Reactions keep tracking the arrest of Junaid Idriss Khadi, the aide of Borno State Governor Kashim Shettima and an associate of the Australian negotiator Stephen Davis.
The State Security Service (SSS) detained Khadi for alleged ties with Boko Haram. The suspect was said to be part of the plot to blackmail and implicate Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Azubike Ihejirika and ex Borno governor Ali Modu Sheriff as insurgency sponsors.
The arrest crowned months of allegations related to the issue. Reacting to the development, Shettima blamed Sheriff for appointing Khadi when he was the governor and pleading that the aide be retained when he left, Sahara Reporters informs.
Shettima commended the security for the successful operation, encouraging them however to treat Khadi in the same way as other suspects, in accordance with the law.
Read the full December 16 statement by the governor’s media associate, Isa Gusau:
“Khadi was first appointed by Ex-Governor Ali Modu Sheriff in 2010, he was retained by Governor Shettima in 2011 on Sheriff’s request.
I am compelled to respond to enquiries by the media following the display of Alhaji Junaid Idrissa Khadi by a security agency today after he was said to have been arrested by the agency.
While it is not the tradition of Governor Kashim Shettima of Borno State to join issues with security agencies as he holds each of them in high esteem, we are concerned about an insinuation concerning the status of Khadi who was presented as an aide to Governor Kashim Shettima. We don’t want to question the integrity of the security agency involved and hence can not outrightly allege political motive to bring Governor Shettima’s image to disrepute.
First, let it be noted that our clarification here is not intended to pronounce Khadi guilty of whatever reasons that led to his arrest. The clarification is simply to put the records in their proper perspective.
Alhaji Junaid Idrissa Khadi was a Special Adviser to Governor Kashim Shettima following his appointment in 2013 on the insistence of Ex-Governor Ali Modu Sheriff who at that time, had the listening ears of his successor, Governor Shettima.
Khadi is known to be an associate of Ex-Governor Ali Modu Sheriff. It was Sheriff as Governor of Borno State that first appointed Khadi in 2010 as one of his Special Advisers without known designation given the fact most advisers under Sheriff as Governor, had no clear jurisdiction. When Shettima succeeded Sheriff as Governor in 2011, he appointed his advisers without Khadi. Sheriff persistently requested that Shettima appoint Khadi as an Adviser in charge of Religious Affairs which Shettima later accepted in 2013, two years after other Advisers were already in office. Khadi as everyone can attest to, remained closer to Sheriff before he was sacked by Shettima four months ago when Governor Shettima dissolved his cabinet, relieving all commissioners, Special Advisers, Senior Special Assistants and Special Assistants of their positions to reposition his administration.
It is important to note that Governor Kashim Shettima never found Khadi with any questionable character as at the time he was appointed. If at all Khadi had any questionable character, such can only be best known by those he first associated with before Shettima became a Governor in 2011 or perhaps, those that persistently recommended him to Shettima for reappointment.
Notwithstanding the records put in proper context, Governor Kashim Shettima expects and he is very hopeful that the security agency concerned will accord the fairest hearing to Khadi as it should to every other Nigerian arrested for whatever reason. The Governor expects that anyone found guilty of committing any crime that goes against the provisions of the Nigerian Constitution and other existing laws laws be made to face the full wrath of the law after a competent court pronounces him guilty with no iota of doubt.
Governor Kashim Shettima is always committed to the welfare of all good citizens of Borno State and remains in their defense while at the same time, he is in strong defense of the provisions of the Nigerian Constitution which he is under oath to defend and preserve as a Governor and citizen of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”
It would be recalled that last month Stephen Davis accused the SSS of working together with “Boko Haram sponsor” Sheriff. The negotiator insisted that the security used the tactics of intimidation which did not however apply to Sheriff.
“The Nigerian public cannot be blamed for concluding Sheriff is above the law and more powerful than any agency of political office in Nigeria… The SSS has not touched Sheriff. The EFCC has not touched Sheriff.”
Davis’s sensational revelations about Boko Haram sponsors divided Nigerians into two camps: those in the first camp believed him, while the others accused the Australian of intentionally destabilizing the country by making fake claims.