One of the top Boko Haram Commanders, Umar Abdulmalik, arrested two weeks ago, has opened up on his bloody exploits in the course of running different missions in Nigeria for the terrorist group.
Umar Abdulmalik was arrested in Lagos State by operatives of the Inspector General of Police Special Intelligence Response Team, IRT. Abdulmalik and his gang members were alleged to be responsible for several bombing incidents, bank robberies and killings within the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja, Owo in Ondo State and Lokoja in Kogi State. (Read about his arrest HERE).
How it all started…
According to the 30-year-old native of Okene, Kogi State, he was recruited into Boko Haram by an Islamic cleric, one Mustapha, who also indoctrinated him.
Mustapha had moved to Okene around 2009, built a mosque and began urging people to shun western education, which he branded a sin against Allah. Islamic education, in his view, was the only acceptable mode of education to Allah.
Abdulmalik said he fell for Mustapha’s brand of Islam and soon joined other Mustapha’s followers to destroy their school certificates, and also agreed to wage war against the Nigeria State. His words:
“I joined one of the Boko Haram cells in Okene headed by one Zeeidi and we carried out several bombings within Kaduna, Kano and Abuja.
“Zeeidi provided the bombs. My job was to take these bombs to our target locations. After a while, the Department of State Security (DSS) infiltrated our cell. They arrested members of our group. Mustapha was arrested and his mosque demolished. Zeeidi also brought the idea of bank robbery. He said that the robbery was to source money in order to continue with the Jihad.”
“He brought some guns and he suggested we should attack the Kotonkarfe Prison in Kogi State, so we could free our members who were detained there.
“The attack on the prison was successful and we freed a lot of our members and immediately attacked some banks in Okene and emptied all the money therein.
“Then, we moved to Owo (Ondo State) and also attacked some of the banks there with dynamites and carted away large sums of money. We used some of the money we made from those robberies to buy advanced explosives, including materials we could use in producing none-metallic bombs that could beat metal detectors.”
“A lot of our members and Zeeidi were arrested after those bank robberies and attack on the prison. I moved to Abuja with the bombs we produced, where I formed a new cell in 2014. We carried out several bombings, including bombing of Banex Plaza, Yanya and Kueje areas of Abuja. Our gang was smashed and five of our members arrested.
“The police recovered our bombs and materials used in bomb making. I escaped and fled to Kano, where I went underground for two years. I later returned to Abuja and formed a new gang and we went into full blown armed robbery.”
“After I formed my new robbery gang, we robbed a woman of N500,000, which was her saving from a contribution she had with some women. One of our gang members who got information about the money told me about it and we robbed the woman and took the money.
“We also robbed a man at an Okene check point. We pretended to be policemen and we collected N1.3million from the man. We then moved to Abuja where we started robbing supermarkets, including their customers.”
“We also killed a policeman at Shoprite in Suleja and we took his rifle away. We also robbed a shop along Second Gate on the Abuja-Kaduna Road.
“There was this dismissed policeman known as Apin-Iron, who was dismissed for taking part in armed robbery. Iron has two AK-47s and a pistol which he uses to intercept and seize illicit drugs from people trying to smuggle it into Abuja. We normally visit his place to buy and ‘smoke’ drugs and we became friends. During one of our visits, he told us that he knew several rich people we could rob and what we needed to do was to give him his share of the loot.
He gave us information of a man who we robbed and took the sum of N5million from. “We gave Apin-Iron the sum of N2.5m as his share because that was what he demanded. He also gave us several other jobs before I had an accident and damaged one of my eyes.
“There was this Mustapha who was an internet fraudster and he was making money, but he started having issues with some cultists within his area and he brought in the police to arrest the boys but the boys were released and the boys came back disturbing him. So, he came to me and said he needed my boys to protect him and I told him if that would be possible, he would have to buy my boys two AK-47s.
“He agreed and bought us the guns, then my boys, Lampard and Abubakar, started moving around with him in military uniforms.
“When people saw them, they would think that they were soldiers. So, he wanted my boys to kill the cultist and a nurse treating him because the nurse entered his house and saw him performing rituals and the woman went to tell people that he was using charms to make his money.
“My boys told me about the job and I told them not to kill anyone and he became angry with me. I am suspecting he was the person that went to inform the police about my gang”.
“After I lost one of my eyes I was in the hospital but my boys were still going for robbery and they were only bringing money to me. I wasn’t with them when they killed the seven policemen at Galadima roundabout. I was in the hospital.
“After I was discharged, I had not gone for any robbery with them but the police later arrested Lampard and Abubakar and they brought the policemen to my house. I had an AK-47 rifle with me when the police came and I fired some shots, which made it easy for me to escape but the police returned fire and I got injured.
“I managed to escape to Sango Ota, Ogun State, where my sister resides and I later learned that the police went on to arrest Fine-Boy and Abubakar and Sulieman.
“A guy known as Scorpion called and informed me. I don’t know how the police knew I was in my sister’s place, they found me sleeping and I was arrested.”
Police sources said that the IRT, led by Deputy Commissioner of Police, Abba Kyari, in the course of investigating the gruesome killing of seven policemen and a civilian at Galadima Roundabout, Abuja in July 2018, arrested a member of the gang identified as Luckman Abdulmalik, alias Lampard, through a tip-off in Ondo State. The suspect confessed to taking part in the killing of the seven policemen and took the IRT operatives to the gang’s hideout in Abuja where four other members identified as Abubakar Bello Sidi, Yusuf Abdulazeez alias, Fine Boy, Suleman Zakariya and Haruna Lamid, were arrested. Abdulmalik escaped with a bullet wound.
Four AK-47s seized from slain policemen, six magazines, 270 rounds of AK-47 ammunition and two police walkie talkies were recovered from the suspects. It was gathered that Abdulmalik, with his bullet wound, fled to his nurse sister in Lagos for treatment. Unknown to him, IRT operatives in Lagos had received information that he had a sister residing in Lagos. They trailed him to her house where he was found sleeping and arrested.