Minister: Nigeria police have 24 hours to find terror suspect

Boko Haram's terrorizing of Nigeria
Boko Haram's terrorizing of Nigeria

    JUST WATCHED

    Boko Haram's terrorizing of Nigeria

MUST WATCH

Boko Haram's terrorizing of Nigeria 02:40

Story highlights

  • A $307,000 reward is put up by police for information leading to the suspect
  • The escapee is suspected to have masterminded a militant attack on churches
  • Nigeria's inspector general of police faces sanctions if the terror suspect is not found
  • "Anyone could be sacked, including myself," the minister for police affairs says
The head of Nigeria's police has been given 24 hours to produce a terror attack suspect who escaped police custody under suspicious circumstances, a government minister said Thursday.
Minister of Police Affairs Navy Capt. Caleb Olubolade said he and Police Inspector General Hafiz Ringim had been summoned to see President Goodluck Jonathan Wednesday over the escape.
The fugitive, identified by police as Kabiru Sokoto, is suspected to be the mastermind of a series of deadly church bombings on Christmas Day.
The bombings were claimed by Boko Haram, a militant Islamist group frequently blamed for sectarian violence in Nigeria.
A 50 million naira ($307,000) reward was offered by police Thursday for any information leading to Sokoto's capture and a photograph of him in custody has been distributed to all police stations in the country.
Kabiru Sokoto was in police custody before his escape.
Who are Nigeria's Boko Haram?
Who are Nigeria's Boko Haram?

    JUST WATCHED

    Who are Nigeria's Boko Haram?

MUST WATCH

Who are Nigeria's Boko Haram? 03:41
Christians warned to leave Nigeria
Christians warned to leave Nigeria

    JUST WATCHED

    Christians warned to leave Nigeria

MUST WATCH

Christians warned to leave Nigeria 02:18
Ringim will face severe sanctions for negligence of duty if Sokoto is not found, Olubolade said in a statement.
"Anyone could be sacked, including myself," Olubolade said.
The suspect was initially detained successfully, but he escaped when suspected gang members attacked his police escort as he was being transferred to another town, police sources said Wednesday. The sources asked not to be named because of the sensitivity of the matter.
Olubolade said he had directed that the officers involved in the transfer be immediately detained.
The police commissioner responsible for the suspect's secure transfer is currently under arrest, according to police sources.
They named the commissioner as Zakaria Biu, who himself hails from Borno state, the hub of Boko Haram's activities.
Jonathan declared a partial state of emergency December 31 in four northern states, Borno among them, to contain a wave of attacks by Boko Haram.
Police sources also pointed the finger at Boko Haram Wednesday for an attack on a Nigerian army outpost in Maiduguri, the capital of Borno, in which two soldiers were killed.