The Nigerian Army said, on Saturday [Jan 23], that it had put in place machinery to establish the true identity of a suspected leader of the Boko Haram sect, Jarasu Shirawho, who was apprehended last week in Borno State.
Major General Lucky Irabor, the Deputy Theatre Commander of Operation Lafiya Dole, disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Maiduguri. Irabor said that knowing the true identity of the suspect was to avoid past mistakes where individuals were arrested based on mistaken identities.
"We have in our custody a good number of suspected terrorists that were apprehended as a result of our routine operations. One of those suspects is believed to be on the list of our 100 most wanted terrorists’ leaders," he said.
Irabor, however, said that the army must ascertain the true identity of the suspect before final confirmation to the media. "There are checks that must be done before final confirmation, facial attributes tended to show that he is the one.
"But then, there are other things we need to do to ensure that is he who we said he is. Although the facial attributes confirmed he is the one, but it is not just by looks alone. We have had cases where we had mistaken identity only to come up to say we are sorry, that is what we are trying to avoid this time," Irabor said.
Shira is believed to be the sect leader around Damboa-Chibok-Askira axis of Borno State before he was apprehended. He is believed to be one of the masterminds of the abduction of Chibok girls on April 14, 2014.