News Peace & Security

Army ‘mole’ kills himself rather than face the wrath of a military court martial

A soldier, who turned out to be a mole, giving vital intelligence information to insurgents – believed to be members of the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) and joining them in their attacks on civilians – killed himself after being captured by military officers.

Abdullahi Jibrin, a lance corporal and weapons instructor in the Nigerian Army battalion in the Geidam Local Government Area of Yobe State, was found to have given guarded intelligence secrets to ISWAP – and then joined their ranks by taking part in at least two recent attacks against civilians.

The Nigerian Army said Jibrin aided ISWAP by providing insider intelligence and joining the insurgents in an attack on a local pub in Kornari village in the Ngala Local Government Area of Borno State, during which nine people were killed, and also by taking part in an attack on a relaxation centre in the Abasha ward of the Gashua Local Government Area, in Yobe State, where one person was killed and seven injured.

After the attacks, Jibrin, who wore a disguise, boarded a bus to Gombe but he was identified and nabbed at a checkpoint in Gashua. Army intelligence had been tracking him and he was found in the town, about 100km away from his duty post.

He was handcuffed and, while being interrogated, revealed many details that led to the arrest of some of his collaborators, the army said.

While in transit to Geidam, Jibrin employed his skills as a weapons instructor, snatched a gun from one of his escorts, overpowered the others and shot himself.

Abubakar Kawu Monguno, the director of the disaster management unit at the University of Maiduguri, told RNI that there were many incidents of moles or spies being caught within the Nigerian Army.

“They feed the enemy with intel and other classified information, enabling them to launch attacks on strategic military locations, such as military bases, checkpoints and even army barracks.

“Long before this incident, we have seen on many occasions that there was no way Boko Haram [Jamā’at Ahl as-Sunnah lid-Da’way Wa’l-Jihād – JAS] or ISWAP or any other armed groups in Nigeria could have launched attacks on military locations or ambushed soldiers without someone dishing out information or intel about military locations, tactics, the next moves and other planned operations.

“So, this kind of thing is a major setback in the fight against terrorism and perhaps that’s why our military is not progressing in the war against Boko Haram in the northeast, bandits in the northwest and other armed groups in the north-central regions.”

Monguno said that it was imperative for the Federal Government to adopt the following tips to wipe out moles or spies among the military: proper scrutiny and investigation of candidates during the armed forces’ recruitment process, the creation of an efficient centralised data base for all armed forces and equipping themselves with body-cameras (body-cams) and other highly advanced and state-of-the-art communication apparatus.

“The advice I would give to the Federal Government is that, initially, when they are recruiting people into the armed forces, they should first investigate the candidate’s educational background, right from primary, secondary up to tertiary. They should also check the state of mind of the candidate to see if he is mentally fit for the job. They have to investigate the candidate’s origins and family background to establish his moral behaviour and how helives with people within society,” he said.

“Another thing the government needs to consider is that the world now is rapidly advancing and growing in terms of technology. Therefore, it’s high time for the government to do away with their obsolete ideas and to adopt and embrace new ideas, especially in the fight against insurgents. They need to create an effective centralised data base for all military personnel. This will help to ferret out moles among the soldiers.

“The government also needs to procure some advanced military equipment such as body-cams, the latest communication gadgets, as well as other state-of-the-art apparatus. This will prove to be most helpful for the military, especially for those on the frontline to carry out their duties diligently.”

Monguno said the incident of a serving soldier working for ISWAP by spying on the activities of the Nigerian Army and then informing the enemy would “definitely create a lot of doubt and mistrust between civilians and the military”.

“Honestly, this incident of a serving soldier spying on the Nigerian Army, leaking classified information and top secrets to the ISWAP, will definitely create even more mistrust between the public and the military. You know, this will really affect the cordial military-civil relationship, especially in Borno and in other places in the northeast.

“If that happens, local people, especially those who are affected by the attacks, will no longer trust the military. This means they will stop giving the military local intel or useful information because they will not know if their intel is being given to the Nigerian Army or to ISWAP.”

SHETTIMA LAWAN MONGUNO

About the author

Mbodou Hassane Moussa

Journaliste de formation et de profession. Passionné par l'écriture, le digital et les médias sociaux, ces derniers n'ont aucun secret pour lui. Il a embrassé très tôt l'univers des médias et de la Communication. Titulaire d'une Licence en journalisme et d'un Master en Management des projets, Mbodou Hassan Moussa est éditeur Web du journal en ligne Toumaï Web Médias. Aujourd'hui, il est devenu Webmaster à la Radio Ndarason internationale et collabore à la réalisation du journal en langue française et dialecte Kanembou.

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