Cleric accused of links with Al-Qaeda released after 9 years in DSS custody | Dailytrust

Cleric accused of links with Al-Qaeda released after 9 years in DSS custody

Ilorin-based Islamic scholar and preacher, Abdullahi Mustapha Berende, who was arrested over alleged links with Al-Qaeda, has regained freedom after nine years in detention.

In 2012, he was picked up by DSS operatives who accused him of terrorism and espionage.

Berende arrived Ilorin over the weekend in the company of few family members.

A special prayer was conducted for him at his family house at Idi-Ape, Ilorin East Local Government area of the state.

His family members, friends and associates also held thanksgiving to celebrate his release.

The DSS had initially refused to release him despite several court orders.

During his second year in custody, Berende escaped being killed during a shootout with some Boko Haram members in a failed jailbreak attempt at the service’s facility in Asokoro.

Family rejoices over his release

His sibling, Yakubu Berende, told our reporter that his release is one of the best things that has happened to the family in recent times.

Yakubu, who thanked all those that stood by the family while the trial lasted, said his eventual release will mark the beginning of another chapter.

Efforts to speak to Berende were not successful as he was said to be outside the metropolis when Daily Trust called at his residence.

Also several phone calls to his aide, Lateef Bamidele Jimoh, were not answered. A text message sent to him was also not replied.

Berende was alleged to be spying for the government of Republic of Iran.

Although, he denied the charges and was granted bail by the Federal High court, Ilorin, the DSS re-arraigned him in another court in Abuja.