Kano, Nigeria, May 3, 2016 (AFP) – The Nigerian military said it has arrested the alleged mastermind of the murder of a civil war hero by Boko Haram in the northeastern city of Maiduguri more than three years ago. Retired major general Mamman Shuwa, who played a key role in the conflict against Biafran separatists from 1967 to 1970, was shot dead outside his home in the Gwange area of Maiduguri on November 2, 2012.
The suspect — 35-year old Mohammed Sani Nafi’u, alias Malam Yaro — was arrested on Sunday in the Hotoro outskirts of the northern city of Kano, said Brigadier General Hamisu Hassan. “Preliminary investigation has revealed that Mohammed Sani Nafi’u… had aided the terrorists that killed late General Mamman Shuwa,” Hassan told reporters at a military base in Kano on Monday. Nafi’u was paraded with another suspect accused of heading the Islamist group in the town of Baga, on the shores of Lake Chad, and playing an active role in the 2009 uprising in Maiduguri.
The rebellion in the Borno state capital saw hundreds of Boko Haram members killed, including the group’s founder, Mohammed Yusuf. Nafi’u is alleged to have fled Maiduguri after Shuwa’s murder and was presumed killed in an encounter with troops until his arrest, said Hassan. But Nafi’u denied any involvement, telling reporters in the local language, Hausa: “When General Shuwa was killed I was in the market conducting my business. “I only heard about his death through a friend. I’m no doubt a member of Boko Haram, I was a disciple of late Mohammed Yusuf and I studied in his school for a very long time but I did not lead our members to the scene where late Shuwa was killed.” Nigeria’s military in May 2013 claimed to have killed or arrested all but one of those allegedly involved in Shuwa’s murder.
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