Police parade man who offered teenagers N10,000 to burn IDP camp

The police in Borno State has paraded a 40-year-old firewood seller in Maiduguri, Babagana Umar for allegedly offering N10,000 to three children to raze down the Mafa Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camp.

Also paraded  on Thursday, April 4, were the children identified as Malum Usman, 16; Bulama Bukar, 14; and Rawa Usman, 11.

The police said they were arrested on March 24.

The Thursday announcement comes days after the state government alleged that some non-governmental organisations (NGOs) were sponsoring the burning of IDP camps in Borno State.

The state’s Commissioner for Information and Internal Security, Prof. Usman Tar said, “This matter is under investigation and further necessary action shall be taken on the basis of the outcome of the investigation.”

Parading the four suspects attempting before newsmen in Maiduguri, the state police command’s spokesman, Nahum Daso, said,“On the 24th of March 2024 at about 10:30am, hunters group of Mafa reported to the Mafa division of the police with three suspects, Malum Usman (16 years), Bulama Bukar (14 years), Rawa Usman (11 years), all of Mafa IDP camp, that the suspects were arrested with matches while trying to set a house ablaze in the camp.

“Preliminary investigation further revealed that the trio were sponsored by one Babagana Umar, a firewood seller in the Muna Garage area of Maiduguri, who contracted them to commit the act at the rate of N10,000. The case is under investigation.”

The 40-year-old Umar, however, denied the allegation in an interview with journalists.

He also refuted claims of receiving any money from any NGO to sponsor the arson.

“I was arrested while saying my prayers in the mosque,” the Muna Garage firewood seller, who has three wives and 15 children, told Punch.

“This is a mischief against me by persons I am yet to even imagine. When I was arrested, because I knew I had never imagined attempting to set the Mafa IDP camp ablaze, I proposed to swear by the Holy Quran to prove my innocence, but I was not allowed.

 “No NGO gave me any money to sponsor the burning of any camp and I did not give the children N10,000 to burn the Mafa camp.”

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