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Boko Haram arms supplier escapes from military custody

....leaves with AK-47 rifle, grenades

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A suspected Boko Haram arms supplier and detained Nigerian soldier, Abba Gesh, has escaped from the Joint Investigation Centre (JIC), a military prison located at Giwa Barracks in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital.

JIC facility is known for housing hundreds of suspected and confirmed Boko Haram terrorists arrested during the ongoing military operations against insurgency in the Northern region.

An internal military memo stated that he escaped with an AK-47 rifle and approximately four hand grenades, expressing concerns about his intentions to kidnap locals for ransom.

The memo reads, “Abba Gesh, a Special Force previously attached to 222 Battalion. He was arrested in the NE for selling ammunition to BHTs in Geizua. But he escaped recently from JIC Maiduguri custody

“He was sighted on November 26, 2023, at Malari near HQ 222 Bn. He was seen with AK-47 rifle and about 4 hand grenades. His intention is to kidnap locals for ransom.

“Meanwhile, I have been directed to facilitate fmns/units, military intelligence, MPs to brief their tps at CP on the need to apprehend and arrest him by any means if seen loitering within AOR.”

The disturbing escape raises serious concerns about the involvement of military operatives in aiding and abetting terrorists, as highlighted by the former Chief of Defence Staff, Leo Irabor, in 2022.

In a letter to various operation commanders, Irabor condemned the rising cases of military personnel collaborating with terrorists, bandits, and other criminals.

The letter urged commanders to sensitize their officers about the serious implications of such collaborations, citing incidents like a soldier conspiring with a known terrorist informant in Bama, Borno.

However, this current escape by Gesh revibrates the ongoing challenges in addressing internal security threats, emphasizing the need for robust measures to prevent collusion within the military ranks and maintain public safety

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