CALABARâ€”A Fulani cattle rearer (names withheld) weekend stabbedÂ a butcher to death in Ogoja, Cross River State, claiming that his victim owed him the sum N20,000.
According to Vanguard sources, in the early hours ofÂ Saturday, August 5, the butcher, Geriki Jubrin,Â had gone to the cattle market in the company of his colleaguesÂ to buy cattle to be slaughtered that day for their usual business.
Unknown to Geriki Jubrin, the Fulani cattle rearer whom he owed was there waiting for him to appear.
According to the deceasedâ€™s uncle, Ledum Umaru,Â â€œthe man has been troubling Geriki for about three weeks now for the debt he was owing him and theÂ young man keptÂ assuring the cattle rearer that he was going to pay him the balance of the money which is N20,000 naira butÂ the man kept disturbing himâ€ .
He said the head of the butchers hadÂ been informed about the issue of Geriki owing the Fulani man and that the man had tried to make peace between the two to no avail.
He said: â€œThat Saturday morning , when the butchers went to the cattle market, the head of the butcher was there and he called the two of them to a meeting and said that within the week, he was going to make sure Geriki gets the sum of N10,000 and he would add another N10,000 and give to the Fulani man.
â€œThe Fulani man kept quiet as if he was pleased with whatÂ the man said and the man turned to go, the moment heÂ turned his back he heard shouts of kai kai kai as the FulaniÂ man drew out a dagger and stabbed Geriki on the chest and he fellâ€.
When it was reported that the butcher had passed on, the crowd besieged the Ogoja Police Station asking for the man, but the police acting swiftly took him.
It was learnt that when Geriki fell, his brothers who were present at the time of the incident, wanted to lynch the Fulani man but it was thought that since the man was not yet dead killing the Fulani man would bring another trouble
According to an eyewitness,Â â€œthe Fulani man then ran towards the road, and as luck would have it, the OperationÂ MESSA, the stateâ€™s security outfit composed of soldiers, air force and police officialsÂ were passing by and spotted a crowd and stopped to make inquiries and they were told what just happened.
â€œThey then rescuedÂ the Fulani man from the angry mob thatÂ wanted to pounce on him and took him to the police station. It was the Operation MESSA people that saved the man because as soon as they took the man away to the police station, Geriki died on the way to the hospital.â€
As soon as news spread that Geriki was dead, the mob gathered at the police station in an attempt to lynch the Fulani man, but were prevented from doing so by security men.
The DPO of Ogoja police station could not be reached for comments, but a source told Vanguard that the suspect would soon be taken toÂ the State Criminal Investigation Bureau in Calabar for further investigations.