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Ali Monguno freed at border town


Borno State Governor Kashim Shettima said yesterday that kidnapped elder statesman, Shettima Ali Monguno, was released at Kirenowa, a Nigerian border town. He said neither the government nor the family paid any ransom to secure his release, even as the military Joint Task Force (JTF) arrested the suspected killers of Gen. Mamman Shuwa, a civil war hero. The governor gave an insight into how Monguno, the octogenarian First Republic politician, was released by his captors suspected to be Boko Haram yesterday after receiving him at his GRA residence. He said the release of the first Nigerian petroleum resources minister was made possible through appeals to his abductors.

“He was released at Kirenowa in Marte Local Government Area after appeals from across the country. The abductors made contacts with the family. He said they released the frail-looking octogenarian on health grounds. Shettima said he was “extremely elated” over his release. Marte, like every other local governments in northern Borno, has in recent times become a hotbed of Boko Haram attacks. Monguno was abducted last Friday at Mafoni, epicentre of insurgency by a group of gunmen suspected to be Boko Haram after Friday’s Muslim (Juma’at) prayers. Meanwhile, the JTF yesterday said it arrested three suspected killers of Gen Shuwa while three others died during special operations to round up the gang also believed to be Boko Haram. Gen Shuwa was shot dead by gunmen in front of his house in Gwange area of Maiduguri metropolis on November 12 last year. “Preliminary investigation by the JTF identified two key suspects – Mohammed Ibn Saleh and Abdulkareem Ibrahim as the masterminds of the killing.

A special operation was conducted on November 15, when Ibn Saleh was killed during a shoot-out in a house at Bulabulin Ngarnam. Ibrahim was arrested on December 2 last year with an injury that led to his death on December 6. A member of the gang, one Bulama Bur, died on December 2, 2012 in an encounter with JTF troops,” he disclosed. JTF’s spokesman, Lt-Col Sagir Musa said Ibrahim made some confessions which helped the JTF to identify four other members that masterminded the killing. He also told journalists yesterday that the task force rescued Mr Ummara Sanda Sheriff and his wife, Maryam, the parents of Hon. Mohammed Sanda, representing Kaga- Maigumeri –Gubio in the House of Representatives.

Also speaking on the kidnap, Col. Musa said Ummara Sanda Sheriff, 85 and his wife, Maryam 70, were rescued from a six-man Boko Haram group. They were kidnapped last Sunday (May 5), at Ngamdu Village at about 10:15 pm. Ngamdu, a boundary community between Borno and Yobe states, is about 90 kilometers from Maiduguri. The JTF disclosed that the suspects with their victims were heading towards Martai area in a Toyota car marked Borno XA 625 KGG.” He said they were intercepted at Zabarmari area by the JTF troops on special operation, about 30 kilometres from Maiduguri.

“The victims were successfully rescued by the JTF today Monday, May 6, 2013 at about 9:00 a.m.” Items recovered from the vehicle include AK- 47 rifle and a magazine with 30 rounds of 7.62 mm ammunition, seven phones, six pairs of wrappers and a set of lady’s shoes, three sim cards, two vehicle batteries and one Identification Card.

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