Author Topic: Policeman kills pregnant woman, man over N50  (Read 1579 times)

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Policeman kills pregnant woman, man over N50
« on: May 07, 2007, 12:56:10 PM »
Source: Daily Times - Monday, May 07, 2007/Rabiul Thani 20 , 1428 A. H

Policeman kills pregnant woman, man over N50
By Abubakar Yakubu & Sadiq Abubakar Isah

A pregnant woman, Mrs Saratu Dalami, and a yet-to-be identified man were Saturday morning shot dead at a checkpoint at Abaji in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), when a policeman opened fire on a vehicle whose driver gave N20 instead of N50 he requested.
The driver, John Dada, also sustained bullet wounds on his right hand and currently lying critically ill at a clinic at Abaji.
After the incident, City News learnt that the policemen at the checkpoint dismantled the roadblocks and took to their heels. Their action angered the natives of the community who in turn blocked the Abaji-Toto highway. They also chanted war songs.
The protesters were however pacified when their traditional chief and an assistant commissioner of police in charge of operations at Gwagwalada met with them and assured them that the affected policemen would be investigated and made to face the law.
A passenger in the ill-fated car told City News that when the driver approached the checkpoint at the border between Toto in Nasarawa state and Abaji, he offered N20 to a policeman who collected it and waved him to go.
“As the driver was about to accelerate, another policeman asked him to stop and increase the money to N50,” he said.
The passenger said an argument ensued between the policeman that collected N20 and the one that demanded N50.
“The one who collected N20 was telling the other policeman to let us go and when he refused, the policeman then beckoned on the driver and asked him to drive off with his passengers. As the driver was about pulling off, bullets were fired at the vehicle by the policeman that demanded N50, which killed a pregnant woman from the town who was going to Toto for a medical checkup and a stranger who bordered the car from Abaji,” he said.
The vice-chairman of the drivers’ union at Toto road, Abaji, Abdul Hamid Musa, corroborated the passenger’s statement. He said he went to the same checkpoint ten minutes before the incident occurred to settle a problem between another driver and the police.
“A report got to me on Saturday morning that the police at Toto road checkpoint had impounded one of the vehicles of our members and I rushed there and found out that the car was impounded because the driver refused to settle the policemen at the checkpoint,” he said.
Musa said when he approached the senior officer in the team, he (Musa) was snubbed and informed to see the junior ranked policemen who said they were taking the driver to their station.
“By the time the police decided to listen to me, all the passengers had disembarked from the vehicle and they asked for N200 which was later reduced to N100,” he said.
The vice-chairman said immediately the police collected the N100 from them, one of his members forecast that the money collected from drivers might bring trouble if the police did not stop the habit.
“Less than ten minutes after we returned from the checkpoint, we learnt that the police fired at a Mazda 323 car with a registration number XA 169 PAK, killing a pregnant woman and a man who sat on the front seat of the car because of N50,” he lamented.
A commercial driver called policemen at Abaji greedy. “The policemen from Rubochi who used to man the checkpoint understood with drivers, and we had no problem until Abaji policemen drove them away,” he said.
The driver said when Abaji policemen took over, they started imposing various sums of money from drivers on the road.
“A red Golf car with a registration number SH 775 ABJ was fined heavily by the policemen at the checkpoint and some of the drivers went to the place to appeal to them to have mercy because of the economical situation in the country,” he said.
The driver said despite their appeal, the policemen at the checkpoint still collected lump sum of money from drivers.
When City News visited the town at 3pm Saturday, the pregnant woman had been buried according to Muslim rites while the body of the other person had been deposited at Gwagwalada Specialist Hospital morgue by the police. Friends and family members of the late Saratu were seen sympathizing with her husband who sat in the midst of Muslim clerics.
The driver of the vehicle was also seen in a critical state at a clinic at Abaji.
The police area commander, Gwagwalada, told City News reporter that before he got to Abaji, all the suspects had been taken to Garki FCT police command.
“The information I have about the incident is the same thing you have because I did not have the opportunity to interrogate the suspects before they were taken to Garki,” he said.
At the Abaji police station, the reporter overheard policemen say the policeman who fired the shots was not supposed to hold arms as he had not being properly trained in its usage.
The area commander, along with another assistant commissioner of police and other police superintendents from nearby police divisions were seen briefing policemen of Abaji police station.
The Ona of Abaji, Alhaji Adamu Baba Yunusa, also declined to comment on the incident.
“I was not in town when the incident happened and only heard about the incident from my subjects,” he said. He added further he would have to get more information from the deceased parents before he can be abreast of the situation.

 


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