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Family of man arrested for hosting Boko Haram leader, Shekau, seeks amnesty

The three wives and 15 children of a former Yobe State Chairman of the Harmonised Traders Association of Nigeria (HTAN), Alhaji Modu Tijjani, who was…

The three wives and 15 children of a former Yobe State Chairman of the Harmonised Traders Association of Nigeria (HTAN), Alhaji Modu Tijjani, who was arrested for allegedly hosting late Boko Haram leader, Abubakar Shekau, when he came to Damaturu are seeking amnesty for him.

 The family said Alhaji Modu was arrested on September 12, 2012, at his store in Damaturu by soldiers.

 City & Crime gathered that Alhaji Modu was detained and interrogated at the Military Detention Centre, Wawa Barracks, Kainji, Niger State.

 Alhaji Bakura Tijjani, an elder brother of the suspect, said, “When he was arrested by the military, he had four wives. Out of them, there was a pregnant one, who delivered a baby girl. As I’m talking to you, the girl has turned 12 years old.

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 ‘‘Our father was alive when they (military) arrested him, but today he is no more. Two of his children (male and female) got married. They even have children now.

 “He spent two years here in Damaturu before he was transferred to Maiduguri. We contacted the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) on whether he was alive. They confirmed to us that he was alive.

  ‘‘So, we are calling on the government to please forgive him and let him come back to his family. His three wives, 15 children, mother, sisters and brother miss him so much.”

Hajiya Talatu Modu, his first wife, told  City & Crime that, “Since he was arrested, life became very difficult for us. We found it difficult to eat food twice a day. That was why we decided to return to our parents’ homes. He left four wives behind, but after this incident, one of us got married in Maiduguri.

‘‘We are not saying that he committed the crime or not, but what we are seeking is forgiveness and amnesty from the government and security agencies.’’

One of his sons, Tijjani Alhaji Modu, who recently graduated from the Yobe State University, Damaturu, told City & Crime that people were describing them as the family of terrorists.

 Effort to reach Operation Hadin Kai, North East Sector 2, Damaturu, proved abortive.

But a source told our reporter that, “The man was arrested in 2012 for hosting Abubakar Shekau when he came to Damaturu. There was an allegation that he rented a house where Shekau was hosted when he came to Damaturu before Boko Haram attacks escalated.

‘‘When he was arrested, he was the state chairperson of the Yobe Business Community and very close to ex-Governor Ibrahim Gaidam.”

He then queried, “Do you think they (military) will arrest such a respected man with influence in the state without any element of truth? His closeness with ex-Governor Gaidam would have set him free if he had no connection with Boko Haram.’’

When our reporter contacted the Security Adviser to the Governor, Brigadier General Abdulsalam Dahiru (Rtd) on the matter, he replied with a text message: ‘‘Sorry, I am not in town at the moment. Thank you.’’


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