Home News 486 ‘Boko Haram militants’ arrested in Abia

486 ‘Boko Haram militants’ arrested in Abia


On a day the police said they had foiled a plot to bomb a church in Owerri, Imo State, hundreds of suspected militants were arrested in Abia State, also in south-eastern Nigeria.

They were arrested on Sunday along the Enugu-Port Harcourt expressway by soldiers attached to the 144 battalion of the Nigerian Army, Asa, Ukwa West LGA, Abia State.

The suspects, aged between 16 and 24, were being conveyed in 33 buses when they were stopped at the road between Aro-Ngwa and Imo Gate along the expressway.

Some of the buses conveying more persons were said to have sped off and escaped arrest.

Although they are suspected to be Boko Haram militants, there is yet no evidence to establish a link between them and the insurgents who have been unleashing violence on several northern states since 2009.

The suspects reportedly claimed to have come from different parts of the north and were searching for jobs.

Briefing the media on Monday at the headquarters of the 144 Battalion, Asa, where the suspects are being detained, commander of the battalion, Lt. Colonel Rasheed Omolori, said two buses escaped with their occupants.

He said the incident had been reported to defence headquarters in Abuja. He did not give any other details.

Also at the briefing were the chief press secretary to the governor, Mr. Charles Ajunwa, and the commissioner for information and strategy, Dr. Eze Chikamnayo.

Chikamnayo said the sheer size of the movement made it suspicious, adding that none of the suspects could identify their destination.

He also wondered how such “a long convoy” was not intercepted before it reached Abia State.

The army and other security agencies in the state were actively investing the suspects, he said.

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