Top on the list is the sect’s leader, Abubakar Shekau, according to investigations in Abuja by The Nation on Sunday.
Other names on the list were not revealed for security reasons but sources said the names were compiled based on ‘useful tips’ given by the spokesman of the group, Abu Qaqa, to interrogators.
His fellow top strategist of the group, Kabiru Sokoto, who was re-arrested by security operatives on Friday at Mutum Biu, Taraba State, is also now facing interrogation.
Kabiru is strongly believed to be the mastermind of the Christmas Day bombing of St. Theresa’s Catholic Church, Madalla, Niger State in which over 40 people died.
Sources confirmed last night that the security agencies are now on the trail of more co-ordinators of the sect, including their leader, Shekau.
It was gathered that most of the co-ordinators have gone underground or changed their locations following the arrest of Qaqa who is widely rated as a ‘vital strategist.’
A top source said: “We are definitely after more coordinators of the sect, including their spiritual leader, Imam Abubakar Shekau. We have launched a nationwide search for them.
“We have a list we are working on. We have been able to identify the key strategists of the sect. The arrest of Abu Qaqa by the State Security Service has brought a setback to Boko Haram and they are feeling the loss.
“With useful confessions by Abu Qaqa, the target of smashing the sect is realizable. Although most of the leaders or strategists have gone underground, it is apparent that security agencies are no longer giving them any breathing space.”
On the re-arrested Christmas Day bomb mastermind, Kabiru Sokoto, the source said: “We have started interrogating the suspect on his role within the sect; the alleged sponsors of Boko Haram; what he knows about the Christmas Day bombings; and how he escaped from the custody of the Police on January 15.
“Being a prime suspect, other security and intelligence agencies might collaborate with the SSS in probing him. The probe of his initial escape was also done by a panel raised from all security agencies and the military.
“The ongoing interrogation of the suspect is a round- the -clock exercise.”
The source added: “The suspect might appear before the Force Disciplinary Committee of the Police on how he escaped from a five-man police team in Abaji.”
Security has been tightened around the detained Police Commissioner Zakari Biu and other five suspects facing trial.
“There is a heavy security around Biu and other policemen on trial since we got the news of the re-arrest of Kabiru Sokoto which will enhance the work of the FDC. The panel has the opportunity to cross-check statements made by Biu and others from Kabiru Sokoto,” one source said.
“Ideally, Kabiru Sokoto ought to be handed over to the police again by the SSS but the multi-dimensional nature of the investigation into the Boko Haram menace might not allow that.
“There is no doubt Kabiru Sokoto will appear before the police panel.”
Shekau is yet to react to the re-arrest of Kabiru Sokoto from his hide-out.
Shekau had, in a January 12 message to President Goodluck Jonathan, said in part: “This is also my message to the President of Nigeria, who has come out to say negative things about us and also a lot of harm to us. God has given us victory and we have done what we want to do. This is almost 11 years. our members are being killed!
“Anything people want to say or do, we say enough is enough! We serve God and we do not harm anybody, but anybody that looks for our trouble, we will face such person or persons! We follow the tenets of the Quran and anybody that thinks he can fight God shouldn’t think his prayer or praying in the mosque can save him! Any muslim that cheats and hides under the cloak of religion, if we know such person, we wont hesitate to eliminate him.
“Yes, I am saying so because it doesn’t take five minutes to kill just as we’re being killed. We follow the teachings of the Quran. This is what God has told me to explain. Allhamdulillah!’’
It was also learnt that the President met with the Acting Inspector General of Police, Mr. Mohammed Abubakar and other security chiefs at the Presidential Villa on Friday after the re-arrest of Kabiru.
The meeting was to review the strategy on checking Boko Haram
A source said issues relating to the escape and re-arrest of the Sokoto were discussed with the President tasking the security agencies to get to the roots of the Boko Haram menace and track down the brains behind it.
The source said the Taraba State Commissioner of Police was summoned to the meeting to give an insight into how Sokoto was trailed to the state where he was arrested.
The President, it was learnt, stressed the need to explore all avenues, especially with the arrest of Sokoto, to unravel all the knotty details behind the deadly attacks of the sect.
“I can confirm to you that there was an emergency security convened by the President following the sensational arrest of Kabiru Sokoto. The IGP and some top security persons attended the meeting. The CP in Taraba was flown to Abuja to specifically brief the meeting and every effort is being made to get to the roots of the Boko Haram menace.
“The President was specific on what he wants done now that Sokoto is back in the net of the security agencies. He wants all information to be extracted including details on how members of the sect operate, their sponsors and otherwise”, the source said..