A Nigerian local government official was detained in the country’s restive northeastern region for allegedly shielding a Boko Haram suspect at his home.
According to a ministerial statement on Sunday from the provincial Borno government, Shettima Lawan Mafa, a council chairman, was held by the military on suspicion he hid a top terror suspect.
“(Hon. Mafa) reported himself to the military last week and was detained pending the outcome of ongoing investigations being conducted by the military,” Borno commissioner for local government affairs Usman Ali Zannah said — the first official comment on the issue.
The army had yet to comment at the time of this report.
A number of top government officials have previously been indicted for alleged involvement in the insurgency. The country’s senate majority leader Ali Ndume and former Borno governor Ali Modu-Sheriff face similar charges, although they have not yet been prosecuted.
The development comes just over a week after the military flushed the militants from their main base in the Sambisa forest and amid reports Boko Haram violence has dropped sharply in the last 12 months.
The International Institute for Strategic Studies claimed the death toll from the war with Boko Haram in Nigeria has fallen dramatically.
“From a high of almost 3,000 deaths a month in January 2015, the number killed by Boko Haram has fallen by more than 95 percent,” according to the group in a report over the weekend.