He is the leader of Boko Haram.
He is said to be a fearless loner, a complex, paradoxical man – part intellectual, part gangster.
Fondly called imam or leader by his followers, Abubakar Muhammad Shekau was born in Shekau village in Yobe State.
Some say he is 34 or 35, others that he may be 43 – the uncertainty adds to the myths surrounding Nigeria’s most wanted man.
Shekau was once thought to have been killed by security forces in 2009 – only for him to reappear in videos posted on the internet less than a year later as Boko Haram’s new leader. He has not been seen in public since. Instead, still images and video clips of him are released from time to time, mostly online, by the group’s faceless “public enlightenment department”.
He is said to have met his predecessor in Maiduguri, capital of Borno State through a mutual friend, Mamman Nur, who is said to have masterminded the August 2011 bombing of the UN office complex in Abuja.
Under Shekau, Boko Haram has become more radical and carried out more killings. He is fluent in his native Kanuri, Hausa and Arabic languages – he does not speak English.
He is said to have married one of Mohammed Yusuf’s four wives and adopted their children.
Shekau does not communicate directly with the group’s foot soldiers – he is said to wield his power through a few select cell leaders, but even then, contact is minimal.
He is nicknamed “Darul Tawheed”, which translates as a specialist in Tawheed. This is an orthodox doctrine of the uniqueness and oneness of Allah, which is the very cornerstone of Islam.
Kabiru Sokoto was arrested in February by the State Security Service (SSS). He was earlier arrested by the police, and ‘allowed’ to escape. His escape led to the dismissal of Deputy Commissioner of Police Zakari Biu. He was declared wanted, with a N5million ransom on his head before the SSS re-arrested him at Mutum in Gassol Local Government Area of Taraba State. He has been with the SSS. He is believed to be giving vital information which has been helping understand how the Boko Haram sect works.
His real name is Kabiru Abubakar Dikko. The 29-year-old was born to the family of Umaru Jabbi of Gagi village in Sokoto South Local Government Area on May 9, 1983.
After the death of his father, his uncle, Abubakar Dikko, adopted him and gave him his name. He completed his secondary education in 2003 and was admitted to the College of Nursing and Midwifery, Sokoto, where he was said to have been a truant with extremist tendencies.
The SSS is also holding a man it said was the spokesman of the sect, Abu Qaqa. But Boko Haram has insisted that the man in the SSS custody is Abu Darda, its head of public enlightenment. He was arrested in February and has been with the agency since then.
The sect said: “The person that was arrested was Abu Darda and not Abu-Qaqa. I am Abul Qaqa, the spokesman for the Jama’atu Ahlis Sunnati Lidda’awati Wal Jihad. Abu Darda is the head of the Lagina (Dept) of public enlightenment and not the spokesman.
“The arrest of Abu Darda is an outright deception and betrayal by the Nigerian government and security agents. They proclaimed dialogue and are doing the opposite. His arrest has proved to us that they were waiting for us to avail ourselves so that they can arrest us.
“We purposely sent Abu Darda to Kaduna to discuss with some key government functionaries on the issue of dialogue. Indeed, he had started talking to them but unknown to him, they (had) directed some security agents to trail him and arrest him.
“This is exactly what happened. He volunteered to present himself for the dialogue but was betrayed. Everybody knows our capability and tactics of operation. It is evidently clear that none of our members could be caught on a platter of gold and without confrontation.”
In May, his father was reported killed by the sect in Maiduguri because of his alleged revelations on the group to the SSS.
He was arrested in May along with his wife and five children in the Farawa, Kano.
His arrest came hours after blasts and gunfire rocked Maiduguri, the Borno State capital.
Mohammed has been described as Boko Haram’s head of operations in Kano under the group’s suspected leader, Abubakar Shekau.
Three pistols, a rifle, 1,000 rounds of ammunition and 10 Improvised Explosive Devices (IDEs) were recovered from his house.
He was arrested in May at his shop in a market in Kano following information from suspected Boko Haram members arrested in raids.
High profile suspects allegedly said Usman was providing combustible chemicals used in the manufacture of IEDs (improvised explosive devices) for attacks on innocent people in the city.
Thirty-five drums of chemicals of 240 litres each and a dozen bags of combustible items were recovered during the raid on his shop in one of the markets in Dala Local Government Area of the state.
Ibrahim Mohammed Ali
A prime suspect in the coordinated attacks on Christian worshippers at the old campus of Bayero University, Kano in which 20 persons, including 2 professor, were killed. He was arrested in May.
Ali, a diploma holder from Ramat Polytechnic, Maiduguri, Borno State, was nabbed by security operatives who had been on his trail.
The JTF arrested him after surrounding a house located at Bubugaje, Sharada Phase III Industrial Layout in Kumbotso Local Government Area, where he was hiding.
There was a three-hour shoot-out between the JTF and suspected members of the sect before he was arrested.
Source: The Nation