- Bust terrorists’ cell, arrest 2 female spies
By Lawrence Olaoye
In what seems to be a major breakthrough in the fight against terrorism in the country, the Nigerian military yesterday announced the arrest of a businessman, Babuji Ya’ari, suspected to be the arrowhead of the abduction of the over 200 girls in Government Girls Secondary School Chibok, Borno state, on April 14.
The military, in a statement issued by the Director of Defence Information, Major General Chris Olukolade, also said Ya’ari, who uses his membership of the Youth Vigilante Group (aka Civilian JTF) as a cover, was also involved in the recent murder of the Emir of Gwoza, Alhaji Idrissa Timta.
Olukolade also disclosed that the troops busted an intelligence network of the terrorists, just as they arrested two female spies for the dreaded Boko Haram insurgents, called Hafsat Bako and Haj Kaka.
The statement said: “A terrorists’ intelligence cell headed by a businessman who participated actively in the abduction of school girls 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 terrorists 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.
“The arrest of the businessman who is known to deal in tricycles has also yielded some vital information and facilitated the arrest of other members of the terrorists’ intelligence cell who are women. One of them, Hafsat Bako had earlier escaped to Gombe state to avoid suspicion but was tracked and arrested. Prior to her arrest, Hafsat coordinated the payment of other operatives on the payroll of the group. In her confession, she disclosed that a minimum of N10, 000 is paid to each operative depending on the enormity of his task.
“Another female suspect named Haj Kaka, who doubles as an armourer and a spy for the terrorists group, has also been arrested. Until their arrest, all the suspects actively operated a terrorists’ intelligence cell in collaboration with others still at large”, Olukolade further disclosed.
But, in a related development, troops deployed in Goniri, Yobe state, over the weekend, had an encounter with terrorists, resulting in casualties on both sides after the attack was successfully repelled, the defence spokesman added.