This is one of those articles that draw my attention and make me reflect on certain similarities in the way things go about in this nation. I just feel this article is worth considering.
It made me remember the story of the Nsukka guys that were shot in those days. More reasons why I am convinced the national system is just rotten. I propose it to you to analyze it yourself.
“This is the second time within three years that police officers had unlawfully eliminated Igbo people, while in police custody’
Nigerians were stupefied over the news of the mysterious escape of Kabiru Umar (aka Kabiru Sokoto), the alleged prime suspect in the macabre Christmas Day bombing of Saint Theresa Catholic Church, Madalla, Niger State, which left 43 people dead and many severely injured.
But a legal practitioner of South-east extraction, Amobi Nzelu (SAN), was not jolted over the development.
Speaking with Daily Sun in this interview, Nzelu gives a stunning account of how suspects from a certain section of the country, often disappeared from police custody.
How do you see the sudden disappearance of Kabiru Sokoto, the prime suspect of the Madalla bombing?
It is very embarrassing. A major breakthrough in the unmasking of those that are behind the Boko Haram has been scuttled by those given the responsibility to protect lives and property and I feel worried.
Worried in the sense that I have to go down memory lane.
In 2003, one Superintendent of Police called, Gambo was DPO in Nsukka, three men were shot dead by him. He was brought to Abuja in handcuff and taken to Area 10. While he was in custody, which is a loose detention, a DIG came to negotiate for his bail and he was told point blank that it was a murder issue and couldn’t be granted bail.
The man on the excuse that he was going to observe his prayer walked out of the gate of Area 10 and disappeared till today! CSP Abdulsalam Uthman supervised the killings of three Igbos during the Apo six saga - to the glory of God, I was the lawyer in that matter.
I took the pictures of those that were killed in Apo, we took their corpses for burial. The man went into custody of the police. He was detained on the 5th floor and from there we were told he said was going to pray. He came downstairs and an AIG, who later retired as a DIG provided his official vehicle and he was ferreted him away!
Again, the man that committed the mayhem of December 25 has disappeared. The question is, is it only when they killed Igbos that the culprits escape from the custody of the police?
Nobody has the monopoly of violence. If the Igbo aren’t secured in this place called Nigeria, we should be told in unmistaken terms… people shouldn’t frustrate the good work of President Goodluck Jonathan.
If there is any mayhem in any part of the country, the victims are Igbos. There is a town in Anambra State, they lost nine people in Mubi; nine corpses were brought to the town during the Boko Haram violence. What has been said about this? The government of the day should protect us; we are an endangered specie in the country.
Because Kabiru Sokoto has a lot of information to give to this country that was why the man has been kept and if you look at the sequence, Zakari Biu is from Biu, one of the towns in the old Borno State that formed Borno and Yobe, apparently the headquarters of Boko Haram, the man arrested him and told the entire country.
So, how do you explain this? This is my 32 years as a lawyer, I did my youth service in Maiduguri, I practised there for 14 years, I married there had my children there; I am a grand father. So, I lived in Maiduguri when there was no Boko Haram, peace-loving people.
Suddenly, from nowhere, Boko Haram was introduced into the whole system. So, to tell us that that kind of man, Kabiru Sokoto, has escaped is most unfortunate. Now, we have to cry out to Mr. President that we are the endangered specie; and to hear that they only suspended Zakari Biu.
For how long?
You see, as I have said , anybody created by God has some percentage of insanity in him, it is only when you develop your own that it becomes full-blown madness and nobody has a monopoly of violence. You can decide to be violent, it depends on how you want to use your life but where you turn us to be guinea pigs of this country, it isn’t healthy.
CSP Uthman is on the run and I shouted at the Okiro Panel that time, put this man under handcuff. I wrote a book, called, “Apo Six + one: the tragedy of a nation.’’ Everything you want about Apo Six is in that book and in that book I wrote in page 75 of that book: “This is the second time within three years that police officers had unlawfully eliminated Igbo people, while in police custody.
The first was by SP Gambo, a DPO in Nsukka, Enugu State, who had killed three Igbo men; he was brought under custody to face charges of murder and escaped while in police custody at the then police headquarters in Area 10, Garki, Abuja. Till date, nothing has been said about it.’’
So, it didn’t start today. This is a book I wrote after the Apo Six and it is being published in London. I have held this book down because the judgment hasn’t been delivered in the criminal trial going on. Six years after they have been arraigned in court, no judgment! August 2005, they were arraigned in court, seven years today they haven’t got judgment on this Apo case. The girl that was one of the victims in that case wasn’t shot to death, she was strangled to death.
Each time I remember that seven years after these people were killed, nothing has been done… Reverend King is an Igbo man; he killed somebody in church, within six months he was sentenced to death by hanging but Apo Six has been there for seven years.
But it isn’t only Igbo that died at Madalla. How many from the other ethnic groups? Does a Suleiman go to church? I am asking. Check the number of the people that died there and you would be shocked that, out of the number 35 are from South-east. The one they killed in Mubi, nine of them were from one town in Anambra State. Nine corpses from one town! The uproar in Borno State, how many Northerners has it claimed? Let us see the statistics. I know some Nigerians are equally involved but the majority at the receiving end are Igbos. If there is bombing today in Abuja, they look for Igbo people shops to go and burn. May God forbid.
So, what exactly do you want Mr. President to do now? People have called for the resignation of the IGP
(cuts in) It is a cartel, they know what they are doing. It is unacceptable to the Igbo nation, they must produce the man. That man, Kabiru Sokoto, has a lot of stories to tell Nigerians, he has a lot of names to mention that will jolt this country.
You have said it is a cartel but don’t you think Mr. President could be exonerated. He has said, even before this jolting escape of Kabiro Sokoto, Boko Haram had infiltrated his government. Don’t you think his fears are real?
You see, anything that it will take him, he is the president and he must be determined to do the work for Nigerians. We know that within the system, people are sabotaging him, that I must tell you. They are there, they are called AGIP – Any Government in Power, they must dictate to government. They don’t want to leave; they recycle them until they cannot recycle them again. There are no bad governments but bad advisers. The good of Mr. President is being frustrated, left, right and centre.
Because of June 12, 1993 election that was annulled, Yoruba went into trenches, both politicians and professors, they got the mandate to rule this country for eight years, but where are my people? When they massacred the Apo Six, nobody raised a voice. I put my life and that of my family on line for that Apo Six and God said to me, I will pay you and God is paying me. I can raise up my head and say my children are doing fine. That’s God grace.
You as an individual is squealing against the injustice in the system; aren’t you worried that South-east governors aren’t talking?
You see, I have gone through the valley of the shadow of death, I have seen what most of them never saw. For primitive gains, they will say nothing. Not only am I speaking out for now, I have been speaking out in the past. I don’t think I need to cringe before anybody. No, I can afford one good meal a day in my house. I have practised law for 32 years; how many years do I have ahead?
What I am saying is that, once they are within the comfort of the Governor’s Lodge, they forget that they will come out one day to meet us on the streets of Nigeria. I am watching to see them take a stand.
One needs to take a stand. My people, they don’t sustain opposition, Yoruba do. I am an Igbo man by birth, a Yoruba man by education because I went to the University of Ife, now Obafemi Awolowo University.
An Igbo man, once his container is arriving at the port, he forgets about what is happening to his brother. That’s the problem we have.
The Yoruba, because Babangida annulled June 12, all of them went into trenches: Bola Ige, Adesanya, Obasanjo, all of them, they went into war and they got eight years to rule. Head, or tail – 1999, that was the only election in Nigeria, head or tail, APP, Olu Falae, PDP, Obasanjo.
That was the gain because they could sustain an aggression. That was why I could sustain aggression myself because I have picked part of their blood but my people will not say anything!
Now, this man has escaped and where is the one that escaped after the Apo Six killings?
But he is in Nigeria, they know where he is. It isn’t healthy. They should give this government a chance and not distract it. Anything short of producing this man isn’t acceptable to Nigerians in general and Igbos, because we went to bury our people that were killed.
But the IG has queried and ordered suspension of Zakari Biu; don’t you see that as indication of seriousness to get to the root of the matter?
Query? You see, there are certain things that when they happen in this country, they are laughable. What are you telling me? They allowed the guy to escape. For a CP, Zakari Biu, to allow a star murderer to be taken to his house, doing what? They might have arranged his escape. That’s uncalled for.
But are you calling for the IG resignation?
The issue of his resignation, the president is competent to handle the matter at that level. All I am saying is that, the man must be produced, let him (Kabiru Sokoto) tell us who and who are behind this thing. They denied us the opportunity of getting to the root of Boko Haram when they killed the leader. Those this boy is working for would be on his trail now and before you know, they will kill him. How can these boys buy bombs? Somebody, somewhere is buying the bombs for them to go and bomb. Something must be done. You cannot continue to keep quiet when you are being slapped. This thing is getting too much. We cannot be guinea pigs in this country. Never.
Source: The Sun News Online