Journalism of Courage

I’ll return to Sambisa if set free – Convicted Boko Haram Commander vows

By Amos Dunia, Persecond News


Abuja – A twenty-two years Abba Umar, who was convicted to a jail term of 60years by Federal High Court sitting at Wawa Cantonment, Kainji, Niger State, on Tuesday February 13, 2018, has vowed to return to Sambisa Forest if released to enable him continue his bombings where he stopped.



Abba Umar, who confessed to being a suicide bomber of the dreaded Boko Haram sect and doubles as a commander of the sect is believed to have carried out different roles in several operations of the terrorists group.

Although Umar, who spoke in Hausa language pleaded not guilty before on Tuesday before a Federal High Court sitting at Wawa Cantonment, Kainji, Niger State, he however vowed to return to Sambisa Forest if he is released.

Abba Umar, a Kanuri from Shuare, Damboa Local Government Area of Borno state in his confessional statement before the court, said he is a member of the dreaded Boko Haram and a sect member of the Jama’tu ahli sunna li da’awatu wa Jihad, meaning, “people who follow the path of the Prophet for preaching and jihad”.

A statement on Wednesday by the Special Adviser to the Attorney General of the Federation and minister of Justice on Media and Publicity, Mr Salihu Othman Isah, said the Boko Haram’s sect commander was charged via case file no. FHC/KAINJI/CR/108/ 18- FRN VS ABBA UMAR.

The five counts charges against Abba Umar read as follows:
Count 1: 15 years imprisonment for professing to be a member of the sect.

Count 2: 30years imprisonment for attempting to bomb Government Day Pilot Secondary School, Gombe.
Count 3: 60 years imprisonment for participating in an act of terrorism where he was found with ammunitions.
Count 4: 15years imprisonment for receiving Terrorism training in Sambisa Forest
Count 5: 7 years imprisonment for failing to disclose information about his sect leaders.

Isah further said that the convict affirmed to have committed all the five count charges preferred against him at the Federal High Court 4 sitting in Kainji, Niger State.
Abba Umar was arrested when he was 18 years old when he carried out a botched attack in 2014.

According to Isah: “On the fateful day, his mission was foiled by members of the Joint Task Force (JTF), as he drove a heavily laden Honda Odyssey Bus with explosive devices against the wall of the Government Day Pilot Secondary School, Gombe with the intention to bomb the school.”

Abba Umaru admitted all the count charges before the Court and emphasised that his role is important as a commander that takes instructions directly from his leader.

The unremorseful sect commander claimed that he was initiated into the group by his elder brother and subsequently moved to the Sambisa Forest.

Abba Umaru remained adamant to his ideology in spite of efforts by his defence counsel to convince him to have a change of heart.

The convict admitted to all the written and confessional statements as well as pictures tendered as exhibits before the court, confessing to leading several other attacks.

The trial Judge, having weighed options could not but convict him on all the five count charges as the sect leader kept on pleading not guilty even as he affirmed to have committed the offences. The prison terms are to however to run concurrently.

The Judge also ruled that the unrepentant convict should be made to undergo de-radicalisation programme to discourage the convict from going back to crime.

In an exclusive interview when he was first arraigned last October, the die-hard Boko Haram sect commander Abba Umar said he is fulfilled even if he dies today, because of the successful high profile attacks he had led as commander.

He listed some of them to include, but not restricted to the attack of the 33 Air Force Base, Maiduguri, Giwa Army Barracks, Bama Army Barracks, Police Mobile Base in Damboa, all in Borno state as well as Damaturu Army Barracks in Yobe state.

Umar who named one, Ibrahim Modu as his spiritual teacher confessed that after every successful attack, he immediately relocates to Sambisa Forest to plan a fresh operation.

He said; “I have been in detention for three years and five months, which is since 2014. If I die today, I am fulfilled and I know I will go straight to heaven because I have done my bit of what Allah wants me to do, which is to kill the kafirs (unbelievers) in our midst. So, I am not afraid to die. If it is the wish of government let them kill me right away. I know where I will go to.”

In a related development, another convict, Mohammed Hussain also bagged 20 years imprisonment from the same Federal High Court sitting in Kainji in a case file no FHC/KAINJI/CR/74/18-FRN VS MOHAMMED HUSSAIN.

Hussain was arraigned on a three count charge of having participated in many attacks that led to loss of lives and properties in Maiduguri, Borno State and also took part in the bombing of Damaturu in which lives and properties were lost, just as he was charged for being a member of Boko Haram.

Hussain pleaded guilty to all the offences and was convicted and sentenced to 20 years imprisonment to run concurrently in all the three count charges with no option of fine and the jail term counts from 13th February, 2018.


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