until recently when he made headlines as a terrorists’ negotiator, Mr. Tukur Mamu lived a quiet and humble lifestyle as the publisher of Desert Herald, a publication based in Kaduna. The Department of State Services (DSS) said Mamu has a link with terrorists organisation and that culminated into his arrest in Egypt. He was repatriated to Nigeria. The DSS told a Federal High Court, Abuja, that the detained Mamu is part of an international terrorist network using the cover of journalism to commit crime.
According to ThisDay, the DSS’ allegation forms part of an affidavit presented before a Federal High Court, Abuja, to secure the court’s permission to keep Mamu in custody, pending the conclusion of its investigation.
It would be recalled that Mamu was arrested at the Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport after he was repatriated from Egypt where he had been detained while on his way to Saudi Arabia.
Mamu, an aide to Sheikh Ahmad Gumi, a popular Islamic cleric, has been involved in negotiations for the release of persons abducted during an attack on a Kaduna-bound train in March.
According to the DSS, Mamu who had negotiated the release of some victims kidnapped by terrorists during the Abuja -Kaduna train attack, was arrested on his way to meet some top international terrorists at a forum in Saudi Arabia.
In the affidavit in support of its ex-parte application marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/1617/2022, the secret police pleaded with the court to allow it to keep the journalist for further investigation because it has established an act of terrorism financing against him.
Following the submission, Justice Nkeonye Maha of the Federal High Court, Abuja, ordered that Mamu should be detained for another 60 days, adding that if the secret police were not done with their investigation within the period, the agency could renew the detention order.
In the motion dated and filed on September 12, by its lawyer, Mr U. N. Dauda, the DSS sought “an order enabling the State Security Service/applicant to detain the respondent (Mamu) for a period of Sixty (60) days in the first instance, pending the conclusion of investigation.”
The deponent of the affidavit, Mr Hamza Pandogari, a legal officer with the DSS, had told the court why it was necessary to detain Mamu for 60 days in the first instance, pending the conclusion of the investigation of various acts of terrorism against him.
According to the affidavit, “the self-acclaimed Kaduna train negotiator exploit the opportunity to perpetrate, aid and abets as well as render support to both local and international terrorist organisations”.
The DSS added that Mamu, “was intercepted by the Nigerian foreign partners at Cairo, Egypt, on September 6, 2022, while on his way to Saudi Arabia for a clandestine meeting with commanders and top leaders of terrorist organisations across the globe”.
The deponent said that upon his interception, and subsequent repatriation to Nigeria, a duly signed search warrant was executed in his residence and office at No. 4, Ali Ladan Street, Sabon Kawo GRA and No. 14, Mamona Road, Anguwan Sarki, Kaduna State and various exhibits and items to establish his complicity with terrorists were recovered.
Some of the items the agency said it recovered from Mamu’s residence and office include; 151 dollars, 20 pounds sterling; 1, 530 Indian Rupees; one Saudi Riyald; 70 Dirham; one million, five hundred and six thousand naira; and 16 assorted foreign coins.
The DSS also alleged that two packs of pump action cartridges; 16 ATM cards from both local and foreign banks; seven cheque books of different banks; six laptops; four tablets; 24 handsets and three international passports belonging to Mamu; one firearm licence; eight pieces of Nigerian Army uniforms; 16 pieces of Nigerian Naval uniforms were recovered from the suspect.
The agency claimed that the “preliminary investigation so far established, amongst others, is the offences of logistic supplier, aiding and abetting acts of terrorism as well as terrorism financing”.
The DSS in addition claimed that the defendant (Mamu) has used the cover of his profession as a journalist to aid both local and international terrorist groups.
“That the action of the defendant has orchestrated the untimely death of several security personnel in North Central and North East parts of Nigeria.
“That the defendant has discreetly given several information to bandits and terrorists that escalated various acts of terrorism in Nigeria.
“That the investigation has assumed a wider dimension and sophistication requiring time and advanced expertise to conclude.
“That some of the suspects working with the defendant are at large and premature release of the defendant will jeopardise the ongoing investigation.
“That it is in the interest of justice and national security to grant this application. That the activities of the defendant and his associates at large constitute a potent threat to the unity and peaceful co-existence of Nigeria”.