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Army Dragged To Court For Brutalizing JTF Commander; To Pay N500m

by Achadu Gabriel, Kaduna

Suspicious of another Nwadume episode and foul play, Nigerian Army have been dragged to Kaduna State High Court for alleged brutality against one of the most popular vigilantes’ leader in Kaduna State and Nigeria.

The victim’s name is popularly known as Commander Aminu Sani. Aminu Sani, who is currently Commander of Civilian Joint Task Force (JTF) Kaduna State and National Vice President of JTF, was reportedly invited by the army into a place known as Maguzawa Forest and terribly beaten and tortured to unconscious state, and abandoned for 15 days.

According to family source, through solicitor and consultant, Barrister Aminu Abdurasheed, who briefed journalists Wednesday in Kaduna on circumstances that led to Commander Sani’s inhuman treatment, he explained that the victim was invited to a military post in Railway Station Rigasa by one Lt-Col Gada through phone calls, which Sani graciously obliged.

Barr. Abdurasheed explained that the victim was nowhere to be found for about fifteen days and his whereabouts was not known to any of his family members. 

He added that no responses were gotten after written petitions to 1 Division Nigerian Army Kaduna and other security formations and copied all other security agencies in the state.

According to him, suddenly information got to them that Commander Sani was at 44 Army Reference Hospital, Kaduna, where they went and met him critically ill and at the point of death, in hunger and ill-health.

“A case of Aminu Sani, Civilian JTF Commander in Kaduna and National Vice President of Civilian JTF: He was invited by one Lt-Col Gada in a military outpost in Railway Station. For a long period of time he could not be found until recently.

“We contacted 1 Division Nigeria Army Kaduna but confirmed not in their facility. We wrote petition, sort of complaint to GOC. We copied DSS, CP, IGP and Kaduna State Government and informed them of the situation, because the victim is one of the leading JTF, working hand-in-hand with all the security agencies in combating crimes in Kaduna and beyond.

“And so, if he is arrested without any information as a citizen of this country, it’s wrong, as the constitution presumed innocent even if he alleged to have committed any, until proved otherwise. He should be formally informd and his family should be informed, and charged to court within 48 hours after his arrest,” the lawyer said.

“Been that there was no information of his whereabouts, we wrote to all the security formations but did not receive any courtesy from the agencies we copied.

“We later learnt that he was lying in Army 44 Reference Hospital emergency ward. We went there personally and saw him in a very terrible condition, dehydrated, almost dying, laying in pool of his urine uncovered on bed in mosquito with only one dirty short clothe, nicker and malnourished. 

Barr. Abdurasheed continued that, “Seeing that, and being that there was no response from all quarters, we copied, we decided to file a case at the State High Court of Kaduna whereby we tried to enforce his fundamental rights as a citizen of the country. 

“The constitution gave citizens of the country rights to file charges, if your fundamental right is infringed upon or breached by any agencies, be it military or police, or any other agencies, in Chapter 4. 

“For the past 7 years, Commander Sani has been contributing in combating crimes in this country. He is always in the forefront of every war against banditry, kidnapers and terrorists in this country.

“For him to be treated in this heinous manner will demoralize other members of the civilian JTF and other voluntary forces trying to assist Nigerian security in combating crimes. 

“We are going to apply for his immediate removal from that 44 Hospital facilities to another hospital in Kaduna. We are also praying court to also enforce and declare all the unlawful detentions, the maltreatment like torture and also award the damage against Nigerian Army.

“We prayed for N500 million for Aminu Sani as compensation. And we appeal to the citizens in Rigasa and Kaduna to remain calm as his matter is being handled in the most professional way it should be.

“When I met him in hospital, he said when he was invited on the fateful night, he was taken to a forest called Maguzawa, where he was severely beaten and tortured till he lost consciousness; he later regained two days ago on hospital bed. He is spending about 15 days on the bed in hospital unprofessionally attended to. He said he needs food, healthcare.

“If not for Aminu and his group’s contributing and perseverance, parts of Rigasa would have been in the hands of bandits by now. Also always arrests petty crimes and hands over them to police, which was attested to by police, because he worked directly in hand with them.

“Security, especially army, has been accused of not been sincere in combating this crime or conniving with some criminals, especially the case of ‘Mr Nwadume’ at hand, and looking at the contribution of Aminu Sani, and the way he was mal-handled by the army – even accused him of committing any crime – calls for serious concern and will go a long way in making the general public suspicious in the manner of his arrest and ways he was handled.

“From their press briefing, on 3rd December, army said they arrested one bandit, who claimed that Aminu is part of the people that are giving them information for their attacks on some areas, which they mentioned in their briefing. 

“But the rift between Aminu and the bandits, who always threaten to kill him, especially where he said some people gave money for him to be eliminated, and looking at the ambushes laid on him and many of his boys, and the way the bandits killed many of his boys and burnt his vehicle confirmed suspicion of the public and confirmed that he was arrested to be eliminated so that this people will have easy way of perpetrating their crimes,” he lamented.

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