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Orozo/Karshi border: Suspected ritualists on the prowl’

There are also three security formations at different points on the road, the last of which is the Navy estate. But it has been observed…

There are also three security formations at different points on the road, the last of which is the Navy estate. But it has been observed overtime that accessing a bus or taxi from Nyanya to Karshi and vice versa beyond 8pm is quite a herculean task.
Genuine commercial transport operators reportedly dread the route at nights because of its quietness. But Karshi inhabitants particularly alleged that criminals infest the route especially at nights. “A bus or taxi that accepts to ply the route at about 8pm stops at Arab junction in Orozo, leaving about nine kilometers ahead to Karshi. It’s pretty difficult to get here from Nyanya beyond 8pm”, says Joseph Mutum, a resident.
A commercial taxi operator in Karshi garage, Moses Afolabi told Weekly Trust that they avoid the route because they are sometimes vulnerable to attacks by criminals on the usually deserted, dark and quite   road.
Explaining further he stated that the crooks who pose as passengers and can stop you at gunpoint at a quite point on the road and dispossess you of whatever monies you have worked for the day and other valuables.
He said, “Some passengers mostly young boys, sometimes, two or more  in number and  would  cleverly space themselves within the same  vicinity  and signal heading to  the same direction. But they are usually a gang working together, with the taxi driver as target.   They will flag you down and board your taxi.  And once you go after Arab junction, the road is usually dark and lonely. That’s when they order you at gunpoint to stop. You are robbed of whatever you have on you” .  
But Weekly Trust gathered that taxi operators are not the only ones who suffer this misfortune on the road. Residents have informed that the Mararaba Loko junction, just before the Navy estate on your way into Karshi from Nyanya on the same dreary road has become a black spot with tales of fatal attacks on stranded passengers, with intent to kill   for suspected ritualistic purposes.
It was gathered that the latest incident happened just two weeks back. A 23-year old housewife, Mrs. Linda Solomon arrived Abuja on a visit to her husband who leaves in Karshi town. She told Weekly Trust that she got to Nyanya flyover by 8pm and but could not get a straight bus or taxi to her destination.
“There was no vehicle that agreed to load straight to Karshi. The two taxis that loaded in my presence agreed to stop at Arab Junction in Orozo. I had no option than to board the third taxi to Arab junction, because it was getting late, almost 9pm”, Linda recalled.
She added, “ The taxi dropped me at Arab junction and I had to look for another taxi to Karshi. I was alone on the road but none was forthcoming. But after a while, I waved a car that approached. It was dark and couldn’t even know whether it was a taxi or not, but it   pulled off the road and parked. I walked towards it and said karshi and the driver said come in, but it is N100. The taxi had just the driver and another man inside, who sat in front of the car. As I moved to enter the taxi, the only seeming passenger who sat in front, came down and said I should sit in front because he would soon drop. He now took the back seat”.
The victim said, her sense of danger was activated at once based on what had transpired, but she kept her calm, hence there was hardly any option, but observed them carefully. She said “the driver started toasting me, but I told him I am married”.  She recounted that slightly above a kilometer on the journey and precisely at the Mararaba Loko junction; the driver screeched to halt.
“ I asked him why he is stopping and he replied that a lady   passenger standing beside the road had waved him to pick her. I told him that I didn’t see any person standing by the road, but he insisted and started reversing back.  My instincts again told me, something fishy is in the air. At this time, it was past 10pm. ”, she recounted.
According to her, the driver reversed back and braked at the foot of a rough path beside the road and moved to engage it. She opened the door and jumped out and ran across the opposite side of the road, screaming loudly for help. That was when the struggle started.   
“One of them ran after me, threatening to shot me, if I don’t stop, while the other one kept vigil. But I said to myself that it is better for him to shot me in motion than drag me into the dark path. He  didn’t shot, but caught up with me and was  bent on pulling me back to where they wanted to head on the bush path”, she said.
“We started struggling. I punched my finger into the eyes of one of them and he started tearing the clothes I wore, bite and kicked me, as we struggled.  My mobile handset had already fallen in the gully, covered by a mesh of bush where  he  held me, but  I kept shouting that “somebody help me”,  Linda said. 
However, Linda’s loud screams attracted Mohammed Idris, a night watchman at nearby shops around the area. He in turn alerted his colleagues at the   nearby Mamza farms.
Idris said he rushed back to the house to fortify himself, while his two other colleagues, responded to the call by  rushing to where Linda was screaming.
“they engaged the rogues and that was when Linda had the opportunity to free herself from  the criminals and ran into the dark mesh of bush and disappeared.  The two watchmen whose names were given as Abdulrahaman and Jamilu kept battling the duo. But when the rogues put up a spirited fight,  Abdulrahman too, retreated  back to the house to pick his weapons. Left with only Jamilu, the two rogues overpowered him, by hitting him with a rod on the leg. He fell on the bush by the wayside”, Idris said.
Weekly Trust gathered that vengefully, the two criminals hopped into their vehicle, ran over the helpless Jamilu to ensure he dies and then sped off, heading towards Karshi.  And he died instantly.
Idris added “When me and Abdulrahaman came back almost at the same time, to intensify the attack, the assailants had gone and we could not even see Jamilu, but thought the pressure became too much on him, so he escaped into the bush. We called and called, but no one replied. Unknown to us, Jamilu was killed by the rogues and the corpse was lying by the bush side, but we couldn’t see it because it was very dark. It was when we came back to the spot at daybreak that we discovered his lifeless body”.
  Abdulrahman,   could not be traced after the burial of Jamilu said to be his friend, who lives in Mararaba town, but  sometimes spends nights with him. Both only responded to the distress call from Idris and came out to assist.
When contacted,  the Karshi Divisional Police Officer SUPOL Mohammed  Rabiu denied knowledge of the brutal attacks  of  people at the Mararaba Loko junction  recently. But he admitted that the case of the dead person (Jamilu) at the Mararaba Loko junction came to his notice,  “ but it was  reported to me as a case of hit and run driver”.
SUPOL Rabiu said they are not aware of people being attacked on the road recently, adding that   such incidents were recorded on the road when the road was untarred, but it has ceased since the road was constructed.
“ the problem is that when such things happen to people they don’t report it. But our men patrol the area at nights, even though we have no strong operational vehicles, but we cover Karshi up to Gidan Mangoro”.   
But Weekly Trust gathered that such attacks at the junction occur from time to time.  Both Karshi branch secretary of the NURTW, Idris Santali and  its treasurer  Adamu A. Ahmed  told Weekly Trust that though they have not heard of such incidents in the area recently, but people were attacked at  the spot years back when the road was untarred.
But a bus driver, Kayode Johnson who plies the route regularly   said;  “ At nightfall, most commercial transport operators on the route close work . But the route is taken over by both painted and unpainted taxis from other parts of Abuja.  Some of them are the criminals.  They are the ones committing such crimes on unsuspecting passengers. 
Ironically, Linda who wondered in the bush until 2am before she came into the embrace of friendly security men, who assisted her trace the house of a relative didn’t know that Jamilu,  one of the security guards who came to her rescue died in the process. She broke into tears, as she learnt of the sad news.
Weekly Trust observed that the bush path where people are constantly lured for brutal attacks, leads to an abandoned Karshi dam refill project.   The only two living tents in the area were occupied by two security men namely Luka Bahago and Dantani Gajere, both bearing the identity cards   of Rolling Hills College Ltd, said to be owned by a Senator. The school itself had blocks of uncompleted buildings.
Both of them denied knowledge of people screaming in the vicinity at odd hours of the nights or killings of any sort.  But they admitted that some white garments church members’ visit one of the rocks at the place regularly for prayers in group of about 10 persons. The rock in question had the inscription “center of deliverance”.