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Published On: Wed, Jun 25th, 2014

Soldiers free 144 northern travellers arrested in Abia

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By Ikechukwu Okaforadi with agency report

Some of the 486 Boko Haram suspects arrested by soldiers from the 144 Battalion of the Nigerian Army at Asa in Abia State, while travelling in a convoy of 35 buses last week have regained their freedom.

Coordinator of the National Information Centre (NIC) Mr. Mike Omeri made this disclosure yesterday, at a press briefing on efforts being made to secure the release of abducted Chibok Secondary School girls and generally fight the menace of Boko Haram insurgents.

“Altogether, 144 of the number have been released. It is expected that the media and the general public will be kept abreast of further developments. Importantly, one of the suspected connected with the package of the trip has been named and investigation is painstakingly continuing to unravel the issues involved in the incidence.” Omeri stated.

According to Omeri, one of the suspected sponsors the 486 people travelling in 35 buses to Port Harcourt but arrested in Abia state have been identified by security agents; however, he refused to name the sponsor.

He also debunked reports claiming that about 60 women and children were allegedly abducted last weekend.

Findings, he said, indicate that there is nothing on the ground to prove any act of abduction as reported.

“It is on record that our findings were also corroborated by the position of the Borno State Government as conveyed by Governor Kashim Shettima, who said that there are no sufficient facts on the alleged abduction of 60 persons.

“We hereby wish to state that based on available facts before us there was no abduction of 60 persons in Borno State”, he declared.

Omeri assured Nigerians that troops have continued to carry out surveillance activities around the areas where the abducted girls are suspected to be held.


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