Police in Nigeria’s Kano state said Monday that militants from Boko Haram were behind last month’s attack on the Emir Alhaji Ado Bayero, adding that seven people had been arrested over the incident.
Eight others are wanted in connection with the January 19 attack by a suicide bomber and several gun-wielding accomplices who targeted the convoy of the Emir, killing five but only injuring the emir.
The Islamists have repeatedly targeted traditional Islamic leaders, whom they accuse of betraying the faith by cooperating with the country’s secular government.
Kano’s Police Commissioner Ibrahim Idris told reporters that one of the suspects, 35-year-old Adamu Sani, was arrested shortly after the attack and had confessed to being a member of Boko Haram.
“He voluntarily confessed to (having) participated in the attack on the Emir’s convoy and so many other coordinated attacks in the state,” Idris said, reading from a statement.
“In one of the confessions… he stated that he was recruited into the terror group,” the police chief added, later specifying that the group referred to was Boko Haram.
Boko Haram has said it is fighting to create an Islamic state in mostly Muslim northern Nigeria. The southern half of the country is mostly Christian.
According to Idris, Sani confessed to attending a mosque in Kano, northern Nigeria, where the imam regularly advocates violence.
Sani’s statements had led police to detain six more suspects and issue arrest warrants for eight others, he added.
“Their profiles have been forwarded to Interpol” should they try to leave Nigeria, Idris added.
The attack on the emir’s convoy, which killed his driver, two aides and two others, came on the eve of the first anniversary of the deadliest attack ever by Boko Haram, also in Kano, in which at least 185 people were killed.
Violence linked to Boko Haram’s insurgency has left some 3,000 people dead since 2009, including people killed during operations by security forces.