…“Body of the deceased still not traceable”
Achadu Gabriel Kaduna
Nigeria Army on duty post on Abuja-Kaduna expressway around Sabon Gaiya, in Chikun local government area of Kaduna state have been accused of opening fire on 3 motorcyclists, killing the rider by name Akilu Tafoki. The body of the victim has not been found by the family till date.
Briefing journalists in Kaduna on Monday in a sober reflection, a family source and nephew of the victim, Major Mohammed Isah Tafoki (rtd), said the deceased was returning back from Abuja on a motorcycle, along with two other colleagues, when the soldiers opened fire on them.
Retired Major Tafoki explained that the victim, Akilu Tafoki, and two others were returning from Abuja/Suleja where he operates as “Okada” rider with two other colleague motorcyclists on 6th January, 2019, when soldiers opened fire on them around Sabon Gaiya Kaduna-Abuja expressed way around 3:30pm.
Major Tafoki, according to the two survived “Okada” rider colleagues of the victim, in company of Tafoki to NUJ secretariat, Kaduna, the victim swapped immediately he was hit by the bullet and fell down with his passenger in a pool of blood.
While he was being rescued by the colleague passenger on same machine, who had the gunshot, the soldiers came and allegedly dragged out the survival to a patrol filling station in the area where they met many other persons in custody of the military men.
When they were set free, the victim’s colleagues said, he demanded for the Akilu, the victim, but the soldiers allegedly told them that the victim was taken to hospital in the nearby community.
Major Tafoki said all efforts to locate the body of the their junior brother, from the time he received distress call from a survival till the time of press briefing, no positive respond was gotten from the army on where the body or corpse of the victim was kept.
He said, they went around major hospitals in the area and Kaduna, including the one mentioned by the soldiers, but Akilu’s body was nowhere to be found. “I also consented on the hunters but they came back with same story, even although they promise to repeat the search the next day.”
According to Major Tafoki (retired), units commanders in-charge of the soldiers on special duties and top senior military officers in Kaduna were contacted, but denied that no gunshot was fired on the motorcyclists as claimed or alleged by the survivals.
But Major Tafoki revealed that when the soldiers on outpost duty were gathered together for identification at the barrack, the victim’s colleague, who witnessed the incident, identified two soldiers, who allegedly fired the “Okada” riders. Their riffles were tested through sniffer, and certified that two of the soldiers released riffle recently, indicating that the two were culprits and guilty, especially that they saw them feeling jittery openly on the line-up during identification.
Why he expressed surprises over the treatment and action of his colleague Nigerian Army for still denying that the soldiers did not fire bullets, despite the overwhelming evidences, Major Tafoki said all that matters, including the top military officers in Kaduna 1 Diviion Nigeria Army, were contacted.
He therefore appealed strongly to President Buhari, Chief of Defence Staff and Chief of Army Staff to use their offices to wade into the matter with a view to ensuring that justice is done. And the body of his brother, who was killed unjustly by the army, is released to allow proper Islamic burial.
When Col. Mohammed Adole, of 1 Division Nigeria Army spokesman, was contacted by leadership of Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ, Kaduna Council, for clarity, the officer, who promised to get back to them, failed to do so until press time.