How soldier-killing suspect was Arrested en route Hajj, at the Hajj camp in Sokoto, who came from Zamfara.
Sani Halliru, after his arrest
When intending pilgrims from Zamfara State lined up for final screening at the Hajj camp in Sokoto, they had no idea that in their midst was a notorious cattle-rustler who is also allegedly involved in the killing of one officer and six soldiers of the Nigerian Army. The killings were carried out during a gun battle in Bakura Forest last year.
The suspected killer, Sani Halliru, a native of Dutsen Kura village in Tsafe local government area of Zamfara State, is said to be among the leaders of the cattle-rustlers operating along Katsina, Zamfara and Birnin Gwari in Kaduna State, notorious for violence and mercilessness.
Halliru had been identified as the person who allegedly shot and killed one Captain Ibrahim when his gang was engaged in a fierce battle at the forest with military personnel. Until last Wednesday when nemesis caught up with him at Sultan Abubakar III International Airport, he had been on the run. He was trailed from Zamfara to Sokoto by two Military Intelligence officers who came from Abuja and liaised with government officials, the Nigerian Air force and the police, resulting in his arrest.
The dramatic arrest was said to have created a scene at the airport as some policemen on duty at the airport, oblivious of the situation, attempted to prevent the arrest. The intervention of an operational officer of the Nigerian Air Force helped douse the tension. Daily Trust gathered that Halliru was able to be picked up by men of the Nigerian Air Force after spending hours convincing other intending pilgrims who were shielding him.
It was learnt that the operatives had to show the pilgrims a video clip in which Halliru was featured unleashing terror on his victims during one of their operations before they retreated. An eyewitness told Daily Trust that the arrest was made during the final screening of the pilgrims shortly after dinner.
Halliru’s name appeared on the manifest of the Tsafe local government pilgrims as number 44 and was scheduled for the 3rd flight which took off that very day.
After making a confession, he was bundled him into a waiting van and moved to a security personnel’s office on the premises. He was then moved to the 1 Brigade headquarters of the Nigerian Army, Sokoto, before being moved to Zamfara State that same day.
The suspect is said to have paid his Hajj fare to the agency through a proxy and only showed up physically for the prerequisite inoculation of pilgrims at the Local Government Secretariat. It was alleged that he was accompanied to the secretariat by six men in black suits.
A security source revealed to Daily Trust on condition of anonymity, that Halliru had been on the wanted list of the Nigerian Army, as he was identified as the person who shot and killed the aforementioned Captain Ibrahim and six other soldiers.
Halliru is currently in Zamfara State, where he has been taken for further investigation. His wife, who was seen screaming hysterically during the arrest, was later nowhere to be found. The 55 Forward Operation Base of the Air Force and 1 Brigade of the Nigerian Army, Sokoto, both confirmed the arrest to Daily Trust.