The Berende family of Magaji Are Compound, Ilorin, Kwara State, has described the alleged involvement of their son, Abdullahi Berende, in terrorism by the State Security Services as a false allegation.
The family urged the SSS to charge Abdullahi to court or release him. Abdullahi, a leader of Shi’a Islamic sect and two other terror suspects, Sulaiman Saka and Saheed Adewunmi, were paraded by the SSS penultimate Wednesday for allegedly working for Iranian terrorists planning to attack American and Israeli interests in Nigeria.
Deputy Director, Public Relations, SSS, Marilyn Ogar, also alleged that Abdullahi confessed to interrogators that he received $4,000 upon completion of his training in Iran; 3,500 Euro in April 2012 at a meeting in Dubai. Ogar further said that Abdullahi received $20,000, out of which he allegedly used $10,000 in relocating to Lagos from Ilorin, furnishing a house and renting a shop for his business.
But Abdullahi’s younger brother, Yakubu, and the head of the family, who is also the Chairman, Afonja Descendants Union, Ilorin, Alhaji Jimoh Amosa, said Abdullahi was not involved in any terror activity.
Speaking with journalists in Ilorin on Sunday, they challenged the SSS to make public a video where Abdullahi had confessed to his involvement in terrorism and also evidence that he received the foreign currencies.
Yakubu said the allegation that Abdullahi was involved in terrorism was “saddening and surprising” to the family members.
He said the suspect was a godly man who was highly respected in the area.
He added that Abdullahi went to Iran to acquire Islamic education and did not go for any terrorism training.
He said, “So for the SSS to accuse him of being a terrorist is something that is never part of him. The family is saying that if the confession is really true, why don’t they (SSS) show the video of the confession for the whole world to see rather than speaking for him?
“The allegation that he received thousands of dollars from Iran is far from the truth, because if he had that kind of money, every member of the family would have felt the money. When we got to his personal accounts in different banks we could only find N10,000. We can prove that: his ATM card is with us and his account number is with us. If anybody wants to verify that, we can go to his banks.”
Amosa claimed that Abdullahi was a devout muslim who taught Islamic knowledge to many of his followers.
The cleric said, “He has nothing about violence or terrorism in his blood. He is innocent of the allegation. He can never be a terrorist because of his grand knowledge of the Holy Quran. They should please release him.”