The Department of State Services, DSS, yesterday [Nov. 20], announced the arrest of a university lecturer, Dr. Muhammad Nazeef Yunus, who allegedly acts as Recruitment Co-ordinator of the Boko Haram sect and four other members as they were plotting to launch violent attacks in Igalaland, Kogi State.
The DSS which paraded the five suspected members of the terror group in Abuja, said the Spiritual Leader and Recruitment Coordinator of the sect, Dr Muhammad Nazeef Yunus, was until his arrest, an assistant lecturer in the Department of Islamic Studies, Kogi State University, Ayingba in Kogi State. He was also said to be a key member of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU currently in a face-off with the Federal Government.
The DSS said the don taught Arabic and Islamic Studies at the university.
Other alleged members of the sect paraded were Umar Musa, Head of Operations/Instructor; Munzir Mustapha Yusuf, a.k.a Habib, Armourer/Chief courier; Ismail Abdulazeez, foot soldier and Ibrahim Isa, a.k.a ‘One in town’ another foot soldier.
The Deputy Director, Public Relations, Department of State Service, Marilyn Ogar, who paraded the suspected Boko Haram members said their plot was botched when two members of the sect who were on their way to Borno State for training in weapons handling were arrested at Zuba, on the outskirts of the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Abuja.
All the paraded suspects, apart from the varsity lecturer, took time to explain to the media the level of their involvement in the Boko Haram insurgency and the plan to attack Igala.
Dr. Yunus feigned ignorance of the planned attacks. One of the suspects said he joined the group in May and was employed by the sect on a salary of N50,000 per month.
The lecturer insisted that his involvement was a frame-up. He said:
“My Islamic preaching had always been against the activities of the Boko Haram sects, but I was shocked when the other suspects insisted that I was a member and the one that recruited them into the sect. I have never been a member of Boko Haram for one minute in my life, I even preach against them”.
One of the suspects, Mustapha Yusuf who was allegedly trained at Sambisa camp in Maiduguri, Borno State said “the university lecturer appointed me as the armourer and chief courier of the group and handed two AK-47 rifles with 30 rounds of live ammunition to me for safe keeping after I returned to Kogi State shortly after military invasion of our camp in Borno State”.
The other two foot soldiers also confessed that Dr. Yunus indoctrinated them into the Boko Haram sect by preaching to them when they approached him to help them secure admission into the KogiStateUniversity, Ayingba.
The DSS spokeswoman in her briefing then enjoined all Nigerians to be vigilant. Ogar urged parents who send their children for Islamic teaching after school, to be very careful of the people they choose as their teachers.
She said they should take time to investigate the teachings so as to ensure that their children were not being taught what the parents did not practice.