Boko Haram: Police seek public help to nail senators

Police IG Mohammed Abubakar Senators Ahmad Khalif Zannah and Ali Ndume are under security watch for their alleged link with Boko Haram, Inspector General of Police Mohammed Abubakar said yesterday.

Abubakar urged members of the public to give information that could help in the investigation of the senators.

“The senators are still under security watch and we need evidence before we can make progress. So, we are calling on people who have evidence on these senators to come forward. Our investigators need evidence to enable them prosecute the suspects.”

Zannah represents Borno Central. Ndume represents Borno South in the Senate. The Boko Haram sect is widely believed to have sprouted from Borno State, which has lost huge human and material resources to incessant bombings by the insurgent group, which campaigns against western education.

Abubakar, who spoke at the Force Headquarters, Abuja added that investigation into the bribe-for-fuel subsidy clearance involving House of Representatives member Farouk Lawan, was still on.

Lawan was alleged to have compromised his integrity while he presided over the ad hoc committee of the House that investigated payment of fuel subsidy to some real and imaginary importers.

Opening a two-day seminar for state and zonal heads of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID), Abubakar emphasised regular training and capacity building for police investigators.

Disturbed by unresolved murders, rape and kidnapping, the police chief urged heads of the various CIDs to be alive to their responsibilities.

But he cautioned the officers to respect the fundamental human rights of the citizenry while carrying out investigations.

According to him, torture must not be one of the tools of investigation. Besides, those being investigated for bailable offences must be given bail without delay.

“We need to partner the Nigerian people for a 21st century policing whereby things are done professionally, in accordance with the rule of law and respect for the dignity of the human person,” Abubakar said.

Zanna has filed a N5billion suit against the Minister of Defence and three others for alleged libel and mental trauma when the Joint Task Force (JTF) claimed that a suspected Boko Haram Commander, Shuaibu Mohammed Bama, was arrested at his residence in Maiduguri.

Other defendants are the Chief of Defence Staff, the Attorney-General of the Federation, and the spokesman for the JTF, Lt.-Col. Sagir Musa.

Zanna, who is still being investigated by the State Security Service (SSS), deposed to a 19-point affidavit in support of the action in which he insisted that Bama was not arrested in his house.

In the writ of summons filed by his counsel, Mr. Gbenga Olagundoye, the senator is “claiming N5billion jointly and severally against the defendants (including aggravated damages) for libel”.

The senator said that the words “ published concerning me, meant and were understood to mean that:

“I harbored a wanted Boko Haram terror Suspect in my house and therefore I am a supporter of the terrorists group Boko Haram

“That the clear innuendo in the words complained of, bore and were understood to bear the meaning which I have just stated by the facts that pleading in the foregoing paragraph by way of innuendo with the following particulars:

“That Boko Haram is a notorious terrorist group operating in Nigeria and who had been held responsible by the public for a series of terrorist activities, bombings and killings both of civilians as well as military, police and other Para-military personnel.

“That it is generally believed by members of the public that the Boko Haram secretly receives materials aid and other support from some members of the society.

“That the publication complained of falsely portrayed me as one of he persons who aid and support the Boko Haram in their terrorist activities.

“That as a person who has always publicly condemned the destructive activities of the Boko Haram, I am a hypocrite

“That the publication complained of was calculated to disparage me and to lower my estimation in the eyes of the general public and in fact, my reputation has been seriously damaged by the words complained of.”

Zanna said the JTF declaration has caused him considerable distress and urged the court to grant him the damages he sought.

The Nation

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