The chairman of the All Nigeria People’s Party, ANPP, in BornoState, Mala Othman, has been arrested by the military Joint Task Force.
Spokesman of the Joint Task Force, JTF, in Borno State, SagirMusa, a lieutenant colonel confirmed to journalists that Othman is presently in the team’s custody undergoing interrogation.
He declined making further comments on the issue, saying: “Investigation is ongoing and the press will be briefed accordingly at the end on the investigation.”
The ANPP chieftain’s arrest is believed to be linked to accusations of his involvement with Boko Barak activities.
Borno youths, who formed a group known as the “civilian JTF” to assist in the clampdown of Boko Haram terrorists in the state, had accused the ANPP chairman of sponsoring insurgents.
Last Monday, the youths stormed Othman’s residence in the state and set it ablaze after several unsuccessful attempts to get him arrested.
The angry youths accused Othman of gun running and sponsoring terrorist activities in the state.
The task force spokesman commended the efforts of the youths, while urging them to continue to act in an orderly manner and within the ambit of the law.
Meanwhile, the Borno state chapter of the ANPP, has condemned the burning of their state chairman’s house by the youth vigilante over alleged involved in activities of Boko Haram sect, insisting that the attack was politically motivated.
The party in a statement signed by its secretary, Bakura Shettima, that the accusation against its chairman and the burning of his house were politically motivated by extraneous forces that have infiltrated the youth vigilante.
“Our party chairman, Othman, is an accomplished politician who has the interest of the people and the development of the state at heart. Accusing him of such behaviour is witch hunting,” he said.
Shettima argued that there are records to show that 99 percent of politicians killed since the Boko Haram insurgency began in the state are members of the ANPP, which is the ruling party in Borno state.
He therefore appealed to the Youth Volunteers to be careful not to take the law into their hands, neither to allow themselves to be used by politicians against their perceived opponents, “in order to score cheap political goal”.
The Party has also called for full investigation into the burning down of their leader’s house.