Wives of both the past and present leaders of the dreaded Boko Haram, slain Mohammed Yusuf and Abubakar Shekau were among the several terror suspects that were released by The Joint Task (JTF) recently, sources close to the federal government’s Dialogue and Amnesty Committee told orijoreporter.
Hassana Yakubu, the wife of Abubakar Shekau who United States placed $7m bounty on and Malama Zara, wife of slain leader of the group, Mohammed Yusuf, and seven other wives of top commanders of the sect breathed the air of freedom after being in detention for several months.
Also released are three children of Shekau as well as 13 others who were arrested alongside their mothers in various locations in Yobe State, the source said.
The detainees were handed over to the Yobe State government which in turn handed them over to the Borno State government. They were later reconnected with their families in a brief ceremony which took place at the executive chambers of the deputy governor of Borno State, Zanna Umar Mustapha.
The women and children, who were brought to Maiduguri by Barrister Aliyu Shehu, the special adviser to the Yobe State governor and the Commissioner for Women Affairs, Asma ‘u Kolo, were received by Borno Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Barrister Kaka Shehu, and other top government functionaries on behalf of Governor Kashim Shettima.
It was gathered that Shekau’s wife and children were arrested by the JTF in a rented apartment in Damaturu about 10 months ago. The house was thoroughly searched and sophisticated weapons recovered before the building was demolished after the family was taken into custody, the source said.