Although normalcy has since returned to Kofar Mata area of Kano metropolis, family, friends and neighbours insist that the only way to ensure relief to the family of the deceased is for justice to take its course.
The killing of 23-year-old Saifullahi Sani allegedly by policemen had sparked a violent protest in the area as youths took to the street, burning tires, chanting war songs and disrupting the free flow of traffic for hours, while calling for justice for the deceased. Apart from the recentcase of Saifullahi Sani, other young men have died in the custody of police officials in Kano in the past.
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Their families are still seeking justice over the senseless killings as they narrate their tragic experiences to Daily Trust Saturday.
I took my son to police, only for him to be killed there – Madobi
Nasiru Abdulkadir Madobi, whose 26-year-old son Abdulkadir died in
police custody last year, said a judgement has already been gotten in the matter.
My son was not at home when one police officer named Haruna came looking for him. I vouched to bring him to the station whenever he returned.
I called my son on phone and he came. He was about to take tea, but I pressed on him until he abandoned it and I took him to the police station. On getting to the station, I discovered that the complainant was my friend’s child.
When you went to the station with him what transpired?
He was asked to go behind the counter for detention. In the process of trying to search him, an altercation ensued as my son insisted that there was no need for the search because he had only N50 and his phone, which he brought out of his pocket.
One of the policemen at the counter, known as Dan-Bichi, slapped him and he retaliated. In the process, other policemen at the counter, including Haruna, Dan-Bichi, Takalmin-Zomo and one Mustapha started beating him with clubs and sticks until he passed out. The divisional crime officer of the police outpost tear-gassed him. I left the station because I could not stand the sight of the beating and not being able to rescue him.
My son was blindfolded and handcuffed when brought before me – Yahaya Bagobiri
Yahaya Umar Bagobiri, whose son Abubakar Yahaya, a level 10 staff of Nasarawa LGA, was allegedly killed in police custody, said the images of his son blind folded in handcuffs still haunts him.
What led to your son being in police custody?
The DPO of Gwagwarwa asked for my son to come and make a statement and I sent him to the police station. He went voluntarily to make his statement and was arrested immediately.
On what ground was he arrested?
Someone in our area who was arrested over a planned kidnap offence kept mentioning names of some children in the area, including the daughter of the Mai Unguwa and other well-to-do individuals. Some of those arrested since then are still in detention.
After his arrest what transpired?
I made several efforts to reach superior officers to no avail. I went to the station the next day. They had rushed them to SARS office where they beat him up while forcing him to admit to the offence. He has never been arrested before. They brought him and asked me not to talk to him, but my son asked them to allow him perform ablution first since they were going to kill him. He was handcuffed from behind and blindfolded.
Can you recall the moments?
I don’t want to ever remember that scene in my life. When I returned home, I gathered his brothers, mother and other family members and asked them to be patient and bear whatever might come because I strongly felt my son would not survive from the condition he was in.
I knew my son would not be able to cope with what they’d put him through and unfortunately, he died the next day in their custody. I got lawyers to petition the IGP and other relevant authorities; a committee was constituted in Abuja where I was represented by one of my sons and lawyers. They met with the panel and made their submission.
What happened to those involved?
The officers were invited and detained but till now, I have not heard anything. We are still waiting for the outcome. I want justice for my son. It’s been seven months since we petitioned the IGP.
Was my son brutally killed because we are poor?
The death of Sani Musa’s son Saifullahi in the hands of policemen sparked outrage in Kofar Mata area of Kano city in the wake of #EndSARS protest in the country.
At about 1.30am on Monday, one ASP Ismail attached to Kano Central police command Shahuci led a patrol team alongside Aminu, Maisulu, Nagwaduwa, Bahago and 5 other civilians, on a cruel patrol operation in kofar Mata.
The said patrol team stormed Babban Layi and Lungun Sharifai streets of Kofar-Mata armed with cutlasses, swords, sticks and other dangerous weapons where they met the deceased and some other young persons on their sleeping mats in front of my house. On getting to them, without identifying themselves and the reasons for their coming, the team started attacking all persons present indiscriminately, including the deceased who was asleep. Later, we heard that the team came looking for mobile phone thieves.
Where was your son during the invasion?
My son just woke up and couldn’t escape like the others, as a result, they arrested him and continued beating him with sticks indiscriminately until he could not move due to the fracture he sustained on his left limb as well as internal injuries as witnessed by some people. They dragged him on the ground all the way from Lungun Sharifai to the main road where they parked their patrol car and threw him into the car and drove away.
What happened afterwards?
Some people trailed the patrol car to the Murtala Mohammad hospital. On getting there, they found out that my son was dumped at the emergency unit where he died around 4.30 of the same day.
ýSince the death occurred, have there been any development?
The press release by the police claiming that thugs were fighting is untrue. Such press release does more harm that good to us, the deceased and the police, it is capable of damaging the deceased’s reputation. Already, Human rights activist have moved into the case assuring of doing their best to secure justice for the family. I’m still confident that justice will be served in the end.
The deceased’s mother, Lami kofarmata, also spoke to Daily Trust Saturday.
What can you say about the incidence?
The death is one too many. It’s heartbreaking to lose someone so close in such a manner. My son is a quite type who everyone can attest to being an easy going and friendly person. He does his laundry business in the neighbourhood.
Why do you think his death sparked a protest?
It is an attestation that he was loved and cherished. If he was a bad person, no one will bother to raise his/her voice not to talk of protesting. Instead, the community would be happy that a bed egg has finally left but that wasn’t the case.
What do you want to be done?
I demand to know the reason behind this brutal killing, is it because we are poor? The authorities concerned should ensure that he rests in peace by doing the needful in this case. He was such a good son and justice is the only way out.