The Joint Security Task Force, on Friday, arrested a middle-aged man suspected to be a leader of the Boko Haram Islamic sect at Farawa Babban Layi, Maiduguri Road, Kano.
A source close to the JTF gave the suspect’s name as Mohammed Sulaiman. He is believed to be a native of Ogbomoso Oyo State.
The source told our correspondent that the sect leader claimed he was originally slated for the number two position in the sect, but for circumstances he refused to disclose.
Suleiman was arrested along with his wife and five children before he was handed over to security operatives, who were said to have been sent from Abuja.
He was immediately flown to Abuja for interrogation.
The source said, “Some of the items recovered from the suspect include an AK-47 rifle, one pistol, 10 Improvised Explosive Devices and 1,000 pieces of live ammunition.”
However, Commissioner of Police, Kano State Command, Alhaji Ibrahim Idris confirmed that a high profile arrest had been made, and that interrogation was ongoing.
Idris told reporters that the suspect had been flown to Abuja, while investigation into the case had begun.
He confirmed the killing of a revenue officer, who was shot by two gunmen on a motorcycle while he was coming out of his house at Gadon Kaya, BUK Road on Friday morning.
The commissioner said policemen were on the trail of the assailants.
Several phone calls put across to the JTF spokesman, Lt. Ikedichi Iweha, to confirm the arrest were futile as he refused to respond to the calls.
Friday’s raid was launched hours after several explosions and gunfire were reported in the restive North-Eastern city of Maiduguri, where Boko Haram has its base.
A security official said the attack happened near a church in an area where a mosque owned byBoko Haram was razed during a 2009 crackdown on the group.
JTF spokesman in Maiduguri said a minor explosion occurred in the area around 2am.
“On reaching the area, two unexploded bombs were recovered and they were detonated by the task force. No casualty recorded,” Lt.-Col. Sagir Musa said in a statement.
He said at about 8.30 am, troops encountered suspected Boko Haram members in another part of the city.
He did not give details, but said one “high-profile terrorist” was killed and two people were arrested.
In a related development, the Kano State Police Command has confiscated a large quantity of empty cans of assorted soft drinks in Kano.
The cans were believed to be meant for the manufacturing of Improvised Explosive Devices by criminals.
Idris (the police commissioner) told newsmen the discovery while displaying the materials in seven trucks on Friday.
He said following a tip-off, the items were found in an uncompleted building located along Tukur Road in the Kano metropolis.
Idris said, “When we got the information about the cans, we mobilised our men to the area and evacuated them in seven trucks.
“The command will continue to mop up such items so that nobody can use them for any criminal intention.
“Bomb experts will tell you how the enemies of the state can use these empty cans to make explosives if they are not destroyed after use.
“We have engaged in aggressive campaign to the general public, hotels and restaurants to ensure that empty cans are destroyed and disposed off immediately after use so as to curtail the activities of these people.”
The CP, therefore, appealed to members of the public to always destroy such cans after use.
He said this was necessary in order not to allow criminals to use them for other purposes.
He said the command had begun an effort to track down all those who were in the habit of selling fertilizer to unscrupulous elements.
Idris confirmed that the JTF raided the hideout of suspected Boko Haram members at Farawa area on the outskirts of the Kano metropolis on Thursday.
He said one suspect was arrested in the raid.
He said, “Items recovered during the raid included nine cans of IEDs, an SMG and several pieces of live ammunition. The case is under investigation.”