Nigeria: Wanted Boko Haram Fighter Captured

Screengrab from a Boko Haram video shows Boko Haram fighters parading on a tank in an unidentified town.

The Nigerian army says it has taken a high-level Boko Haram militant into custody.

Police in Ondo state arrested Idris Ibrahim Babawo on Sunday and handed him over to the army’s 32nd brigade one day later, according to a statement from the army’s director of public relations, Brigadier General Sani Kukasheka Usman.

The statement, which refers to Babawo as a “terrorist kingpin,” says the suspect is 42, goes by the names Idoko and Nagada, and is on a list of wanted Boko Haram militants. It says he hails from Chinade village in the Katagum area of Bauchi state.

Ondo state is in southwestern Nigeria, far from the northeastern states where Boko Haram primarily operates.

“[Babawo] escaped from the North East due to the military onslaught on the terrorists, with a view to evade arrest and prosecution,” said Usman’s statement.

It did not explain how Babawo was captured.

Boko Haram is blamed for at least 20,000 deaths in northeastern Nigeria and bordering countries since launching an insurgency against the Nigerian government in 2009.