The Sokoto state police command have been accused of torturing one Shehu Yahaya, to death following his comment on an illegal checkpoint erected by some of the state police officers along Isa-Sabon Birni road in Sokoto on Sunday October 25th.
Daily Trust reports that the 25 year old father of two was on an errand for his sister when he met with the police officers on the road and made a comment about checkpoints that have been banned by President Buhari and the illegality in the one erected by the officers.
This angered the police officers who trailed the vehicle he was commuting with. Narrating what happened, Bashar Nahantsi, a friend of the deceased, said after the deceased made the comment that angered the police, they trailed the vehicle in which they were commuting in and ordered the driver to stop.
“The policemen ordered the two of us to come out of the vehicle, claiming that they suspected us of drug abuse. We came down and they arrested us, but my late friend freed himself from their grip and ran away, leaving me with them. They stripped me and tied my hands from behind, using my vest. They asked if I had anyone who could stand for me. I said yes and called one of my elders. They did not see him, but they said I should not worry. They tied my hands and feet.
Later, my friend who ran away came back. I was put under the custody of two mobile policemen under a tree. They asked me to lie low in the grass so they could arrest my friend. They arrested him, but he later escaped into a farm. He was chased by the two mobile policemen.
By then, they had come back with my friend in an unconscious state and dumped him on the ground. At that time, he could not even sit properly. I had to support him with my feet before he could sit down.
After collecting N1, 500, they ordered that I should carry my friend to where we could get a vehicle home. When I realised the condition they had subjected my friend to, I told them I couldn’t do anything.
I managed to get away from them. It was two days after the encounter, while I was at a village that I got to know of my friend’s death. The police killed him.”he said.
Also speaking, father of the deceased, Alhaji Shehu said “I was at Birnin Gwani when the incident happened on Sunday. I came back home on Tuesday to find out that my house was filled with people. Upon enquiry I was told that my son Yahaya had died. I asked if he was sick and the people told me that it was policemen who killed him at Teke market.”.
“I have left everything to Allah, but I demand that justice be done,” he said.
“The deceased’s parents alleged that the police had killed their son at a certain town. We investigated and arrested the policemen who were alleged to have carried out the assault. We called witnesses who testified to us. We will penalise any offender, whoever he is, whether police or civilian. Whoever commits any wrong must be brought to order. The law must take its course. No one should be above the law. There are procedures to be followed before the suspects are taken to court. We have to follow due process.”he said.