A close political associate of Chadian President IIdriss Déby Itno, Mahamat Bichara Gnoti, has been arrested as he tried to transfer missiles he purchased from the Sudanese army meant for Boko Haram terrorist in northeastern Nigeria.
As Cameroonian investigative journalist, Bisong Etahoben, reports via Twitter, Mr. Gnoti was arrested on the Chadian-Sudan border with 19 SAM2 missiles.
Reportedly, Mr. Gnoti, who claimed that President Idriss Déby gave him the funds to purchase the weapons, had waved a presidential pass issued to him by Mr. Deby’s office in order to get past border guards but was stopped and searched by the guards who found the deadly weapons on him.
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According to the Sahara Reporters, there has not been an official confirmation or denial either by the Chadian or the Nigerian authorities. The office of Colonel Sambo Dasuki (rtd), the National Security Adviser in Nigeria also doesn’t respond. While an aide said Mr. Dasuki is traveling in Mexico.
Mahamat Bichara Gnoti, regular visitor & close confidant of Idris Derby was Nov 17 arrested with 19 SAM2 missiles destined 4 Boko Haram.
— ChiefBisong Etahoben (@ChiefBisongEta1) November 22, 2014
Gnorti said he was sent by Derby himself 2 procure missiles from Sudanese army & deliver 2 persons in NNigeria whose phone nos he gave him. — ChiefBisong Etahoben (@ChiefBisongEta1) November 22, 2014
However, the arrest of Mr. Gnoti, if confirmed, will provide solid evidence that the Chadian President is largely behind Boko Haram lightning insurgency in Nigeria’s northwest.
Recently, Mr. Derby swindled the Nigerian government of millions of dollars in a failed attempt to negotiate the release of over 200 Chibok schoolgirls abducted by Boko Haram in April.
On September 8th, President Goodluck Jonathan made a dramatic visit to N’djamena to meet with Idris Derby, Mr. Jonathan was accompanied on the trip by former Governor of Borno State, Ali Modu Sherrif.
The visit was condemned by opposition figures and civil society groups in Nigeria as they see it as an open embrace of individuals funding Boko Haram militants.
An Australian negotiator, Stephen Davis had accused Mr. Sheriff and former Chief of Army Staff, Azubuike Ihejirika of actively funding Boko Haram.