… As Borno Hunters plead to Join Military in Fight Against Boko Haram
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) will, tomorrow, arraign former National chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Dr Haliru Mohammed Bello, and his son, Abbah, before a Federal High Court in Abuja over their alleged involvement in the $2.1 billion arms deal during the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan.
Mohammed and his son are being held by the EFCC for collecting N600 million from the embattled former National Security Adviser (NSA), Colonel Sambo Dasuki (retd).
The duo were to be docked last week before Justice Ahmed Ramat Mohammed but the prosecution informed the court earlier that the former PDP chairman was on admission in an Abuja hospital for an undisclosed illness.
Mohammed and his son were part of those indicted in the N31 billion funds meant for the purchase of arms to fight the Boko Haram insurgents, which the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) distributed to some PDP stalwarts for the 2015 election campaign.
A former Minister of State for Finance, Ambassador Bashir Yuguda, currently on trial in two separate courts had, in his statement, admitted paying about N300 million into the account of BAM Properties, which was provided by Haliru Mohammed.
Abbah Mohammed was alleged to have received N600 million from NSA office in the name of Bam Properties but the reason for the transfer of the money was not disclosed.
The EFCC has already arrested and arraigned many top officials and companies related to the previous administration for receiving large payments from the ONSA from the funds set aside for the procurement of arms to tackle Boko Haram.
The former NSA himself was charged along with many senior officials of the last administration and PDP bigwigs for benefitting from the alleged loot.
Many of them have, however, been released on bail.
In the meantime, hunters in Borno yesterday called on the military to allow them to join in the war against insurgents in Sambisa Forest.
Malam Mai-Gana Mai-Durma, the Borno emir of the hunters, made the appeal in Maiduguri while addressing newsmen, reported the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).
Mai-Durma said that the call became imperative because the hunters are familiar with the terrain in the forest, the hideout and operational base of the terrorists.
“We are appealing to the military authorities to allow us join the fight against Boko Haram at the Sambisa forest.
“We are ready to pursue the terrorists because we know the terrain very well,” Mai-Durma said.
He said that the military should align them with the vigilance group, popularly known as the Civilian JTF, for effective results.
“We will overrun Sambisa in partnership with members of the Civilian JTF if given the opportunity.
“This will help to complement the efforts of the military in the anti-terrorism operation,” Mai-Durma said.
He lamented that hunters from the 27 local government areas of the state had been rendered idle by acts of terrorism perpetrated by the sect.
“Hunters from all the 27 Borno LGAs are all in Maiduguri with our leaders doing nothing at present because of Boko Haram.
“Rather than idling away, we will want to assist the military in crushing Boko Haram terrorists,” Mai-Durma said.
He also appealed to the Shehu of Borno, Alhaji Abubakar Ibn Garbai, to assist in forwarding the request to the military authorities for consideration.
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