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How Boko Haram leader was killed, Army chief tells court

ABUJA— Commander of a military task-force in Borno State, Colonel Benjamin Ahanotu, who arrested the former leader of the Boko Haram sect, Mohammed Yusuf, in 2009 and handed him over to the police, Monday, told a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja that he was murdered by the police.

Col. Ahanotu testified before the trial high court on a day a Deputy Superintendent of Police in Maiduguri, Aliyu Abdulazeez, alleged that the deceased Boko Haram leader and his followers, previously attacked police stations in the state with sophisticated weapons.

The two security officers appeared before Justice Donatus Okorowo, Monday, as witnesses of the Federal Government.

They testified against five police officers who are facing trial following their alleged complicity in the extra-judicial execution of the late Boko Haram leader and other members of the sect in Borno State.

Those on trial are CSP J. B Abang, ACP Akeera, CSP Mohammed Ahmadu and ACP Mada Buba and Sergeant Adamu Gado.

They are answering to a two-count criminal charge bordering on acts of terrorism and murder, an offence under section 315 of the Criminal Code.

It would be recalled that Yusuf, his father-in-law, Baa Fugu and an alleged financier of the group, Buji Foi, were on July 30, 2009, murdered in a police station in Maiduguri, shortly after they were captured alive and handed over to the police command by a team of military personnel who were drafted to the state to quell a crisis that bedevilled the town two years ago.

Though the police had, in a bid to exculpate themselves from blame, claimed that they died after an intense gun battle with officers, however, video clips that later emerged, showed they were executed  in cold blood.

At the resumed hearing of the case yesterday, the two witnesses told the court that the deceased Boko Haram members died in police custody.

Ahanotu, who identified himself as the commander of the task force that arrested Yusuf from his hide-out, said he was handed to the police alive, adding that the original copy of the handover note was with the police authorities in Maiduguri.

He said after Yusuf was arrested by his men following an intelligence report that he was hiding in a cave, he was taken to the Brigade Headquarters where he was grilled and subsequently moved to the state police headquarters where he was handed over to the police for prosecution.

Ahanotu tendered a copy of the said handover note and it was marked as an exhibit and admitted by the trial court.

The Army officer further told the court that he had before the incident of 30 July met Yusuf when the Borno State Government forwarded to his team, a letter from the Presidency which he said had directed him to interview and if possible, persuade Yusuf to prevail on his followers to embrace peace in Maiduguri.

The commander told the trial court that he complied with that instruction to the latter, stressing that further investigations by his team revealed the Yusuf indeed took five days and spoke to his followers in the state capital.

The second witness,  DSP Abdulazeez,  in his examination in chief, told the court that the Boko Haram  members were armed with sophisticated weapons including machine guns, assaulted rifles, bow and arrow and had over powered the police before the military were invited in to restore peace in the state.

He told the court yesterday that he saw dead bodies of police men at the gate of the Mobile police office and a dead body lying in the premises and did not know who it was.

While under cross examination by the defence counsel, Mr Edwin Amegedu, the witness said he did not see any of the five accused persons shooting Mohammed Yusuf.

Meantime, the judge yesterday adjourned further hearing on the issue till December 7 and 8.

The 2 count charges against them read: “That you, ACP J.B. Abang, ACP Akeera, CSP Mohammed Ahmadu, ACP Mada Buba, Sgt Adamu Gado, PC Anthony Samuel and PC Linus Luka, all of the police command, Maiduguri, on or about the 30th day of July, 2009, at Maiduguri within the jurisdiction of the Federal High Court, unlawfully killed one Mallam Mohammed Yusuf and his followers, which act is an offence under Section 315 of the Criminal Code and you thereby committed a terrorist act contrary to and punishable under Section 15 (1) (2) of the EFCC Act, 2004.

“That you, ACP J.B. Abang, ACP Akeera, CSP Mohammed Ahmadu, ACP Mada Buba, Sgt Adamu Gado, PC Anthony Samuel and PC Linus Luka, all of the police command Maiduguri on or about the 30th day of July, 2009, at Maiduguri, conspired with one another to commit an offence to wit; a terrorist act and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 516 of the Criminal Code and punishable under Section 15 (1) (2) of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission Act, 2004.”


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Posted by on Oct 24 2011. Filed under Armed Forces, Boko Haram, Latest Politics. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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