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Malam Madobi: Police beat my son to death.



Malam Nasiru Abdulkadir Madobi took his 26-year-old son to a police station in their community for interrogation over a neighbourhood gang fight he was alleged to have been involved in. Sadly  his dear son paid  heavily for his action as the police allegedly tortured him till  death.

During the  interrogation officers on duty  descended on him, beating him to stupor, which later led to his death.

Narrating what happened, 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.

“I called my son on phone and he came. He was about to take tea, but I pressed on him until he abandoned it and I took him to the police station,” he said.

He added that on reaching the station, he discovered that the complainant was his friend’s child, who expressed disappointment at the extent the issue had gone.

The victim was asked to go behind the counter for detention. In the process of trying to search him, an altercation ensued as the boy insisted that there was no need for the search as he had only N50 and his phone, which he brought out of his pocket. As a result of this, one of the policemen at the counter, known as Dan-Bichi, slapped him and he retaliated. In the process, other policemen at the counter, including Haruna, Dan-Bichi, Takalmin-Zomo and one Mustapha started beating him with clubs and sticks until he became unconscious.

Madobi added that even in an unconscious state, the divisional crime officer of the police outpost tear-gassed his late child. He said that because he could not stand the sight of the beating and could not rescue his child, he left the station in tears.

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.”

He further narrated that when he discovered that his brother had fainted, he ran to the divisional police officer and pleaded with him to allow him take the young man to hospital at Kwankwaso town, but the he did not utter a word.

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.

“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 said.

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,” he said.

On his part, the village head of Madobi, Alhaji Umar Mahmud, said that even before the incident, residents of Madobi were not happy with the way Sgt Sabiu was extorting money from them over minor offences. He added that the DPO in question had no good human relation with the people of the town.

He, therefore, called on all the authorities concerned to ensure that justice is done so that it would serve as deterrent to other law enforcement agents. He described the incident as great injustice by the police.

When contacted, the spokesman of the police, Kano State command, ASP Abdullahi Haruna, confirmed the incident and said it was under investigation. He said the five police officers who were on duty on the day of the incident were facing trial.

“The five policemen who were on duty on that day have been arrested and investigation is ongoing. The moment investigation is concluded we will charge them to court if they are found wanting,” he said.
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