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Borno Civilian JTF Denies Ties With Boko Haram

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The Civilian Joint Task Force, CJTF, a vigilante group that is assisting the Nigerian military in the ongoing anti-terrorism operations in Borno State, has denied reports that leader of the group, Lawan Jafar, was arrested by the Army for alleged links with the Boko Haram.

The disclaimer followed a recent publication by Desert Herald, a weekly newspaper based in Kaduna State, claiming that Jafar had been arrested by the military for having ties with the terrorist group but was later released after the Borno State Attorney General and Commissioner of Justice, Kaka Lawan pressurized that the case be dropped.

The report also claimed that the CJTF leader owns about 20 houses in Maiduguri, the state capital, as well as a vast farmland where he rears about 500 cows. These are in addition to another mansion in Abuja, where security operatives purportedly recovered N500 million after a search was conducted there.

However, addressing a press conference, the legal adviser of the vigilante group, Jubrin Gunda, said that the report by Desert Herald Newspaper was false, adding that this was not the first time the CJTF would be facing similar attack.

“When you are fighting evil, definitely evil would rise back to fight you but one thing is certain darkness cannot win the battle against light,” Gunda said.

He noted that the false report was obviously politically motivated, recalling that as the legal adviser of the group, he had taken many legal actions in the past against the detractors of Civilian JTF.

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Gunda gave the Kaduna-based newspaper three days to come out with evidences to prove its claims or retract the report and tender an unreserved apology, stressing that failure to do so will leave the group with no other option than to seek redress in court.

He clarified that the CJTF leader was never arrested and released at the instance of the State Attorney General, adding that “the CJTF leader is not under arrest either by the military or any of the security agencies in the state.”

The CJTF legal adviser pointed out the same newspaper had also published another false story claiming that the Member Representing Maiduguri Metropolitan Council, in the House of Representatives, Abdulkadir Rahis, was arrested and later released on bail.

He noted that Rahis was never arrested by any security agency whether in Abuja, Borno or anywhere in the country.

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