113 travellers from Jigawa state came back home after they were arrested more than a week ago by the 144 Battalion of the Nigerian Army in Abia on suspicion of being linked to the Boko Haram sect.
Photo: Boko Haram suspects arrested in Abia State. Credits: The Cable
According to the information provided by the Coordinator of the National Information Centre Mike Omeri, 144 people had been freed by the military following the preliminary examination on June 25.
Next day 113 of them were greeted by Malam Aminu Ringim, the Chief of Staff to Governor Sule Lamido, some members of the State Executive Council, special advisers and the state Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, Alhaji Salisu Mamuda, at about midnight hours in Dutse.
Speaking on the situation, Rigim promised a thorough screening of the detainees with the involvement of all chairmen of the 27 local government councils of the state to determine their identities and true status. He also stated that the detainees were released after a meeting with officials of the state government, Chief of Army Staff, National Security Adviser and the Minister of Defence.
However, he cautioned against politicising security issues in the country, adding that security was collective responsibility of all. Earlier defence spokesperson Chris Olukolade claimed that among the suspects they had identified a notorious Boko Haram kingpin. In several days journalists discovered that 86 more detainees were identified as suspected terrorists.
The arrest caused hot discussions among Nigerians with many doubting the operation validity and claiming that those detained were simply traders who had nothing to do with Boko Haram. Shortly after the incident Kano authorities also made a move to ensure release of their residents captured in Abia.