16 Jan 2016

Soldier Beats Cobbler to Death In Lagos

Family of a cobbler, Kabiru Rabe, allegedly killed by a soldier inside Giwa Barracks in Ikoyi, Lagos, last December 21 has appealed to the police and military for justice.

In a petition to Lagos Commissioner of Police Fatai Owoseni Commandant, Giwa Barracks and Ikoyi Divisional Police Officer (DPO), they wondered why the soldier, simply identified as Danbaba, has not been arrested.

According to Kabiru Lawal, who signed the petition, Danbaba, popularly called Sergeant Kurfo beat Rabe to death.

He claimed that Danbaba descended on the deceased for allegedly not responding to his call.

The late Rabe, he said, did not hear the soldier’s call because he had an ear piece on.

The soldier, Lawal said, usually came to their workshop to force them into the barracks to clean gutters and do other menial job.

“We have been doing this for a very long time without complain. Any complaint from any of us will attract severe beating and punishment.

“But on this particular day, December 21, 2015, a Monday, we were at our place of work at Falomo roundabout where we shine shoes. He came and carried five of us – Hamza Abdullahi, Nuradeen Bala, Uzairu Yahaya, Alhassan Danladi and Kabiru Rabe (deceased). “Sergeant Danbaba came to raid us as usual. Coincidentally, Kabiru Rabe was wearing an ear piece and did not hear the soldier and that was his offence, which made the soldier to start hitting him with a stick till he fell down.

“He continued to step on him until he gave up the ghost within the premises of the barracks.

“The soldier took the corpse to Falomo Police Hospital on a bike and it was confirmed that my brother was dead. He brought a bus and moved him to the Polo Club, Awolowo Road, Ikoyi and ran away to his barracks.

“When we went to the barracks, Danbaba and five other armed soldiers chased us away. They called Lagos State Ambulance Service (LASAMBUS), which they entered to move the corpse to Military Hospital mortuary on Awolowo Road.

“On December 22, Danbaba and his colleagues went to the hospital to retrieve the corpse to an unknown destination. Nobody from Giwa Barracks told us anything.

“We want to bury our son according to Islamic way. We appeal to you to investigate the killing and the whereabouts of the corpse,” said Lawal.

But The Nation gathered that Danbaba, his friends and some Islamic cleric, took the corpse to a cemetery in Agege and buried it without the family’s consent.

It was learnt that they moved the body from the morgue to the cemetery in a commercial bus.

Acting Defence spokesman Colonel Rabe Abubakar said he was unaware of the incident, explaining that the military would not tolerate any act of lawlessness from its personnel.

“The life of every Nigerian is valuable and important whether poor or rich; we are not going to tolerate wanton and unlawful killing of innocent citizens. In as much as I am not aware of the incident, I can assure you that the military will deal with the person involved if found to be a soldier in accordance with the law,” he said.

Police spokesperson, Dolapo Badmos, a Superintendent (SP), said the police had launched a manhunt for the soldier.

The matter, she said, had been referred to the State Criminal Investigations and Intelligence Department (SCIID) at Panti, Yaba.

“The SCIID is in charge of the investigation. As at now, the identity of the soldier has not been known. We are working with the army authorities with a view to identifying the suspect and knowing his formation. We assure the family of the deceased that the suspect will be found,” Badmos said.

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