Family members, friends and associates of 38-year-old Mallam Mohammed Ismaila, a HND graduate from the Kogi State Polytechnic, Lokoja, who was recently shot dead by a trigger happy policeman at Ajaokuta village in Ajaokuta LGA of Kogi State are still battling to accept the reality of his death.
This is just as they have appealed to the federal government and the Inspector General of Police to expeditiously ensure that justice is done in the matter and adequate compensation is paid to the deceased’s family for the upkeep of those he left behind.
Mohammed was among scores of political party supporters who turned out at the football field of the Ajaokuta Community Secondary School on Sunday, December 4, 2017 to witness a political rally organised by a local council chairmanship aspirant, Mallam Abdulrahman Danasabe.
It was gathered that the chairmanship aspirant had put the programme together to declare his political ambition and unfold his plans to move the local government forward.
Activities were said to be moving on smoothly at the rally until about 2pm when pandemonium broke out as one of the policemen deployed from the Ajaokuta Police Division to maintain law and order at the rally suddenly pulled the trigger without any provocation, killing the deceased.
The policeman identified as Corporal Oluwatunmise John, was said to have suddenly opened fire and the bullets penetrated the deceased’s left ribthrough the right rib.
It was further learnt that the policeman reportedly carried out his action under the influence of alcohol and hard drugs.
According to witnesses, some hard drugs and alcoholic drinks were allegedly found in his pockets after the incident. Following the incident, the rally came to an abrupt halt as political supporters and locals at the event scampered for safety.
The victim was subsequently rushed to the Ajaokuta Steel Company Limited Medical Center for medical attention where he was pronounced dead. It was gathered that angry youths in the area went berserk upon learning about the death of the deceased and attempted to lynch the policeman but for the prompt intervention of the chief of Ajaokuta and some military personnel deployed to the area.
Our correspondent further learnt that the deceased was buried later that same day amidst weeping and wailing across the village. Meanwhile, grieving family members and relatives of the deceased are crying out to the federal government for justice and compensation.
The widow of the deceased, Fatima Mohammed, said her late husband was her “everything” and his gruesome murder had brought a vacuum no one can fill.
Fatima, who is presently pregnant and nursing a 3-year old son, said life would no longer be the same for her.
“I am missing my husband greatly. He was my father, my mother and my everything. I don’t know if I can ever meet a man like him. Whatever the federal government can do for our upkeep, let them do. I have lost my caring husband and I pray that Allah will do the best for me”, she said.
The father of the deceased, Ismaila Mahmud, said the death of his first son and only graduate in the family was a deadly blow. He described his late son as the pillar of the family, saying he was the one catering for him and other members of the family.
The father said he was particularly in painas the policeman who was meant to protect lives ended up taking the life of his son without any provocation. He appealed to the federal government to look into the upkeep of his late son’s pregnant widow and child. Another relative of the deceased, ShaibuAliyu, said the family does not have the means to pursue any case in court, saying they had left everything to God.
He however also appealed to the government and philanthropic bodies for supportfor the upkeep of the family of the deceased. The traditional ruler of Ajaokuta described the death of the deceased as a great loss to the entire community.
He said 10 policemen including the DPO in charge of Ajaokuta were earlier deployed to the rally ground to maintain order and wondered what could have warranted such shooting when there was no report of crisis or misunderstanding at the event.
“Policemen were given guns to protect innocent lives and not to kill,” he said.
He said the Kogi State Commissioner of Police had visited the community and promised that justice would be done in the matter. When contacted, the spokesman of the state police command, Mr Williams Ayah, said the policeman in question had been detained and was currently undergoing an orderly room trial at the State CID, Lokoja. He confirmed that the policeman who was deployed to the venue suddenly opened fire which led to death of the deceased.
According to him, the policeman in question would be dismissed and charged to court for the law to take its course. He said the command does not condone any unprofessional conduct by its men, assuring that the matter would not be swept under the carpet.
Aya disclosed that the commissioner had assured them of justice in the matter and promised that some support would be rendered to the family.
Credit: Daily Trust