The eldest son of the Sultan of Sokoto and his apparent successor was involved in an accident apparently fuelled by a drunken binge on the banned substance ‘Codeine’.
The son of Usman Sa’ad Abubakar, the Sultan of Sokoto, popularly known as Amir was in the company of the son of Northern Elite leader Aliyu Macciddo called Khalifa and an unidentified female reportedly brought in from Kaduna.
Reports have it that Amir was driving at a very high speed around at Sokoto Airport Road, Bado area round 12 Noon when the accident happened.
He had been driving a car with the plate number of the Council of the Sokoto Caliphate boldly imprinted on it during the time of the accident, witnesses say officials of the Council removed the plate numbers from the car wreckage to hide his identity.
The witnesses also reported that a bottle of the banned codeine syrup was found in the vehicle when the accident victims were being rescued which suggested to authorities that Amir had been high on the substance while driving; according to reports, this was the reason for the unnecessary high speed at which the young man was travelling on the road.
Amir is supposed to be in School in the United Kingdom but was dismissed because of his addiction to drugs and alcohol which very often got him in trouble.
Eye witnesses had also reported seeing Amir alongside the unidentified girl as well as Khalifa Maccido at a guest house in Sokoto town earlier in the day before the accident occurred; the witnesses say the girl had been invited over from Kaduna to spend the weekend with Amir.
Amir, whose name means “leader” and was named after Sheik Usman Fodio, was thereafter taken to the Usman Danfodio Teaching Hospital, where he has been unconscious since the crash on Sunday.
Attempts to get confirmation of the accident from the Secretary of the Sultanate, proved abortive as he was reportedly out of town at the time of the incident.
The use and abuse of codeine is prevalent among youths and young women in Northern Nigeria where alcohol is banned in accordance with the Islamic sharia law prevalent in the area.
The problem which had been growing for years and is also linked as a fueling factor of the Boko haram insurgency was exposed by an undercover investigation carried out by the BBC in Northern Nigeria.
The Federal government then took steps to curb the menace by banning importation of the substance and its use in cough medicines being produced in the country.