Lagos - The Lagos State Police Command said on Friday it has begun a man-hunt of a soldier who allegedly killed a cobbler and buried him without the deceased family’s consent.
The command’s spokesperson, SP Oladapo Bamos, who made the disclosure to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos, said everything possible would be done to arrest the suspect.
"We are at a high-level in the investigation. The State CID, Panti is investigating. As at now, the identity of the soldier has not been known.
"We are working with the army authorities with a view to identify and know the formation the suspect is attached to.
"We have assured the family of the deceased that the suspect will be found,’’ Badmos said.
Sources closed to the army in Lagos, who spoke to NAN anonymously, said they heard of the incident, adding that the identity of the soldier had yet to be determined.
"We heard that a soldier allegedly killed a shoe shiner at Falomo barracks. We also heard that some people protested over the death in the same barracks.
"We also got a report that some soldiers usually pick up some people and take them to the barracks to sweep the surroundings.
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"Honestly speaking, we don’t have the identity of the soldier who allegedly killed the man,’’ a source told NAN.
NAN reports that the deceased family had on Jan. 11, written a petition to the army and police authorities in Lagos, demanding for investigation into the killing of their son.
According to the petition, signed by one Kabiru Lawal, the unlawful and unwarranted killing of their son, Kabiru Rabe, by a soldier in Giwa Barracks, Kingsway Road, Ikoyi, was unacceptable.
"On Dec. 21, 2015, a soldier known as Danbaba (aka Sgt. Kurfo), usually come to where we shine shoes because we are cobblers and arrest us.
"He will take us to the barracks to do farm work or clean their gutters. This is the duty we have been doing for a very long time.
"Any complaint from any of us will attract severe beating and other punishment,’’ it said.
The petition said that on Monday, Dec. 21, 2015, the cobblers were at their usual place at Falomo round about for their trade, when the said soldier came to pick up five of them.
The names of those taken from there are Hamza Abdullahi, Nuradeen Bala, Uzairu Yahaya, Alhassan Danladi and Kabiru Rabe, now deceased.
"Sgt. Dan Baba came to raid us as usual; coincidentally Kabiru Rabe was wearing a phone ear piece and did not hear the soldier’s calls.
"That was the offence which made the soldier to start hitting him with a stick till he fell down and the soldier continued to step on him till he gave up the ghost.
"Sgt. Dan Baba took the body to Falomo Police Hospital on a motorcycle and Rabe was confirmed dead.
"He brought a bus and moved the corpse to Polo Club, Awolowo Road, Ikoyi and ran away to his barracks.
"When we went to the barracks, Danbaba and five other armed soldiers chased us away,’’ the petition said.
"They called LASEMBUS Ambulance, which they entered to move the corpse to Military Hospital mortuary, Awolowo Road.
"On Dec. 22, 2015, Danbaba and his colleagues went to the hospital to retrieve the corpse to an unknown destination. Nobody from Giwa barracks told us anything.
"We want to bury our son according to Islamic way.
"We appeal to you to investigate the killing and the where about of the corpse,’’ the petition urged the police and army authorities.