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Our relatives not terrorists, families of 13 suspects cry out

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Families of the 13 suspected members of Boko Haram have denied the involvement of their relatives in any act of terrorism. Addressing journalists at the Kano Press Centre yesterday, leader of the families, Abdullahi Ali, insisted that among those whisked away by security operatives were businessmen, students and a cleric of a local mosque.

The military had, on Saturday, confirmed the arrest of 13 suspected terrorists in Hotoro, Kano State. A statement issued in Abuja by Director, Army Public Relations, Brig-Gen. Muhammad Yerima, disclosed that the suspects were picked when the troops of 3 Army Brigade, Kano, conducted special intelligence research in the area.

But Ali, who denied any connection of the suspects with Boko Haram, appealed to the authorities to conduct proper investigation on the identities of the suspects to facilitate their immediate release.

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The families’ spokesperson expressed worry over the false alarm orchestrated by the military and wondered why the suspects were still arrested after thorough search of their houses, without proof of any linkage to insurgency.

Although, Ali revealed that all the 13 persons arrested were indigenes of Borno State, he maintained that none of them had spent less than five years in Kano.

“Those arrested are innocent and they have no relationship with Boko Haram. The military came to the area looking to Boko Haram. Unfortunately, after searching their houses and found nothing, one of them asked the security operatives to proceed to his other house where they didn’t find anything, but still they left with him.

“We appeal to the military to hasten their investigation on the suspects and possibly take them to court of justice. We are praying that our brothers would be taken to court after all possible investigation on them, so that justice will be served on them,” Ali said.

The Guardian gathered that among those arrested are a renowned Islamic scholar and a chemist, who is doing his Master’s at Bayero University, Kano (BUK).

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