Kabiru Sokoto, who is standing trial for the 2011 Christmas Day bombing of St. Theresa’s Catholic Church, Madalla, Niger State, yesterday opened up in court, explaining how they carried out the attack.
Sokoto was arraigned for terrorism at the Federal High Court, Maitama in Abuja.
The Boko Haram leader and mastermind of the church’s bombing, who since his arraignment, had denied involvement or knowledge of the deadly attack, suddenly opened up yesterday on how they plotted and killed over 40 worshippers on December 25, 2011 at about 8.00am. Sokoto dismissed claims that the attack on the church was carried out by a suicide bomber.
Another bombshell by Sokoto is the financial link Boko Haram had with Algeria and how a group which is the sect’s financial backbone had been instrumental to their means of fund raising to carry out deadly attacks. The sharing of funds by the members of the Islamist sect, he said, led to the major crack in Boko Haram.
On the church bombing, Sokoto told the court that the incident was a coordinated attack that was executed by two persons- Bashir Mohammed and Mukthar Kafanchan under the supervision of Sulieman Habib, who is the commander of Boko Haram in Niger State.
Giving further insight into how the attack was carried out, he said: “It was not a suicide bomber as many believed. It was a coordinated attack. The car that was used for the operation was parked near the church, laden with explosives and later detonated by the people assigned for the job,” he told the court.
On the Algerian sponsors, he said an Algerian group, Muslimiyama, which means ‘the group from the sunset,’ frequently sent money to them. He noted that it was the sharing of N40million sent by the group that split the sect into two factions.
“There is a group in Algeria, Muslimiyama, meaning ‘the group from the sunset’, which normally sends money to us. And it was because of the sharing of N40million they sent to us that our sect split into two.
I was given N500,000 out of the money which I used to buy Koran and other books.” However, contrary to reports, Sokoto said the Presidential Committee on Dialogue and Peaceful Resolution of Security Challenges had never met with him.