By Shola Akingboye, 1st March 2022
A quote by Pirsig Robert, “The more you look, the more you see” can best describe another mind bugling crime courtesy the highhandedness of the Nigerian security operatives against defenceless citizens, as a petitioner, one Saifulani Sani Musa and his family gave a shocking revelation before the Independent Investigative Panel on SARS and other police brutality, sitting in Abuja Tuesday, says they were consoled with one bag of rice, spaghetti and the sum of N50,000 by the Nigerian Police Force, following the alleged extra-judicial killing of their late son in Kano.
As gory as the story sounds to everyone at the panel, it will also amaze Nigerians to know that the alleged killing of the deceased eventually led to the untimely death of his father, months after.
Musa’s father had earlier filed a petition before the IIP-SARS Panel, but could not survive the traumatic impact of a bag of rice in exchange for the life of a promising son, a young man to continue, RegentAfrica Times gathered on Tuesday.
As part of the prayer tendered before the panel on Tuesday, the counsel to the late complainant, Barrister Karim Mande, appealed for the substitution of the petitioner, late Saifulahi Sani Musa, who he said died on 21 April 2021, hence the need to substitute the complainant with Hassan Sani Musa, another biological son of the diseased, who also present at the panel.
The panel thus admitted the new complainant as the substantive complainant in the case, and his petition was adopted as exhibited A before the panel.
However, hearing the complainant’s testimony; he spoke in the Hausa Language aided by a translator, a staff of the National Human Rights Commission, Fatimah Agwai Muhammed.
“Due to hot weather of the 19th October 2020, I seated in front of our house, the Policemen in uniform from Dawaki Area Command invaded our house, they arrested three people and went away with them.
“Before my father died, he said no one would have allowed the police to have their way unchallenged on reasons for their actions due to the peaceful nature of their operation.
“But in the morning, my family made a move to go and bail the arrested men, they were told my brother was dead.
“Though they released his dead body to us, the family refused to bury him according to Islamic rites until the circumstances of his sudden death in the police custody is unravelled. We wanted the cause of the death of my brother through autopsy, which was later referred to Aminu Kano Hospital.
“The matter generated series of issues, but due to the ENDSARS crisis at the time, the Police gave my family money worth N50,000, 1 bag of rice and packs of spaghetti to pacify the family with a promise that justice would be served.
Ironically, that was the last we heard from the Police to date.
“I am therefore asking for N100,000Million naira compensation from the police for the extrajudicial killing of my family members because it was due to the traumatic experience that my father later died.” The 28th-year-old posited.
Cross-examined, the petitioner responded that he was not arrested along with his brother. He revealed that it was only his brother that was arrested along with three others, but could not say of the fate of others that were arrested along with his brother.
On the offence committed by his arrested brother, he denied knowledge of any. He said his brother did not commit any crime.
He added that his brother was playing with his android phone outside the house at the time the police came for the arrest.
Hassan said he could not identify the policemen that came for the arrest because it was late in the night, and the police did not reveal the reasons fo his brother’s arrest.
He also responded that his late father did not brief him of any offence committed by his brother, and neither did the Police supplied him with any information to that effect. He said his brother was later buried without knowing what criminal offence was committed.
Meanwhile, a witness was cross-examined by the complainant’s counsel. Khalid Nuhu, a Kano based businessman spoke extensively in the Hausa language. He confirmed knowing the diseased while alive.
He revealed that he witnessed how the Policemen invaded the complainant’s house, made an arrest and rained a beating on the victim, who he said started vomiting blood as a result of the beating.
The witness, who claimed he was at the Hospital for his sister’s medical treatment, added that the Police prevented any doctor from applying any treatment on the victim before he (witness) left the hospital. He said was later told that the diseased later died.
The witness also confirmed that the late Musa looked thoroughly beaten by the police and was weak at the time he saw him at the hospital.
He said that the incident occurred around 1:30 am on the said date.
Ladi Hamza is a trader, a food seller, lives in Kokumata in Kano. In her testimony as to the second witness, she confirmed that the mother to the late Musa happens to be her junior sister.
She testified how she overheard the disturbance in the compound on the blackout night that took Musa’s life.
She said she later approached the police vehicle and saw the diseased, beaten up. According to her, She pleaded to the police to have mercy on the victim but was turned down.
She said as a result of the police abuse and torture of the victim, that lead to his death, the late.
“Musa was in good health at the time of the disease’† arrest.
She said it was an Assistant Commissioner of Police, who brought a bag of Rice and #50, 000 to the family, to pacify the victim.
She said the family took the victims’ corpse to the Police Area Command, which she said led to the donation of a bag of Rice to the family, on a condolence visit.
According to the counsel to the complainant, he confirmed that the family has written a series of petitions to the Commissioner of Police in Kano, the IGP of the police, the office of the Attorney General of the Federation, which were adopted by the panel as exhibits.
On his part, the counsel to the respondent, the Police, advise the panel that it is better than the respondent to be present, and react to the allegations peddled against them.
The panel, therefore, adjourned the matter to 7th March 2022 for further hearing.