There was an outrage after members of a vigilante group allegedly caused the death of a young man who was accused of theft.
Bauchi State Police Command has arrested five members of a local Vigilante group popularly known as ‘Yan Kwamiti’ in Wuntin-Dada, a suburb of Bauchi metropolis for allegedly torturing to death a 28-year-old butcher, late Abdulrazak Hassan for alleged theft of a goat, Nigerian Tribune reports.
It was gathered that the incident which occurred last Friday night, provoked the youths in the area who threatened to go on a reprisal attack on the vigilante group but were calmed down by the elders in the area who swiftly intervened in the matter and pleaded with them to allow the Police to wade into the matter.
While speaking to newsmen on the matter, the father of the deceased, Sarkin Pawa Wada, narrated how the incident happened saying that somebody was caught with a goat and was taken to the vigilance office in the area.
He narrated further that, “The leader of the Yan Kwamiti (vigilante group) called Malam Abbas, sent his boys to go and arrest my son who was busy in his place of work, just because they asked the man who was alleged to have stolen the goat whether he knows Hassan and he said yes he knows him.”
“When they took him to their office, they talked about it. I don’t know what they talked about because I was not there, but I learnt that the suspected thief was later released, they then called the owner of the goat and handed over the goat to him,” he said.
Sarkin Pawa Wada further explained that “after that, they brought another issue of a stolen ram which my son knows nothing about. Malam Abbas fined them N10,000 and the other people paid N7,000, and after they left, they (vigilante group) killed my son. When they killed him, they made away with his money and his handsets.”
The father of the deceased further alleged that after killing his son, they later brought his corpse to his house dumped it “but thank God they were seen” pointing out that when he came back home, he quickly rushed to the Village Head of Wuntin Dada and informed him about the incident adding that he, in turn, drew the attention of the Divisional Police Officer, GRA to the unfortunate incident.
Sarkin Pawa Wada added that the DPO swiftly acted by sending his men to go and see what was happening and on getting there, they took his son to the hospital where he was confirmed dead by a Doctor saying that the corpse has been released to them by the Police for burial according to Islamic rites as agreed by them.
While accusing the leader of the Committee for ordering the torturing of his son to death, Sarkin Pawa Wada said that the Police has assured them that decisive action would be taken against the suspects.
The wife of Sarkin Pawa of Wuntin Dada, Amina Wada said she was inside the house when she overheard them saying in the Hausa language “let’s dump him here, let’s dump him here.”
She said: “When I came out, I heard them saying climb and let’s go. So, when I peeped I saw that it was my son lying lifeless. I was shocked and I started praying. I called my neighbours to come and see my son lying lifeless. At that time they had gone.”
According to her, the vigilante group people that brought her son’s corpse came on a motorcycle adding that she did not see their faces except their backs as they went away.
The Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Bauchi State Command, Kamal Abubakar, confirmed the incident to newsmen describing the incident as very unfortunate.
He said: “Friday night, some committee members arrested two people on the allegation that one of them, a butcher allegedly bought a stolen goat. So they (members of the vigilante committee) tortured two people where one of them died. When he was taken to the Hospital, he was certified dead.”
Datti Abubakar, who is a Deputy Superintendent of Police, said that the Police has so far arrested the leader of the Community Committee, Abdulmumini Abbas and four other members in connection with the incident and are currently undergoing investigations after which they will be charged to court for prosecution if found culpable.
The Police Spokesman also warned committee members and members of the public to desist from taking the law into their hands, saying, “once somebody is suspected, he should be arrested and brought to the police so that we will do full investigations and subsequently charge the suspects to court if found culpable.”
The Police Spokesman said: “Even the Police don’t have the power to execute anybody for committing any crime, the power lies with the court, it is the court that will determine whether the person has committed the offence or not.”
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