The Nigerian Prisons Services, NPS, has issued a statement denying that the man who masterminded the Christmas Day bombing in St. Theresa Catholic Church in Mandalla, Niger State in 2011, Kabiru Dikko, more popularly known as Kabiru Sokoto, had been released from prison custody.
Rumours began to circulate on social media that President Muhammadu Buhari had released Kabiru Sokoto with some messages saying that the Boko Haram commander’s release is part of a secret settlement to secure the return of the kidnapped Chibok schoolgirls.
Mr. Biyi Jeje, a spokesperson for the Nigerian Prisons Service said that Nigerians should disregard the rumours concerning Sokoto’s release.
Islamizing Nigeria Through Terrorism: A car burns at the scene of a Christmas Day bomb explosion that the Islamist militant group Boko Haram claimed responsibility for at St. Theresa Catholic Church at Madalla, Suleja, just outside Nigeria’s capital Abuja on December 25, 2011. | Reuters/Afolabi Sotunde
“Please disregard the rumour. He is still in prisons custody,” Mr. Jeje replied enquiries by Leadership. “There’s no truth in all” the reports claiming that Mr. Dikko had been released.”
Sokoto is currently serving a life-sentence for the bombing which shocked the nation killing over 44 people. He was convicted and sentenced by a federal court in Abuja presided over by Justice Ademola Adeniyi in December 2013.
He is currently appealing his sentencing.
The Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria, HURIWA, has written to President Muhammadu Buhari requesting for an official statement on the rumoured release of the convicted terrorist.
Mrs. Chioma Dike (2nd right), the woman who lost three of her children and Mrs. Kate Ehis (2nd left), the woman who lost her only son in the Christmas Day bombing at St. Theresa Catholic Church, weeping during the President Goodluck Jonathan’s visit to Madalla, Niger State on Saturday, December 31, 2011 | NAN Photo
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