“Today at Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport, Abuja, a man suspected to be one of the declared wanted suspected Boko Haram terrorists, Chindo Bello was apprehended by Aviation Security as he was boarding Aero Contractors’ Airline flight to Lagos.
“The suspect has since been handed over to the military intelligence for interrogation and prosecution.
“We would like to thank those eagle eyed and patriotic security agents and good citizens for the tip off that led to the arrest of the suspect.
“The Nigerian Army would like to reiterate the need for all well meaning Nigerians and those residing in our great country to be more vigilant and assist security agencies with information about the declared wanted terrorists, their sponsors and other criminals in our midst,” Usman said in the statement.
Last week, the Nigeria’s army posted a photographic collage of 100 wanted Boko Haram militants that features the shadowy leader whom they claim to have killed on at least three occasions.
The poster pasted onto walls this week includes elderly men and boys who appear to be minors.
No names are attached since most images are screen grabs from videos seized in raids on Boko Haram camps or published on the Internet by the Islamic extremists, said army spokesman Col. Sani Usman.
No reward is offered for requested information as the military hopes that people will offer information as a public service, said army chief Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai.
The center of the collage features leader Abubakar Shekau cradling an AK-47 assault rifle with belts of ammunition strapped to his chest.
Nigeria’s military has claimed that Shekau is dead at least three times in the past three years. In 2013, Nigeria offered the equivalent of $250,000 for information leading to his arrest. The United States has a $7 million bounty on Shekau’s head.
Shekau has not appeared in a video since he pledged allegiance to the Islamic State group in March. In previous videos he has grinned and said how much he enjoys killing.
He has led the extremist uprising that began in 2009 after police, angered by Boko Haram’s beheading of police officers’ wives and children, retaliated by bombing the mosque compound of then-leader Mohammed Yusuf in northeastern Maiduguri city. They killed about 700 sect members before capturing and killing Yusuf.
Some 20,000 people have died since then and Shekau has alienated some Jihadi groups with indiscriminate killings of Muslims and suicide bombings of mosques.
Boko Haram attracted international outrage with its April 2014 abductions of nearly 300 schoolgirls, 219 of whom remain missing.