Oct 22, 2012

Boko Haram Commander Arrested in Ex-Governor Sheriff’s House, Not Mine – Senator Zanna

Serving Senator Ahmad Zanna, who was summoned over his alleged involvement with the violent Islamic sect, Boko Haram, has said that it was all a frame up, adding that the Boko Haramcommander, Shuaibu Bama, was arrested in the house of former governor Ali Modu Sheriff and not in his (Senator Zanna) house, contrary to the claim by the Joint Task Force, JTF.

The Joint Task Force had arrested Bama in the building along Damboa Road in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital, last Friday after soldiers stormed the House.

However, Zanna confirmed the arrest but denied it was in his house, though he admitted that he was his sister’s son.

Speaking with newsmen on Sunday, Zanna said attempt by the JTF to link him with the Boko Haram commander by claiming that he was arrested in his house was a plan to frame him up.

The senator told journalists in Abuja, that he believed the JTF was trying to rope him in because of his recent interview in which he called for its withdrawal from the state on account of failure to adhere to the rules of engagement.

His words: “About 40 members of the JTF came to my house in four armoured vehicles on the day in question. They ransacked my house and they did not see anything incriminating. Then they brought out all the boys they met in my house who included my children, aides and neighbours.

They beat them and put them under the sun and asked them if they knew Shuaibu Bama and one of them said yes. They asked the boy to lead them to where he (Bama) was and that boy took them to where Shuaibu Bama was and they arrested him.

“He was not arrested in my house. He was arrested in a house which belongs to Sen. Ali Modu Sheriff. The question is why did the JTF say that Shuaibu Bama was arrested in the house of a serving senator?

I am the only serving senator who has a house on the Dabuwa Road. Bama was not arrested in my house. He was arrested at the house located at Rabi Street, off Dambuwa Road. My case is a very clear case of framing. But it has failed.”

Asked if he had any relationship with the suspected Boko Haram commander and the sect, Sen. Zanna admitted that the suspect was his nephew and once lived with him but that he had to send him away from his house about a year ago, when he discovered that the man was into drugs, beat his children and threatened even himself.

His words, “Shuaibu Bama is my sister’s son. He once stayed with me but I sent him away about a year ago when I discovered that he was a drug addict and was beating my children. He even threatened me and also threatened to kill his mother. I did not know him to be a member of Boko Haram..”

Asked if he has been questioned by the JTF, the senator said no. He admitted being aware of a text message from the Director-General of the SSS, Mr. Ekpenyong Ita, inviting him to the SSS headquarters on Monday.

Zanna stated that since the incident occurred he had not been contacted by security agencies until Sunday.

“Since my house was searched and the JTF made the announcement, I have not been contacted by security agencies. “But it was only this morning (Sunday), I saw a text that the SSS DG will want to see me on Monday. I will honour the invitation”, he said.