Boko Haram Commander Umar Abdulmalik, who was arrested few days ago has revealed why he went into full time armed robbery, as well as his bloody exploits in the course of running different missions for the group.
The 30-year-old Okene-born suspect who reportedly killed over 200 persons before his arrest, told Vanguard that a radical Islamic cleric, identified as Mallam Mustapha, indoctrinated him into the deadly sect.
According to Umar Abdulmalik, Mustapha 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. Abudulmalik 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.
“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 was the person providing the bombs and my job then was to take them to our target locations. After a while, the Department of State Security infiltrated our cell and they started arresting members of our group and Mallam Mustapha was arrested and his mosque was demolished.
“Zeedi also brought the idea of bank robbery so that those of us who had not been arrested could have the resources 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, including Zeedi, were arrested after those bank robberies and the attack on prison. Then I moved to Abuja with the bombs we produced and I formed a new cell in 2014 and we carried out several bombings, including those at Banex Plaza, Nyanya and Kuje areas of Abuja, but unfortunately our gang was busted and five of our gang members were arrested and our bombs, including the none-metallic and the materials we were using in making them, were recovered.
“I escaped, fled to Kano and I went underground for two years before I 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”.
Continuing, Abdulmalik said: “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” he said.