Three influential men, suspected to have links with the extremist Boko Haram sect, are being investigated, the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar, said on Wednesday in Abuja.
The men include former governor of Borno State, Ali Sheriff of Borno, and two serving senators, Ahmed Zanna, and Ali Ndume.
Mr. Abubakar disclosed this while fielding questions from reporters shortly after declaring open a conference of departmental police heads – zonal and state Criminal Investigative Departments, CIDs.
He pleaded with the public to cooperate with the police, saying they should not hesitate to come forward with information that could help the police to prosecute the three men.
“We cannot take anybody to court without ample evidence” he said. “Investigators need evidence to pursue their cases. So we need assistance. This is one of the many reasons for this conference today.”
The Peoples Democratic Party Senator, Mohammed Ali Ndume (Borno South,) agreed to knowing the spokesperson of the dreaded Boko Haram sect terrorizing Northern Nigeria from a base in his state in November last year. He however denied any link with the sect.
Mr Ndume was arrested following statements made by a Boko Haram spokesperson, Ali Sanda Umar Konduga, aka, “Usman Al-Zawahiri” to the State Security Service.
Mr. Konduga alleged the lawmaker, who is still standing trial, was a supporter of the group.
On Thursday, October 18, 2012, the Joint Task Force (JTF) in Borno State announced it raided the Maiduguri residence of a ‘serving Senator’ and arrested one Shuaibu Bama, an alleged top member of the Boko Haram sect who it had declared wanted.
The following day, Mr. Zanna addressed journalists in Abuja admitting Mr Bama was his nephew, but that he was not arrested in his house. He also denied any link with the sect.
The senator alleged that Mr. Bama was arrested at the residence of “an ex-governor” along Rabi Road, GRA, Maiduguri, alluding to Ali Modu Sheriff.
Mr. Zanna alleged that former governor Ali Modu Sheriff was instrumental to the emergence of the sect.
But the former governor denied the allegation, saying the sect began operations long before he became governor.