Boko Haram: Sect Leader’s Family To Sue Police, FG

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By Michael Olugbode, Maiduguri
The family of the slain Boko Haram leader, Mohammed Yusuf, is spoiling for a fight after it emerged that his father-in-law, Baba Fugu Mohammed, was also killed in police custody.

THISDAY learnt that the family is threatening legal action against the police, the Federal Government and any other party linked to the death of the 72-year old man.

The family claims Mohammed voluntarily gave himself up to the Borno State Police Command last Friday when he heard that he was a wanted man. But he allegedly did not come out alive.

Spokesman for the family and son of the deceased, Baba Kura Alhaji Fugu, told THISDAY in Maiduguri, that his father fled his residence when the sectarian crisis erupted.

According to Fugu, his father sought abode in his sister's home but turned himself in when he heard the cops were searching for him.

He said news came back to the family that he was killed and his corpse deposited at the morgue of the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital (UMTH). He was later buried in a mass grave at an undisclosed location.

Fugu stated that: “the news of his assassination came to the family and we are surprised how he would be assassinated by the police and his corpse deposited at the UMTH mortuary on Friday and he would be buried in a mass grave on Saturday.”

Fugu, the eldest son of Mohammed, revealed that his father was diabetic, hypertensive and had been on prescription drugs for over four years.

He further revealed that his father who had 27 children and 50 grandchildren was a close friend of Yusuf's father. Mohammed, he claimed, took charge of the leader of Boko Haram because the latter's father had before his death, appealed that he treat him as his child.

Fugu revealed that his father gave the land on which Mohammed Yusuf built his house and mosque. He also continually warned him against his anti-government, anti-Western education rhetorics.

Furthermore, Fugu stated that he had sent a petition on the activities of his brother-in-law to the Borno State government before the incident last week.

He showed a copy of the petition addressed to the governor through the secretary to the state government to THISDAY and accused the government of laxity.

The petition was titled “Threatening Situation to Peace and Security of the State posed by Mallam Mohammed Yusuf and his Disciples.”

Part of the petition written on July 15, 2009 reads: “It could be recalled that few weeks ago, some members of Mohammed Yusuf's disciples had a logger-head with Operation Flush II team near the Custom Bridge in Maiduguri in which few of Yusuf's disciples sustained injuries.

“Against this background, since the occurrence of this incident, the group under the leadership of ill-educated Mallam Mohammed Yusuf is mobilizing both men and resources to retaliate the injuries inflicted on them by the said Operation Flush II team.”

It further reads: “The spate of which most of his disciples both within and far flung of Maiduguri are paying allegiance and solidarity visits to their leader shows they are busy preparing to launch an offensive attack on members of the Operation Flush II stationed at strategic locations in Maiduguri. In addition to this, they are targeting many government agencies and departments such as courts, the state house of assembly, police stations and formations across the state, the university and other tertiary institutions. They are also targeting all the democratic institutions and political office holders.”

In the letter, Fugu advised the government to take action by alerting all security agencies in the North-east region.

Meanwhile, it has been revealed that about 300 Christians held hostage by the Boko Haram leader were forced to denounce their faith and convert to Islam. Some of them narrated their harrowing experience to journalists after being released.

It was gathered that even after some were converted to Islam by their abductees, they were slaughtered.

One of the victims, Thomas Ali, who escaped said he was kidnapped by the sect and was forced to take a bath as a sign he had accepted Islam. He claimed his escape was miraculous.

One Emmanuel Ndah, who was also abducted said they were arrested by the sect on their way to visit a widow at her home. He said they were taken to the Mohammed Yusuf Camp. Their names gave them away as Christians right away.

They were thereafter asked if they were ready to denounce their faith. One Pastor George Orji encouraged them to stick to their Christian faith.

“It was his encouragement that kept us till the time we were released.

The men outside killed so many of us Christians who were even forced into Islam. I could not say how I survived it but I made it by the Grace of God,” said Ndah. But Pastor Orji never came out alive, he stated.

Also giving his testimony, one Okechukwu Nwankwo said he was abducted with his wife and children and was forced to wash up and accept Islam, which he did under duress..

Luckily, he was asked to leave. He however witnessed the death of Orji who was executed because he refused to cave in.

In another development, Governor of the state, Ali Modu Sheriff has said democracy has provided fundamental human rights on one hand. On the other hand, it has led to abuse, leading to incessant crisis in the system, he stated.

Represented by his Deputy, Alhaji Yuguda Dibal at a gathering of people from one of the most affected parts of the state, Sheriff observed that fundamentalists were abusing freedom by indoctrinating unsuspecting members of the public.

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