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Twists, turns in ABU prof’s killing

First, it was a disclosure by the police in Kano State that suspected Boko Haram members attacked the Divisional Police Station in Kibiya local government…

First, it was a disclosure by the police in Kano State that suspected Boko Haram members attacked the Divisional Police Station in Kibiya local government area of the State. The police spokesperson, ASP Magaji Musa Majia in a phone interview said they successfully repelled an attack by insurgents on Kibiya police station. In the course of the crossfire, he said, policemen at the station gunned down one of the Boko Haram members and while the sect members who operated on motorcycles were fleeing, vigilant locals killed one other and arrested two.
This account which was made public around 9.45pm on Saturday by the Kano police spokesperson was widely publicised on both local radio stations and national dailies the following day. As the news of the bravery of the locals filtered round the state metropolis, then comes the report of the assassination of Professor Falaki. The don was returning from Yada-Gungume in Ningi local government area of Bauchi State where he went along with his brother, Alhaji Abbas Mustapha and his official driver, Lawal Ahmad. The trio travelled in the Professor’s official Toyota Hillux car.
The news of the assassination of the Professor deflated the earlier claim of the police as the ‘insurgent’ they claimed was killed by the villagers turned out to be Falaki and the two persons arrested were his younger brother and official driver. Thus, the police changed their song claiming that their earlier statement on the attack was based on their preliminary investigation from the scene. Spokesperson of the command, Majia, explained thus: “Our earlier statement was based on the report we got from our men, but we have since discovered that it was Professor Falaki that was lynched by the mob and not a Boko Haram member. And the two other persons that were arrested were his co-travellers.”
But as Majia was making the clarification, the Police in Bauchi State dished out another controversial statement which contradicted the Kano police claim that the Professor was killed by a mob. The former claimed that they have arrested two persons suspected to be armed robbers and that they have confessed to the killing of the Professor. The following day, Bauchi command’s spokesperson, DSP Haruna Mohammed said they have also arrested one person in connection with the death of the slain Professor.
However, the claim of the Bauchi Police was punctured when one of the wives of the late Professor, Ruqayyah, spoke up. “My late Husband called me around 6.pm to say that they had an encounter with some gunmen and that their Hilux van was snatched by them. He said I should not worry as they were not harmed and they were trying to reach where they could get a commercial car that would bring them back to Kano,” she recounted.
Corroborating the statement of the Professor’s wife, Abbas, his younger brother who was with him during the trip said the gunmen did not harm them.
When Weekly Trust went to the village on Monday, the Village Head of Fala, Muhammadu Zangina said he was the one that invited the police. “We first heard the sound of a bomb blast around that area, so I called the police. Two persons were killed and the other one that ran away was found in the bush and we handed him over to the police,” he said.
Asked if he knew that one of the three persons was a Professor, Zangina said he did not know as he was watching the action from a distance. Not satisfied with the drama surrounding the death of the Professor, his family on Tuesday petitioned the Inspector General of Police over the matter, describing it as extra-judicial killing and pointed accusing fingers at the police. “At about 16.00hrs of last Saturday, when Prof. Mustapha realized that their Hillux van had a slightly deflated tyre, he ordered the driver to stop to replace it. As this was being done, the deceased and his brother were eating food inside the vehicle. Just then, some unknown persons, nine of them riding three motorcycles, descended upon them and demanded for the key to the vehicle. The deceased directed his driver to hand over the keys. They sped away with the vehicle, abandoning their motorcycles at the scene. The deceased made frantic attempts to notify his transport officer at ABU to track the vehicle. Meanwhile, members of the public from the village were sympathizing with the deceased and his party on what befell them. At this point he notified us, his family members by phone on their predicament.”  
According to the petition signed by Aminu Mustapha Daneji for the family, for close to two hours the deceased was busy making contacts with ABU staff, as well as friends in Bura village, while mingling with the villagers. They even prayed at the scene. “ Suddenly, some persons, who identified themselves as policemen, appeared on the scene, allegedly in pursuit of Boko Haram members who had earlier laid siege on the Police Post in Kibiya town,” the family said and added that Falaki identified himself but was still attacked and killed, it read.
The late Professor’s family urged the Inspector General of Police to investigate the killing of Professor Falaki, noting that it was suspected act of extra-judicial killing. They insisted that It should be thoroughly investigated and any person who has a hand in it be appropriately dealt with, as provided by the law. That the report of the investigation be made available to members of the family (of the deceased) and his employers, A.B.U, Zaria. The family asked the police to retract their claim that “the deceased and his entourage are members of Boko Haram, giving it the widest publicity possible.”

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