Fresh Court documents have revealed how the Department of State Security Services, DSS, recovered over $151,000 dollars(over N105,000,000) in cash during a recent raid on the residence of Desert Herald Publisher, Tukur Mamu.
This is contrary to the widespread reports that a paltry sum of $151 was found in the journalist’s residence.
POLITICS NIGERIA recalls that Mamu, accused of being a terrorist negotiator, was arrested alongside his two wives at Cairo International Airport in Egypt on September 6.
The trio were awaiting a connecting flight to Saudi Arabia for lesser Hajj when they were whisked away by INTERPOL officers. Thereafter, they were deported to Nigeria, where DSS operatives picked them up on arrival at the Aminu Kano International Airport.
But according to the documents obtained by this medium, the items found in Mamu’s house include 16 naval uniforms, 8 Army uniforms, different foreign currency coins, $151,000 and over one million naira in cash.
Other recoveries include 6 laptops, tablets, various tactical communication devices and binoculars.
Security sources reveal that the huge sums recovered are suspected to be proceeds of an alleged criminal collusion between Mamu and bandits.It should be noted that Mamu played an intermediary role in the release of some victims of the infamous Abuja-Kaduna train attack.
Family says uniforms belong to Mamu’s relatives
Members of Mamu’s family have disputed the DSS claims on the monies and military uniforms.
According to a statement signed by Ibrahim Mada, special projects manager of Desert Herald Newspaper, the military accoutrements found in Mamu’s house during the Thursday raid of his house belong to his son, a naval officer.
The statement said; “We urge the DSS to avoid media trial of Malam Tukur Mamu (Dan Iyan Fika), Publisher, Desert Herald Newspaper whom they arrested and kept in detention since on Tuesday 6th September.”
“While the DSS did not indicate the actual amount of the so-called large sum of money found in his house and office, we want to make it clear, that the ‘military accoutrements’ found in his house are military kits (uniform and barret) belonging to his son, Yahaya Bello, a naval officer who graduated from NDA. Bello was brought up by Tukur and he lives in his house.”
“Recall that about two weeks ago, Tukur Mamu’s younger brother, Muhammad Saleh Mamu, an Air Force officer was killed while on counter terrorism’s mission in Zamfara.”
However, security experts who spoke with POLITICS NIGERIA under the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the topic, queried the claims that the uniforms belong to a relative.
“It is preposterous to claim that the uniforms belong to his relatives. What about the army uniforms? The security agencies should get to the root of this and Nigerians should not be quiet,” one of the experts said.
Another expert, who is a retired soldier, said, ” All through my days in the army, I did not have up to 20 uniforms. This matter should be thoroughly investigated.”
Controversial Islamic cleric, Ahmed Gumi has asked the secret police to either release Mamu or charge him to court immediately.
The cleric, whom Mamu was acting as his spokesperson, cited a provision of the Nigerian constitution that forbids the detention of a criminal suspect beyond 24 hours.
“Take him to court to face trial. Keeping him in custody despite being a family man was just to intimidate him. This intimidation is also terrorism. Arresting people unjustly is also terrorism; just like the terrorists do by going to somebody’s house to kidnap him.
“It’s not about Tukur Mamu, you all know that whenever they arrest innocent people, I always talk, not to talk of someone that I know and I’m only advising the government to release him so that we can apologise to him to forget what happened.”
But several Nigerians have continued to call for the arrest of Gumi, accusing him of being complicit in the thriving banditry because of his intermediary roles.
This development comes barely a day after the director general of DSS, Yusuf Magaji Bichi, hinted that the agency will clampdown on all “subversive elements creating problems in Nigeria.”
Bichi disclosed this in Abuja while celebrating the beginning of his second term as the head of the secret service.
According to multiple sources, the DSS is compiling a list of those creating tension and threatening peaceful coexistence.
Mamu’s arrest elicited a lot of reactions from Nigerians on Social media. Aliyu Nuhu, whose friend was kidnapped in Kaduna alleged that the kidnappers directed the family to Mamu. He stated;
“Just last month, a friend was kidnapped along Millennium city, Kaduna. The family offered to pay N4 million ransom. The kidnappers directed them to Mamu. When he assessed them and found out that they were rich people, he made them cough out N27 million and even asked them to bring “na goro” after the man was released. The man is currently at Airforce hospital, Kaduna, receiving treatment from a gun injury.”
Another Nigerian, Dr Idris Ahmed, said his friend, whose family were among those that were kidnapped by the terrorists on the Abuja – Kaduna train, labelled Mamu a ‘criminal’.
“Tukur Mamu is actually a criminal, who uses his popularity, religion, journalism and connection with highly placed politicians to cover his clandestine criminal activities,” he wrote.
He also alleged that the journalist has continued to amass luxury with money suspected to be proceeds of crime.
“Tukur Mamu just recently bought a house worth over N150 million in Anguwan Rimi in Kaduna.”
“Where did he get this substantial amount of money in these hard times? Tukur Mamu has a house along Anguwan Dosa in Kaduna.”
“The street that leads to the house is currently being refurbished, costing millions of Naira. Where did he find the money to embark on such a grandeur project? Tukur Mamu has an office in Anguwan Sarki in Kaduna. The office is now being completely refurbished. Where did he find the money to embark on such a project?”.