Arrest, quiz Gumi, group urges DSS, lauds agency on Mamu’s detention
• HURIWA faults court over permission to detain B’Haram negotiator
A Civil society organisation, Coalition for Peace in Nigeria (COPIN), has called on the Department of State Services (DSS) to arrest Kaduna-based Islamic cleric, Sheikh Ahmad Abubakar Gumi, over alleged romance with bandits and terrorists.
It said Gumi should ordinarily be a person of interest, given his open friendship with bandits and kidnappers that threaten national security, and his frequent requests, urging the Federal Government to grant amnesty to the criminals.
In a statement jointly signed by National Coordinator, Emeka Akwuobi, and Hajiya Fatih Yakub, National Secretary, the group said Gumi has a lot of explanations to offer on the activities of bandits, especially those operating within the North West.
While commending the secret service on the professional manner it handled the arrest of Tukur Mamu, who negotiated with bandits behind the March 28, 2022, Abuja/Kaduna train attack and kidnap, COPIN demanded the immediate arrest, interrogation and prosecution of Gumi.
It said: “This is more so because Mamu, the bandits’ negotiator, is the undisputed spokesperson for the Kaduna-based influential Islamic cleric.”
This was as the Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) criticised court permission granted to DSS to detain Mamu for 60 more days.
National Coordinator, Emmanuel Onwubiko, in a statement, described as unnecessary the detention order secured by the secret police.
He said DSS does not need more time to investigate Mamu, after obtaining “incriminating materials” from his home and offices and swearing to affidavits before the Federal High Court on what it believes is incontrovertible evidence.
COPIN said apprehending Gumi is fundamental to peaceful elections, considering the fact that he would provide the DSS with actionable intelligence on locations and modus operandi of terrorists.
It also threatened to organise a peaceful protest in Abuja and other cities, should the intelligence agency fail to invite Gumi for questioning.
The statement reads in part: “We have watched with keen interest the provocative tendencies of Sheikh Gumi, especially as they relate to the activities of bandits and terrorists operating within the North West.
“We note with concern Gumi’s call for amnesty to terrorists, who have killed and maimed thousands of unarmed civilians, including women and children.
“Of particular interest is the kidnap of over 100 Abuja/Kaduna train passengers by terrorists in March, this year, many of who are still being held under terrible conditions.”
“As a peace advocacy group, we condemn all these evil acts perpetrated by the terror group and other enemies of State operating under whatever name, as we insist that nobody or group has the right to take arms against the State, regardless of their grievances.
“Consequently, we demand the immediate arrest and interrogation of Gumi who, by now, should be a person of interest to all intelligence and law enforcement agencies.
“We will not hesitate to mobilise for peaceful protests in strategic cities, including Abuja if the DSS fails to invite the Islamic cleric for an interview on all he knows about bandits and terrorists holding North West states and parts of North Central to ransom.”