Three days after the deadliest Boko Haram attacks yet, police in Kano State announced that they had impounded 10 cars laden with explosives.
Some of the vehicles were found to have been abandoned by their owners, while another was arrested along with the owner at Gwauron Dutse in the ancient city.
On the same day,
•Senate President David Mark, speaking on behalf of the leadership of the National Assembly, said laws would be amended to strengthen the fight against terror;
•Four Boko Haram suspects were killed in Maiduguri, Borno State; and
•A man was shot in the leg at the Defence Headquarters, Abuja, on the suspicion of being a terrorist.
THISDAY gathered from security sources in Kano that two of the vehicles were abandoned by their owners since last Friday at various locations within Kano metropolis.
The Kano attacks, launched simultaneously at eight spots, left nearly 200 persons dead.
It was learnt that a Honda Civic car was found abandoned close to the NNPC Mega Station in Hotoro, beside Kano depot, laden with improvised explosive devices (IEDs), while the second car, a Kia, was discovered at Tula in the suburb of Kano by the eastern by pass.
The vehicles were evacuated safely from the area by security agents with the help of residents of the area, THISDAY learnt.
The third car, which is a Honda Brahma series, was found abandoned on Sunday at Sheka quarters after residents reported the unusual presence of the car since last Friday to security agencies.
THISDAY was also informed that the fourth car, a Toyota Camry, was intercepted yesterday during security operative’s wait and search operation at Gwauron Dutse quarters in Kano city.
Both the car and its driver were arrested. Items found in the car were: a bullet proof vest, a gun and some chemicals believed to be used in making IEDs.
Two brand new Hilux open pick-up vans were also found packed with explosives in the Bompai area of Kano.
Special prayers were conducted in mosques throughout Kano yesterday to seek divine intervention in order to prevent recurrence of last Friday’s bomb blasts.
Prayers were also said at Kano Central Mosque, led by the Chief Imam of Kano, Professor Sani Zaharadeen. In attendance were the Emir of Kano, Alhaji Ado Bayero, Governor Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso and all ulamas in the state.
“I will pray to God that we should never re-live the catastrophe that resulted in the deaths and maiming in our city,” Kwankwaso said.
Bayero told the clerics: “I enjoin you to continue praying for peace and stability in our city. I call upon you to use any religious fora to pray for peace in our land.”
David Mark assured Nigerians Monday that the National Assembly would as a matter of urgency revisit the Anti-Terrorism Act, which was passed last year, to give maximum legislative and legal support in the fight against the Boko Haram menace.
The law, as it stands, makes prosecution difficult because of the evidence required.
Most of the suspects charged to court so far were arraigned under other laws which allow them to be granted bail.
Mark promised a review of the law when he led the Speaker, House of Representatives, Hon. Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, and other principal officers of the National Assembly on an on-the-spot-assessment of the damage done by last Friday’s bomb attacks.
He consoled the Emir of Kano, the Kano Emirates Council, government and people of the state, assuring them that the perpetrators of the dastardly act would soon be brought to book.
He said: “We will do all within our powers to ensure that we don’t have a repeat of this anywhere in our country. If there is anything we in the National Assembly can do in terms of taking a second look at the Anti-Terrorism Act, we will go ahead and do it. We will give maximum legislative and legal support so that those who are involved are dealt with.
“It’s time for all good men in our country to speak out and condemn this act with all our might and with all our powers. It is also time for our security agencies to double their efforts and prevent such mishaps before they happen.”
Meanwhile, police Monday said a suspected Boko Haram militant on Sunday evening killed the registrar of Maiduguri High Court, Baba Loskurima, at his residence within the metropolis.
According to the police, the deceased, 47, was attacked at his Tandari residence in Budum ward at about 7pm.
Borno State police spokesman, Samuel Tizhe, said: “An unknown gunman approached the house of the High Court registrar at his house and fired severally into Baba’s head and chest with a Kalashnikov rifle, before he fell on the ground and died in front of his wife and children.”
In another development, the Field Operations Officer of the Joint Task Force (JTF), Col. Victor Ebhaleme, in a signed press statement, said: “Four members of the Boko Haram sect involved in the killings in Maiduguri and environs and have been under the surveillance of security agencies were shot dead in Pompomari area of Maiduguri yesterday (Sunday).”
He disclosed that various IEDs prepared were also recovered from the suspects’ Golf Volkswagen vehicle.
He warned members of the public to desist from harbouring members of the sect, adding that any resident that had knowledge of any suspect should immediately report such to the JTF for prompt action in order to save lives and property.
At the Ministry of Defence in Abuja, which had been cordoned off since last year over the fear of terror attack, soldiers on duty demobilised a man who is said to have tried to force his way in.
It was learnt that passers-by ran for cover, fearing that the man might have been on a suicide bombing mission.
The agitated soldiers opened fire on the man who was alleged to have attempted to grab a rifle from one of the soldiers at the entrance gate of the Ministry.
It was gathered that it was while the scuffle was going on that another soldier shot the leg of the alleged assailant.
A source further disclosed that the injured man is in now in the custody of the Directorate of Military Intelligence where he is said to be undergoing treatment and interrogation.
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