group have been put to rest as the Nigerian Defence Headquarters has disclosed that one of the most wanted terror kingpins of the Boko Haram sect was among them.
The deadly Boko Haram leader who has been on the wanted list of the Nigerian security agencies was spotted among the 486 arrested suspects while being screened to ascertain their true identity.
The Defence Headquarters in a statement issued on Monday, June 17, 2014 and signed by the Director of Defence Information, Major-General Chris Olukolade said: “A terror kingpin on the list of wanted terrorists of security forces in Nigeria has been detected in the ongoing screening of the 486 suspects nabbed while travelling in over 33 Hiace Hummer buses at night along Enugu-Port Harcourt Expressway last Sunday.
“So far, other security agencies, including the para-military, have joined the screening exercise to ascertain the status of the remaining suspects. Those identified as possible security risk or illegal immigrants are expected to be identified for further action.”
Meanwhile, “the identified terror kingpin who has been involved in series of unprovoked attacks on innocent Nigerians has been taken into custody while security screening of the other suspects continue”, a security detail had informed Blank NEWS Online.
The 486 arrested suspects who were reportedly heading to Port Harcourt said in a convoy of 33 Hummer buses before they were intercepted by the soldiers had claimed that they were in search of work in the oil rich Niger Delta region.
Recall that Blank NEWS Online had reported that 486 suspected insurgents were arrested last Sunday by soldiers from the Asa Military Base, 14 Brigade, Ohafia Barracks, Abia State, on the Enugu-Port Harcourt Expressway.
Last Note: It could also be recalled that leader of the Islamist terrorist group Boko Haram, Abubakar Shekau, had threatened attacks in Nigeria’s oil-rich Niger Delta region in two of his released videos in February and May this year.
“You will in coming days see your refinery bombed. Niger Delta, you are in trouble,” Shekau, speaking in Hausa, had warned in the 28-minute video obtained by AFP.
“And you the infidels of Rivers state, Niger (Delta), the town of Jonathan.
“We are going to the refineries. We are going to the unbelievers. We won’t go to your (Jonathan’s) state; we will go to where there are refineries.”
Nigeria, Africa’s largest oil producer, derives more than 90 percent of its foreign exchange earnings from oil which is being explored from the Niger Delta region.