Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Nigeria: Christmas Day bomber escapes from custody

Nigerian police officials have said that a key suspect in the Christmas Day bombing that killed at least 38 people has escaped from custody. Kabiru Sokoto, who is allegedly a member of the Islamist sect Boko Haram, was arrested on Saturday 14th January in Abuja. He escaped the following day as police attempted to search his residence outside the capital city.

Authorities say that Sokoto planned the 25th December bombing of St Theresa Catholic church in Madalla. They released a statement, saying the police commissioner responsible for the overseeing of the suspect has been arrested, due to alleged negligence.

The statement went on to say: “The police view this development as a serious negligence on the part of the commissioner of police and have since queried and suspended him from duty."

Sokoto was the only major suspect to be arrested on suspicion of the bombing, and other similar attacks around the country. President Goodluck Jonathan has voiced concerns that some members of the Islamist sect have infiltrated government offices and security agencies.

Some suspect police involvement with the sect, who is reportedly responsible for at least 74 killings this year alone.

Sources: BBC News, AFP, AP

For more news and expert analysis about Nigeria, please see Nigeria Focus and Nigeria Politics & Security.

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