The alleged mastermind of the 2011 Christmas day bombing at St. Theresa’s Catholic Church in Madalla, Niger State, Kabiru Umar, a.k.a Kabiru Sokoto, Wednesday, told a Federal High Court in Abuja that he was never a member of Jama’atu Ahlul Sunnah Lidda’awati wal Jihad, popularly called Boko Haram, but admitted being a high profile member of the Islamic “Shurah Council” in Nigeria.
Sokoto, who testified as witness in his own trial, told the court that at the beginning, he was sympathetic to the organization’s cause but that his elder brother whose name he gave as Suleiman Aliyu Sokoto, persistently warned him not to get himself involved with the sect.
Speaking through an interpreter, he said: “I am a member of the Shurah Council but not under Boko Haram. I did not participate in any bombing”.
When he was asked by the prosecuting counsel, Mrs Chioma Onuegbu, to confirm if his orders came from the purported leader of the sect, Abu Shekau, Sokoto said: “As we all know, Shekau is a leader of Boko Haram but not the Shura Council and it is not true that when I escaped from police custody that I spoke to Shekau on phone.”
When quizzed further on if he was aware that it is Shekau that gives orders regarding where bomb attacks should be carried out in addition to the fact that the sect had so many divisions including one in charge of armed robbery, the accused replied, “My lord, it can be so, I don’t know but so I have been hearing.”
More details soon.