by Stanley Azuakola
On Friday, the State Security Service (SSS) arrested a Boko Haram member, Hassan Pagi Bukar. Bukar was apprehended at the residence of a former member of the House of Representatives, Hon. Tijani Umara Kumalia in Gwarinpa District of Abuja.
The frequency with which suspected Boko Haram members have been linked with some legislators from the North seems to support the point of view that the notorious sect has become largely political or politicians use the name of the sect to do their dirty jobs.
A former minority leader of the senate, Ali Ndume, is currently facing charges in court over his alleged relationship with the sect, a charge which he denies. A Boko Haram member was also arrested in the home of another ex-senator, Ahmed Zanna, in October last year.
According to sources, the arrested Bukar is suspected of visiting Abuja to wreak some havoc. Already, Hon. Kumailia has been interrogated by the SSS, even though he was not arrested, he is now reporting at scheduled periods to the Department of State Security.
The former lawmaker has denied having any link with Boko Haram.
Hassan Bukar has been on the wanted list of security agencies.
According to a source:
“ He has been operating in some cells of Boko Haram in Maiduguri and Damaturu. We have been looking for him in the last few months.
“Some of the intelligence reports on him had indicated that he used to source vehicles for Boko Haram for suicide missions.
“We got a tip-off that Bukar had sneaked into Abuja on Thursday for a purpose which we strongly suspected was to drop some bomb explosives. Based on intelligence gathering, we took pre-emptive steps and arrested him at the home of the ex-lawmaker.
“He is with the SSS where he is currently undergoing interrogation. We also quizzed the ex-lawmaker on Friday.”
“We are probing clues that Bukar’s brief is to receive hijacked or sourced vehicles from top Boko Haram members, including one Babawo and another called SENIOR and other leaders that are prime targets of security agents.
“Bukar was arrested in the Abuja residence of one Hon. Tijani Umara Kumalia, a 2003-2007 member of the House of Representatives.
“The suspect was picked up with Kumalia’s gateman whom the ex-Rep claimed was employed from Sokoto to guard the house.
“On interrogation, Bukar admitted to his role in the sect.
“Though Kumaila is not being detained, he is now reporting at scheduled periods to SSS.
“Security agents have since established that almost all vehicles used for suicide bombings by the sect are sourced in one suspicious way or the other.”