Bandits’ Negotiator, Mamu, Arrested Over N2bn Ransom Racketeering 

Tukur Mamu, Kaduna-based publisher of Desert Herald paper was arrested on Tuesday by security operatives in Cairo, Egypt for his alleged involvement in collecting ransom and delivering to terrorists in exchange for kidnapped victims.

Daily Trust reports that security sources said beyond his relationship with bandits in Nigeria, Mamu was also arrested due to his “Strong ties with a terror group in Sinai area in Egypt”.

However, Mamu refuted the allegations saying he was on a legitimate journey to Saudi Arabia.

The Kaduna publisher, who was entangled in the controversial negotiations that led to the release of several abducted passengers of the March 28 Abuja-Kaduna train attack, was arrested together with his family by operatives of the Department of State Services (SSS) shortly after he was repatriated to Nigeria from Egypt.

According to family sources ,Mamu was on his way to Saudi Arabia for lesser Hajj was travelling alongside his two wives; Fatima Bashir Mamu and Aisha Salisu Mamu as well as his eldest son, Faisal Tukur Mamu, and his brother-in-law Ibrahim Hassan Tinja.

Mamu made the headlines after he severally declared that he secured the release of most of the train victims. However, the persistently denied collecting ransom from families of the victims and taking them to the terrorists.

Nexus News recalls that the Department of State Services (DSS) said yesterday that Mamu is in its custody as confirmed by Peter Afunanya, the spokesman in a statement.

In a related news, the management of Desert Herald condemned the arrest of its publisher, Mamu, alongside some of his family members.

The statement as signed by the Head, Special Operations and Production Manager, Ibrahim Mada,  claimed that the security operatives only acted on an order by the Nigerian government to arrest Mamu and his family who were on their way to Saudi Arabia to perform lesser hajj and were billed to return on September 20.

“The allegation according to some sources that he was arrested by security operatives in Egypt for fleeing the country is unfounded and baseless. We hereby demand for their immediate and unconditional release,” he said.

According to a source in one of the intelligence outfits in Nigeria, Mamu’s arrest was beyond his activities in Nigeria.

“He was arrested in Egypt based on Advance Passenger Information (API) because he came under international security scrutiny following his activities here at home and beyond the shores of Nigeria shortly after the Kaduna train attack,” he said.

“I can assure you that Mamu has high linkage with terror groups in Egypt, especially in Sinai and by extension Libya, the Sahel and other parts of West Africa on this side, and the middle- east on the other side.

“He has collected over N2bn in ransom for terrorists with some of the payments made in US dollars by desperate families and negotiated the release of their loved ones…We have been monitoring all his activities and evidence abound to hold him to account,” he said.

Sinai Peninsula is the northeastern extremity of Egypt and adjoins Israel and the Gaza Strip on the east. Despite the decline in the frequency of attacks in recent years, militants remain active and pose a serious threat to Egyptian security operatives and other symbols of Sinai.

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