Security agencies have moved a suspected Boko Haram leader, Babuji Ya’ari, who was alleged to be one of the masterminds of the kidnap of female pupils from Government Secondary School, Chibok, Borno State on April 14, 2014, to Abuja
Investigations by our correspondents on Wednesday showed that the Boko Haram leader was moved to Abuja early this week from his Maiduguri base, where he was arrested.
A top security source, who disclosed this to one of our correspondents, said that Ya’ari was being interrogated in connection with the abduction of the Chibok girls.
He said that security agencies were trying to get from him, information that could assist in the release of the girls, who had been in Boko Haram custody for more than 70 days.
The source stated, “I can tell you that the suspect has been moved to Abuja. He was brought to Abuja early this week. He is being interrogated in connection with the abduction of the girls.
“What is important to the Federal Government now is how to secure the release of the girls. He has made useful information that will assist security agencies.”
According to the source, the General Officer Commanding 7th Division, Nigerian Army, Brig. Gen. M.Y. Ibrahim, was also at the Defence Headquarters for a strategic security meeting, which might not be unconnected with the arrest of Ya’ari and the ongoing investigation into the abduction of the Chibok girls.
The suspect, who was said to be a businessman, was reported to be under intense interrogation, and he is expected to provide vital information on how the abduction was carried out, and give a clue on the location of the girls in Sambisa Forest and other hideouts where the girls were being kept.
The Director of Defence Information, Maj. Gen. Chris Olukolade, could not be reached for comments last night as he did not respond to calls to his phone. Also a text message sent to him on the transfer of the terror kingpin did not elicit a response.
But Olukolade had in a statement on Monday identified Ya’ari, as a leader of a youth vigilance group, popularly known as the Civilian JTF.
He had said that Ya’ari used his membership of the Civilian JTF to gather information to aid the activities of the insurgents.
Olukolade said Ya’ari also spearheaded the murder of the Emir of Gwoza, Idrissa Timta, who was killed by insurgents at Tesan Alade, along the Biu-Garkida Road on May 30, 2014.
He said that the arrested Boko Haram spy chief was responsible for the coordination of several devastating attacks on military formations and the detonation of several bombs in Maiduguri since 2011.
The statement partly read, “A terrorists’ intelligence cell headed by a businessman who participated actively in the abduction of schoolgirls in Chibok has been busted by troops.
“The man, Babuji Ya’ari, who is also a member of the Youth Vigilante Group, popularly known as Civilian JTF, which he uses as cover while remaining an active terrorist, also spearheaded the murder of the Emir of Gwoza.
“His main role in the group is to spy and gather information for the terrorist group.
“Babuji has been coordinating several deadly attacks in Maiduguri since 2011, including the daring attacks on Customs and military locations as well as the planting of IEDs in several locations in the town.”
Olukolade said that the businessman gave the information that led to the arrest of some female members of the cell, including one Hafsat Bako, who was said to have escaped to Gombe State to avoid being arrested but was tracked down by security agents.