The family of the late Alhaji Abdullahi Umar of Sabon Birni Local Government Area of Sokoto State has petitioned the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, over the alleged release of suspects arrested in connection with his murder.
The suspects were said to have been identified by an 18-year-old boy, Gazali Dahiru.
Head of the family, Abubakar Danladi, in a statement by their solicitors, Fara’a Law Chambers, alleged that accomplices named by Dahiru were released by the police without allowing justice to take its course.
The statement said, “In the midnight of June 29, 2018, one Gazali Dahiru broke into the house of the late Alhaji Abdullahi Umar with a lethal weapon and mercilessly stabbed him seven times, which resulted in his death.
“While he was perpetrating the heinous act, one of the wives of the deceased was awake and was able to identify him. Thereafter, the incident was reported to military personnel on patrol.”
Danladi stated that the military personnel arrested the suspect, who allegedly “confessed that he was responsible for killing Umar” and handed him over to the Sabon Birnin Divisional Police Station.
The petitioner further alleged that the suspect again confessed to have committed the crime and the matter was transferred to the State Criminal Investigation Department, Sokoto State Police Command, for further investigation.
He said, “Consistently, the suspect repeated his confessional statement without mincing words. Shockingly, the suspect further confessed that he was hired by three principal officers of Sabon Birnin Local Government Area to assassinate the deceased on the agreement that they would buy a new motorcycle and an expensive mobile phone for him.”
According to him, the suspected accomplices were invited by the SCIID and detained but were released after a few days.
“Surprisingly however, a few days after their arrest, the accomplices were set free by the police despite the overwhelming evidence against them. It is apparent that the sudden release of the accomplices is a calculated attempt to compromise investigation,” he added.
While arguing that the release of accomplices in the alleged murder case “is a litmus test that would put the reputation and integrity of the Nigeria Police at stake,” Danladi called for a thorough, objective and fair investigation, which would unravel what happened in the case.
The family of the deceased said they relied on the Nigeria Police to do justice on the matter.
Responding to the petition, Public Relations Officer of the state police command, DSP Cordelia Nwawe, said nobody could teach them how to do their job.
She said, “It is the duty of the police to investigate. No one teaches us our job. The main suspect, Gazali Dahiru, who has given us useful information, is in our custody.
“In the course of any investigation, the police make several arrests, detain or release those arrested depending on findings during the investigation. This is normal.
“If the police felt those released would jeopardise our investigation, we would not release them on bail. Since investigation is still ongoing, if it reveals that they are involved, we will get them.”
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