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Over Manicure, Air Force Officers Murder 17-Year-Old Attendant at Niger Fuel Station

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Chief of Air Staff Isiaka Amao

Sa’ad Umar, the manager of AYM Shafa fuel station, Minna, Niger State, has revealed how officers of the Nigerian Air force killed 17-year-old Yusuf Umar, an attendant at the fuel station.

In an interview with The PUNCH, Umar said that officers of the Nigerian Air Force shot and cut Yusuf on Monday. The officers also assaulted Umar before leaving the scene.

“On Monday afternoon, I was in my office when a staff member came to inform me that some air force personnel had come to refill their Hilux vehicle,” Umar was quoted to have said. “Since I am the one who usually attends to them personally for accounting purposes, I came out to attend to them.”

Umar said he saw some men sitting down within the filling station with a local manicurist about to start cutting their nails.

“I objected to that and requested that they move away from the pumps to avoid a fire outbreak. Manicurists usually use lighters to burn their tools as a way of sterilising them,” he said.

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“But immediately, the man in mufti, who was trying to get his nails cut, asked me if I knew who they were. I said I didn’t care to know at that point; I was only concerned about the safety guidelines of my workplace.”

Despite the fact that Umar mentioned the risk of a local manicurist working close to the pumps, the man insisted that he must have his nails cut in the filling station. Umar said that he told the manicurist to leave the filling station instead, but the men ordered him to stay.

“One of their colleagues in uniform called me. I asked him if the men in mufti were with them and he said they were together. I started to call the air force base accountant, Mr Akuma. We have a retainership with them, with an arrangement for them to come to collect fuel and pay directly from the office,” said Umar.

“I called the accountant to also report that his men were going against our safety standards, but he didn’t pick the three calls I placed to him.”

According to Umar, one of the men in uniform got angry and complained that he was wasting their time. Umar explained that he needed to get confirmation from their office before giving them fuel.

“The next thing was that one of them slapped me, shouting, ‘Who are you to be talking to my oga like that?’ Then another one slapped and kicked me. I fell and they descended on me, beating me,” Umar explained.

“I started shouting, demanding why they were harassing me. The place became rowdy. Amid the confusion, one of them rushed to the Hilux van and brought out a knife, while another one got a cutlass.”

Umar said he heard two gunshots as he tried to run into his office for protection. “I saw Yusuf on the ground in a pool of his blood with a cutlass cut in his hand. He was hit on his arm and his chest,” Umar said.

The air force personnel drove off afterwards, and Yusuf died while Umar and others tried to get him to the hospital.

Umar said that AYM Shafa filling station reported the incident to the leadership of the air force officers’ base.

“They have even visited us and they said the officers involved were already arrested and detained,” Umar said. “They said the officers had no business shooting at anyone. They said investigation was going on and assured us that the blood of our brother would not be shed in vain.”

FIJ

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Lagos corporal beats up senior officer over traffic

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Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer, Benjamin Hundeyin

There was a mild drama on Saturday at the Simbiat Abiola Way, Ikeja, Lagos State, as a police corporal assaulted his superior during an argument.

PUNCH Metro gathered that the yet-to-be-identified corporal had confronted the superior officer, who was identified as Supol Edgar, for allegedly causing traffic at the junction linking the Awolowo Way.

This led to an argument, as the corporal punched Edgar.

Our correspondent learnt that the policeman did not know Edgar was a police officer who resided in a barracks close to the scene.

During the confrontation, Edgar reportedly reached out to his colleagues in the barracks, who stormed out and bundled the policeman into their premises.

Our correspondent, who was at the scene of the incident, observed as the corporal was forcefully dragged into the police barracks.

An eyewitness, who identified himself only as Stanley for security reasons, said the problem was caused by a tricycle rider, who tried to navigate through some vehicles at the junction.

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He said, “The Supol tried to caution a tricycle rider who tried to make his way past some vehicles and that led to the traffic jam. But when the corporal saw what was happening, he angrily rushed out of his car to confront him for causing a delay. That was how the argument started between them and even when the senior officer was telling him that he was also a police officer, he did not hear him out, as he kept on slapping and punching him. That was when the Supol called someone in the barracks and they came to carry him.”

A traffic warden, who was at the spot and begged not to be identified because he was not authorised to speak on the matter, said the officer did not reveal his identity on time before the matter escalated.

He said, “I was controlling traffic when I saw a man arguing with someone in the tricycle. I approached him to know what was happening but he refused to answer me. I left him to continue what I was doing. It was later that I saw that traffic had started building up and by the time I went back to check what caused it, I saw both of them dragging each other.”

Our correspondent also observed that before the corporal was taken into the barracks, he was stripped of his clothes and asked to kneel, while other senior officers in the barracks gathered around him.

Edgar threatened to lock him up at the Area F Police Command.

The Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer, Benjamin Hundeyin, said he was not aware of the incident.

He promised to respond after making enquiries. He had yet to do so as of the time of filing this report.

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Just In: Bandits kill three, abduct scores in Taraba

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Inspector-General of Police, Usman Baba

Bandits on Sunday night attacked and killed three persons while scores were reportedly abducted by the attackers in Bali town, the headquarters of Bali Local Government Area of Taraba State.

Several sources in Bali told our correspondent on the phone that the attackers who rode on motorcycles attacked and killed personnel of Taraba Marshall at a checkpoint near General Hospital before proceeding to individual houses to kill and abduct people.

The Tiv central leader and Chief of Tiv in Bali, Zaki David Gbaa (Ter Tiv Bali II) told our correspondent that two of his subjects were killed and scores, mostly women, were abducted in the attack.

“The attackers invaded the town at about 11: pm. Two of my subjects were killed in the attack, and two others who were badly injured are receiving treatment in the hospital.

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“Many people, especially women, were abducted. It’s a terrible situation and I want to call on the government and security agencies to sit up and ensure the protection of the lives and property of citizens.

“For over four hours, the bandits held the town shooting sporadically and there was no response from security agencies. People are losing hope of the government’s ability to protect them and I think the bandits are no more than our security agencies,” he said.

This is even as the traditional ruler called on the government to support the injured who are receiving treatment in hospitals.

The attack came barely three days after bandits blocked the Mutum-Biyu- Garba Chede road killing a driver and abducting passengers in the neighbouring Gassol Local Government area of the state.

Efforts to get the Police to react to the attack failed as the Taraba State Police Public Relations Officer, Abdullahi Usman, did not pick up calls made to his line.

But a police officer in the Taraba State Police Command told our correspondent that the PPRO was attending a security briefing.

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NAF Fighter Jet Kills Banditry Kingpin, Followers In Katsina

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A notorious banditry kingpin, Abdulkareem Lawal alias Faca-faca, and many of his followers have been killed in airstrikes by the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) fighter jets on some bandits’ enclaves in Safana Local Government Area of Katsina State.

Our correspondent learnt that the raids were carried out in the evening.

The Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) in the state, Gambo Isah, confirmed on Sunday that eight suspected bandits including Faca-faca were killed during the raid.

 He also said the police Saturday night raided a terrorists’ hideout at Unguwar Dako, Tandama village in Danja Local Government Area of the state where they rescued six kidnapped victims. 

Isah gave the names of the rescued victims as Alhaji Garba DanMallam, 52; Rabiu Idris, 45; and Abba Samaila, 38, who are all residents of Unguwar Nuhu. 

Others are Yunusa Sani, 54; Ishaq Yakub, 40; and Danjuma Samaila, 45, all residents of Layin Sani village, Kafur. 

Meanwhile, bandits have killed two members of a local vigilante group and abducted a newlywed couple and other residents of Shola Quarters in the Katsina metropolis. 

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Residents said the bandits invaded the area around 1:25am and operated for over an hour. 

One of the sources said, “It was the vigilante members that even confronted the bandits but in the process, two of them were killed and two others wounded.” 

He explained that the vigilante members had to retreat for their safety when the bandits overpowered them. 

He said it was later that one body was retrieved while one of the injured persons rushed to the hospital died. 

Explaining how the newlywed couple was kidnapped, a relative, Usman Masanawa, said the husband, Yusuf Bishir, called to inform him of the attack but there was nothing he could do.

“We went there this morning; the bandits did not even enter the house through the entrance gate but they smashed the wall and got access into the house,” Masanawa said. 

He added that the number of residents abducted could not be ascertained but other residents said some houses were attacked and people abducted. 

When contacted, the PPRO who responded via WhatsApp message, said officers were on an operation (on the matter) and would communicate details later. 

In another attack, bandits abducted 13 people from Natsinta village, in Jibia Local Government Area, which is a few hundred metres from the army barracks in Katsina. 

A resident, whose uncle and two of his children were abducted, said the bandits had earlier abducted 26 people but when they got to where they parked their motorcycles, they took 13 with them and left the others.

DAILY TRUST

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