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Missing girl: Parties doubt police investigation

Sgt Okafor who was formerly serving in 73 Battalion, Janguza Kano, was shortly before the incident sent to Dutse, Jigawa State on special assignment. He…

Sgt Okafor who was formerly serving in 73 Battalion, Janguza Kano, was shortly before the incident sent to Dutse, Jigawa State on special assignment. He relocated to Dutse with his family, leaving only his daughter Anna, who was preparing for her senior secondary certificate examination to occupy his apartment in the barracks. Miss Okafor visited her parents in Dutse to collect money to settle her examination fees and on April 27, 2009 at about 12:00 noon; her father and brothers escorted her to a place along the road in Dutse to board a commercial vehicle back to Kano.  A Nissan car with registration number AG 414 NEM belonging to John Holt Nigeria Limited with three male officials of the company including the driver inside on their way to Kano, stopped near the Okafor’s and requested if Okafor who was in uniform wanted a ‘lift’ but he said it was his daughter, Anna who was travelling and agreed she should follow them to Kano. The occupants of the vehicle included Malam Mohammed Aliyu, Hassan Salisu and Garba Emmanuel.

According to a statement signed by the Commandant of the 3, Brigade Kano, Brigadier General M. D. Abubakar, after 15 minutes into the journey, Sgt Okafor called his daughter on her mobile phone and confirmed that she was safe. About 45 minutes later, he called her again,but while the phone rang, there was no response and subsequent calls were never through.

Since then, all attempts to contact her were not successful.  The matter was later reported to the military authorities who arrested two of the occupants of the vehicle and subsequently handed them over to the Nassarawa Police Division in Kano for investigation, including mobile phones recovered from them containing suspicious text messages. However, the suspect   were charged to court by police without diligent investigation and granted bail.

The Criminal Investigation Department in Kano had before the commencement of the case in court, found the burnt corpse of a lady suspected to be Anna but after examining the corpse thoroughly Sgt Okafor denied that it was his daughter’s corpse.

But while the matter was in a Kano magistrate court, it was transferred to the Monitoring and Special Investigation Unit in the Force Headquarters.  The case was transferred to the Force Headquarters subject to the request of the suspects.  

The Deputy Force Public Relations Officer, CSP Yemi Ajayi, confirmed the transfer. He said police are conducting more investigations into the matter.

A protest letter by the Abia State Community Association in Kano to the Army, jointly signed by the President General, Ijoma Okey and General Secretary, Rahpael I. Onuoha, said the case was being treated with levity and unless the army was involved, the investigation would not yield desired result.  

Also, the Kano Emirate Council, in a letter urged the Commissioner of Police in Kano State to conduct meticulous investigation so as to trace the whereabouts of Miss Anna Okafor. Similarly, the army had in a letter to the police, signed by Lieutenant Colonel R.C. Isuguzo, pleaded for a thorough investigation into the case. The military authorities have transferred Sgt Okafor to Abuja, to enable him attend to all issues concerning the case of his missing daughter. Sgt Okafor said since the transfer of the case to Abuja late last year, he has not  been briefed by the police on the progress of the case and has not been allowed to see the Inspector General of Police, Ogbonna Onovo, to explain his problems.

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