A suspect in the deadly Christmas bombing in Nigeria which killed at least 32 people has reportedly identified the financial backers of the Islamist terrorist group Boko Haram that was behind the attack.

Kabiru Sokoto, who has been re-arrested, gave details of the group's economic supporters. They include politicians and businessmen, reports claimed.

"The man is co-operating well with us," an unnamed source inside the security forces told the Daily Champion.

"He has said a lot, though some of the revelations he made are chilling. He has named some top personalities in society as [Boko Haram's] sponsors.

"He has also named some of the bank managers who have been facilitating transactions and how they bring in their deadly weapons, including the explosives they use in their bombings," the source said.

The suspect allegedly admitted that security forces are getting closer to the sect's leaders and co-ordinators.

The development came after reports that the Nigerian army killed members of the Islamist radical sect during a raid in the northeastern city of Maiduguri.

The raid was in retaliation against a Boko Haram attack. A spokesman for the Joint Task Force unit confirmed that 12 members of Boko Haram were killed in the raid.