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Bizman knifes friend to death, says it’s ‘payback’

The act was committed on Friday, August 20, 2010 shortly after Muslim faithful had broken the day’s Ramadan fast.  That day, 23-year-old businessman of  Unguwar…

The act was committed on Friday, August 20, 2010 shortly after Muslim faithful had broken the day’s Ramadan fast.  That day, 23-year-old businessman of  Unguwar Dabinai, Zahiru Tukur,  allegedly stabbed his friend and long-time associate, Dan Auta also 23, to death with a cutlass and went ahead to rip open the body and remove his kidney as well as tongue, because, according to him, he suspected the victim of having a hand in his recent business misfortunes.

Tukur, who was apprehended and handed over to the police after committing the gory act, alleged that his bosom friend had bewitched him because of a minor scuffle that ensued between them during a business trip some weeks back to Saminaka in Kaduna State.

The suspect, who did not deny killing his friend, said the misunderstanding resulted over a bag of maize which they both had intention of buying. “We dragged the bag until I succeeded taking it from him. That was when he told me, ‘go, you will see,’ Tukur said.

“Immediately Dan Auta uttered those words,” he continued, “I suspected he was up to something sinister.” According to the suspect, what his late friend had plotted against him came to pass two weeks later when he fell victim to swindlers.

“I had sold over N400, 000 of items to a customer and got paid in cash, but on returning home, I discovered that I was duped for I was paid in fake currency. I found out that only N10, 000 was genuine out of the whole money I received as payment,” he said.

The misfortune dealt a fatal blow on Tukur’s business, even as he said he was sure it was the handiwork of his friend. “From then on, I started plotting how to get back at him,” Tukur explained.

Before the alleged ‘curse,’ Tukur and late Dan Auta had been longtime friends, although they ventured into buying and selling staple food five years ago.

They were said to be seen nearly all the time together, just as they travelled far and near for business in each other’s company.

Sources, however, told Weekly Trust that Tukur is naturally an envious person who never hid his bitterness over his associates’ successes. For long, he was said to be disturbed by his friend’s rising profile in business.

Police said the suspect had hoodwinked Dan Auta into believing in a fictitious deal, where a large quantity of beans would be sold to the latter. Expecting that a huge profit will be made, the unsuspecting friend bought into the deal and agreed to pay an advance sum.

On his part, however, Tukur insisted that the business was real, only that he said the goods belonged to his boss whose absence stalled their prompt sale to Dan Auta.

But Friday last week, Tukur went to his friend with the news of the return of the owner and requested they go together and inspect the beans so that Dan Auta could make advance payment and arrange how to transport it to his place.

Unknown to Dan Auta, his friend, Tukur, harboured a hidden and deadly mission as they rode on the latter’s motorcycle to where the goods were said to be kept. On their way, Tukur allegedly removed a cutlass he had concealed and killed Dan Auta.

“I slashed him with a knife on the back of his neck and slit his throat. I made sure he was dead before I rolled him into a nearby gutter and went away,” Tukur said confidently. Although he denied, police said the suspect removed his victim’s tongue and kidney for ritual purposes and equally stole N125, 500 from the corpse.

According to Tukur, his intention was to go and drop the money at the deceased’s house. “I didn’t want it wasted, so I picked it with the plan of throwing it into his house the next day. That way, I said to myself, any member of his family can find it and put it to good use,” he said.

However, before daybreak, the absence of Dan Auta had started becoming a cause for concern in the community, even though no one was aware then that he had been killed. All the same, people had started murmuring that he was last seen with his close friend, Tukur.

Instead of going to Dan Auta’s house to deposit the money on Saturday morning, the suspect returned to the place he had left the dead body with a hoe. According to Tukur, he intended to cover the blood traces at the scene so that his dastardly act would never be known. Meanwhile, the police said a villager spotted him trying to bury the corpse.

On killing his friend and business partner, Tukur said: “I had to kill him because he was behind my downfall. He said I was going to see and in no time, the threat materialized such that in a twinkle of an eye, all that I toiled for was gone. I would not have forgiven that. I paid him back what he did to me. If I’m given the chance, I will return his blood money to his family.”

Meanwhile, the Kano command Police Public Relations Officer, SP Baba Mohammed Azare, says the suspect would be charged to court for armed robbery and culpable homicide at the completion of investigations.

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