The police have reportedly tortured a 26-year-old to death. One Malam Nasiru Abdulkadir Madobi took his son to a police station for interrogation over a neighbourhood gang fight he was alleged to have been involved in.
The process of the interrogation, verbal altercation ensued between the boy and policemen, a situation that made the officers on duty to descend on him, beating him to stupor, which later led to his death.
Madobi said his son was not at home when one police officer named Haruna came looking for him. He agreed to take him to the station whenever he returned.
Narrating his experience at the police station, the victim’s elder brother, Malam Ahmad Rufa’i Nasiru, who went to see him when his father went home, said,
“By the time I got to the police station, our father had left. I met some of the policemen at the gate and I went in after greeting them. Inside, I saw the divisional police officer (DPO) and greeted him as well.
“To my surprise, I saw one Sergeant Sabiu Saleh beating my brother mercilessly with firewood.
“The divisional crime officer (DCO) of the police station also took part in torturing my brother. The boy was almost stripped naked.
“The boy screamed and pleaded for mercy, but they continued manhandling him. I moved closer and intervened, telling Sabiu that if he died he would be held responsible, but he did not stop. At that point, the crime officer, who hails from southern Zaria, stopped beating the boy.”
According to him, at that point, he left the police station and went to Kano city to see his younger sister and her husband to inform them her of what happened.
Subsequently, they called one Sergeant Bashir Tanko, who is attached to Bompai police headquarters but was not on duty at the time.
He joined them and they went to Madobi to plead with the divisional police officer, who said Sabiu was the person in charge of the case and he was the one to take decision.
According to him, “We met Sabiu in his office, but he asked me to excuse them as he wanted to talk to his colleague. No sooner than I left the office than Sabiu followed me and said, ‘You have come with a policeman, the DPO needs some money and we cannot discuss money issue with our colleague.’
“I told him that my concern was to take the boy to the hospital because of the situation he was in, but Sabiu did not tell me that they had already taken him boy to the hospital; instead, he said the DPO was demanding N20,000 from us.
“I told him that all I had on me was N10,000 and my plan was to take the boy to the hospital, but he insisted that I should give him that money so that he would plead with the DPO.
“I said I could not give him all the money as we needed something for our transportation, so I gave him N8,000.
He alleged that Sabiu collected the money and met the DPO, who was in his office. But he didn’t know what transpired between Sabiu and the DPO in his office. However, Sabiu later came out and asked Sgt Bashir to go in and thank the DPO for his kindness
. “It was then that Sabiu told us that the boy was taken to Akilu Hospital in Madobi and we should go and pick him there.
“At the hospital we saw him but he looked lifeless. I took his hospital card, where it was written that he was referred to the Murtala Muhammad Specialist Hospital, Kano.
“When I saw the situation, I said I would not take him anywhere since the police took him to the hospital and dumped him there, even when the doctor referred him to a higher facility.
“But Sgt Bashir said he had an undertaking that he had collected him already, so we should try to save the life of the boy. He promised that whatever happened he would brief the commissioner of police at Bompai.
“We took him to Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital, where they decided to conduct a CT scan on him, but even at that time, his mouth was foaming. After all the payments, the boy passed away at 1am, before the scan was done,” he narrated amidst tears.
“Mallam Rufa’i alleged that when they requested for the report of the cause of his brother’s death, the hospital told them that only the police could collect the report if they applied for it.
“We took the corpse and decided to take it to the DPO the following morning, but our father said we should take heart and bury our brother, which we did.
“The commissioner of police even sent his representatives to condole with us, assuring us that they would take all necessary actions on the matter. We were asked to go and give our statement.
“After that, we went for a trial, and to my greatest surprise, at the trial, Sabiu was asking if I was aware that the boy was possessed by an evil spirit. I told him that we had never heard of anything close to that in his entire life.
“At this point, I began to lose hope that there would be justice in this case as the police promised, taking into consideration that they were trying to relate it with an evil spirit.
“Another thing that made us begin to lose confidence in the police was the statement made by their public relations officer in Kano on Pyramid FM on Monday on a programme aired between 9 and 9:30am, where he said the boy was discharged from the hospital before he died.
“Again, at the trial, the DPO of Gwale, Mannir Madugu, who was supposed to be like a judge, was the one telling Sabiu the kind of questions he should ask me. I raised an objection, but he said it was their job, and since I am not a policeman, I kept quiet,”