Two vigilantes were stabbed to death by a police officer during a joint night patrol by police officers and vigilantes in Bauchi state. Auwal Mohammed, the father of one of the deceased vigilantes, and Nazif Mohammed, a vigilante who survived the knife attack, recount ARMSTRONG BAKAM about the incident
Please Introduce yourself.
My name is Auwal Mohammed. I am the father of Abdulmalik Mohammed who was stabbed to death by a police officer which resulted in his death.
I am the commander of the Peace and Security Committee, popularly called “Yan komiti”, for the Sabon Gida, Bauchi unit, and I am also the provost in the district office of the committee. The DPO (Divisional Police Officer) usually calls me to say he needs help so I can send him some of my boys sometimes two or up to five and I will send them to him to join them to join the patrol.
How did you receive the news of your son’s death?
I was at my house asleep when the Yelwa Division DPO called and asked me to meet him at his office, but before I could go there, he told me that a team consisting of his men and vigilantes, went on patrol, but it (the patrol) went badly. He told me that the team met someone at a lodge in Rafin Zurfi State. This place is known as a black spot where criminals operate. He said the man they met there attacked them with a knife and stabbed three of the team members, who had to be taken to the hospital. At his direction, I was taken to the hospital in a car.
I met three vigilantes who were my son’s colleagues outside the hospital and I asked them where my son and the other two stabbed vigilantes were. They told me to go to the hospital. The time was about 9:30pm to 10:00pm. When I entered the hospital, I saw how the other two vigilantes were being treated. He was stabbed in the neck. But unfortunately it was the bodies of my son Abdulmalik and the second vigilante Sadiq that I found.
Did the police explain to you what happened before your son and the other vigilantes were stabbed by the suspect?
I am told that the police and vigilante team met the suspect who was sitting at the gate when he arrived at the lodge. The militia was six in number. They shone torches in his face and asked him, “Who are you?” He didn’t answer them, but instead asked why they were flashing light on his face. He immediately got up, took out a knife and began stabbing her. In fact he stabbed the second person who died twice and thank god the third boy saw the knife in his hand as he approached him and therefore his case wasn’t that bad. That was the statement they gave me and that’s what the data protection officer’s report said too.
Were the police able to arrest the suspect?
He was arrested and indeed the police PRO confirmed that the suspect is a serving police officer.
We were invited to police headquarters a few days ago to make statements. The police commissioner assured us that they would do everything to discipline him (the suspect); He said they would dismiss him from the force and charge him in court. It’s not that we doubt them; we know that they deal with errant personnel in accordance with the laws of the country. My plea, however, is that the police should pay compensation for the lives of these young men who were wasted just like that. And besides, I would prefer that this cop be brought before a Sharia court so that we can get justice; and whenever he appears in court, they should invite us to be present because we are directly concerned. Once they bring him before a Sharia court, we’ll get justice. But if they don’t bring him to justice, we’ll do it ourselves. After the short time we have given them, we will take the matter to court if they don’t, so that we can get justice for our children.
He was 22 years old. He also worked as a welder. He finished secondary school and received diploma from Abubakar Tatari Ali Polytechnic, Bauchi before receiving HND from the same school.
Why did he work as a welder even though he was an HND holder?
When he finished school, I asked favors of our people in the Nigerian Customs Service to help him find employment during the recruitment process. He went to the assessment test in Misau and his name came out as one of the successful candidates. After the screening, his name was also shortlisted and the list sent to Abuja. He had already gotten the job at customs; All that was left was that he went to training, but then God brought this test upon us. This thing (his death) happened while we were waiting for him to be called up for training. The first group of successful candidates had gone to training and should be ready soon; we were hoping his name would be in the second batch. I was hoping he would help me train his younger siblings. I have 19 children and he was the firstborn. I will really miss him.
How much compensation are you demanding from the police?
I don’t know how much Sharia law requires for lifetime compensation. But I’m sure Islamic clerics will tell us if we consult them. If you intentionally kill another person or take their life after fasting, you must also pay compensation and as God wills, the policeman who committed the act is a Muslim, so the police must pay compensation to count.
Have you made a formal request to the police?
I told the police commissioner when he came to feel sorry for us and I still insist that the police must pay compensation for these two children. I will not stop demanding that the police do this. I urge you to do this as soon as possible, otherwise we will take action and go to court to seek justice.
Imagine if a police officer had been killed, the police authorities would definitely have taken action. But until that moment they didn’t tell us anything and didn’t call us about it. They are supposed to call us and at least give a sign to the families of these children who were killed, but nothing happened.
How I managed to get stabbed like my colleagues – Vigilante
What is your name?
My name is Nazif Mohammed.
Can you tell us what led to the deaths of two of your colleagues?
That night we went on patrol with Yelwa Division police officers; We were six vigilantes, while the police officers were five. We went to the Ungwa Ngas area, arrested four people and took them to the police station. One of us, the vigilante, suggested we go to the Benco Hotel area. We left and entered a house called Humiz Lodge where we found people outside; So we went in and found someone sitting down and covering their face with both hands. As we approached him one of us shone torches on his face and he got up and one of us walked towards him but when he got to him the man stabbed him with a knife but he (the vigilante) didn’t scream. The second person also got close to him, he was also stabbed and when I saw that they hadn’t come out I went in too, but when I saw what was happening I backed into a corner and he came after me . I pushed him and my stick fell off. As I bent down to pick up my cane, it stabbed me in the neck and I screamed and told the others to go back. One of the dead came out alone after being stabbed, while the other person died on the spot. Other colleagues went in and put him in the vehicle. We were taken to the hospital and as soon as we got there they told us that the other two had died. I was the only one who survived.
We later learned that the man who stabbed us was a police officer. The police arrested him and took him to the Yelwa Division and early the next day they took him to the area command. He was later transferred to the State Criminal Investigation Department at Police Headquarters.
Didn’t the policeman put on the police uniform?
He was not in uniform and had no gun with him. We only saw him sitting and covering his face with his hands.
Could he have been drunk?
We asked if he was drunk, he said he wasn’t.
What should the police authorities do with this policeman?
Police said they would prosecute him; They also said they would refund all the money I spent on my treatment. I brought them the receipt for the hospital bill, but I haven’t heard from them. They just told me that the case had been escalated from Yelwa Division to the command center. I used all my money, treated myself and bought medicine. As I speak to you I have not taken any medication for two days and the ones I had before have run out, I have no money to buy any more medication.
All rights reserved. No part of this material or any other digital content on this site may be reproduced, published, transmitted, transcribed or redistributed without the prior express written permission of PUNCH.
Contact: [email protected]