101 suspected Boko Haram terrorists were on Saturday morning allegedly released from Kirikiri Medium Security Prison.
An insider told FIJ on Sunday that wardens at the facility allegedly released the terrorists from the medium and maximum security facilities as part of a swap deal with the terrorists for the release of travellers who were abducted in Kaduna on March 28.
The source disclosed that the terrorists had spoken about their release happening before a new administration took over.
The source said, “They secretly released 101 Boko Haram suspects at about 6 am. The negotiations had been ongoing for some months.
“We used to pray together. During prayers, they spoke Hausa, and they told me they would be going home by October.
“Early yesterday (Saturday) morning, they owned the cell door and called them out. They had returned their properties already.
“I used to speak with one Adamu in G3 cell. He is no longer here. He is tall and slim, and has a long face.
“They told me that their release was based on negotiations and the pressure their sponsors gave Buhari. They felt if they didn’t get released before a new president, who might not be their tribesman, took the seat, they might not be granted amnesty.
“The controller of corrections, Ben-Rabbi Freeman, had been there multiple times to meet with them.”
According to the source, the released terrorists were aware of the Kuje jailbreak where over 60 dreaded terrorists were released.
The source said the freed inmates had shared the details without mentioning specific dates.
“When they spoke about their release, I asked how I would reach them, and they said they had been warned not to open bank accounts and use mobile lines, as it would be easier to track them,” the source added.
But the Defence Headquarters (DHQ) has said contrary to insinuations, there was no prisoner swap deal between the federal government and terrorists to release the remaining 23 Abuja-Kaduna train passengers.
Director of defence information, Major General Jimmy Akpor, told LEADERSHIP in Abuja yesterday that there was no swap deal, adding that elements of national power, both kinetic and non-kinetic, were deployed to secure the release of the train passengers.
Major General Akpor when contacted, said; “Whatever we know we have told you, it was a high powered committee that was set up so whoever is saying that is on his own. Like I told, you the nation is a powerful entity that has so many elements of national power to achieve national objectives.
“There is diplomacy, of course the military is one for kinetic activities, there is economic, even the population is part of the elements of national power. Whatever they want to believe, let them believe, the most important thing is that hostages have been freed.
“Whoever is insinuating anything to the contrary is on his own. The nation has carried out its responsibility towards those that were held captive. Whoever wants to insinuate anything let him do and of what use is that to the nation, of what use is that to the national psyche?”
According to sources, the inmates allevedly released are:
Muhammad Tahir Mahmud Tchad
Yunusa Ibrahim Sabo
Muhammad Abba Mamman
Abdullahi Abubakar Mubi
Alhaji Abubakar Abubakar
Abu Barra Abubakar
Yusuf Muhammad Hamisu
Abubakar Na Tuka
Umaru Adamu Subari
Muhammad Nur Hassan
Baba Gana Musa
HausaToday gathered that the security agents had in 2009 arrested 101 suspected terrorists for alleged links with Boko Haram and have been kept incommunicado at the Kirikiri medium and maximum correctional centres, Lagos for 13 years now.
It was gathered that the suspected terrorists were separately arrested in Maiduguri, Bauchi and Kano on suspicion of being members of Boko Haram in late 2009 when police and other security agencies embarked on raids that led to the arrests of suspected members of the terrorist organisation.
“Some of the suspects were arrested in their homes, business premises, mosques, or travelling on the highways during raids carried out by the police,’’ a source had told Daily Trust in May 2022.
He said that a total of 164 persons were arrested in the wake of the outbreak of the disturbances by members of Boko Haram in Maiduguri in July 2009.
“From our investigation, more than 160 persons were arrested, but we now have 101 still in detention. They were initially 104, but three died in detention while six others have mental problems due to trauma,” he said.