A day after the police in Kano engaged in a gun duel with Boko Haram suspects who had escaped from Sambisa forest in Borno, the police in Abuja have arrested another suspected member of the sect who also reportedly escaped from the forest.
The Nigerian Army had last year warned that the escaping terrorists who would seek sanctuary in peaceful communities after they were dislodged from Sambisa by soldiers.
The Abuja Police Command said it arrested the fleeing Boko Haram suspect, Seth Yakubu, 20, in Gwako area of Gwagwalada Area Council.
The FCT Commissioner of Police, Musa Kimo, who made the disclosure at a news conference, said the suspect was arrested on Sunday after a tip-off on his suspicious behaviour in the village.
He said the suspect was arrested after he was found in a suspicious manner in the village by the villagers who alerted the police.
“This young man Seth Yakubu from Obi Local Government Area of Nasarawa State, yesterday at 1130 hrs at Gwako Village in Gwagwalada was found in a suspicious manner, the police were alerted and he was arrested,” he said.
Mr. Kimo said the suspect, who confessed to his membership of the Boko Haram group, escaped to the village from the Sambisa forest after being dislodged by the military.
“He further stated that he left Maiduguri on Friday and arrived Gwako village on Saturday at about 10:00 p.m. to conceal his identity and seek refuge,” he said.
The commissioner said that aside from being the second-in-command in his unit, the suspect confessed to have actively participated in several deadly attacks by the group.
Mr. Kimo said the suspect said he was lured to join the group in October 2016 with a promise of an automatic enlistment into the Nigerian Army.
He advised community leaders to guard against harbouring strangers, especially those without clear mission.
He also enjoined residents and its environs to be vigilant and always report any strange and suspicious persons to the police.
“Upon the identification of any strange face in a community, the nearest police formation can be alerted or the FCT police command emergency help-lines,” he said.
The commissioner described the arrest as a renaissance of community policing, being canvassed by the Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris.
He said that the suspect would be arraigned in court after completion of investigation.
Mr. Yakubu who spoke to journalists, said that he was given a form to fill for enlistment into the Nigerian Army.
He said that he was taken to Zaria for a military training after which he was given a substance that would change his mind.
“After giving us that thing they told us that we are not members of the Nigerian Army but we are going to help the Boko Haram to fight the Nigerian Army to convert Nigeria into an Islamic country,” he said.
The Boko Haram insurgency has caused about 100,000 deaths, mainly in North-east Nigeria since 2009.