By Suzan Edeh, Bauchi
The loss of a child to the cold hands of death is usually a painful experience to any parent. It is even more traumatically shocking when such death is the tragic consequence of the callous action of a fellow human being. This is the case of Suleiman Umaru Dahiru, aged 31, who was killed as he was driving very close to his father’s residence along Murtala Muhammed road, opposite the Gwallaga Juma’at mosque in Bauchi city.
Vanguard Metro, VM, gathered that the late Suleiman was shot by suspected security men in Bauchi metropolis in the late hours of the night after attending a wedding ceremony that took place earlier in the day. It was learnt that the deceased had on that fateful day offered to help convey friends and relatives to their various destinations in his car, but it turned out tragically to be a journey of no return for him that day.
It was further gathered from a source in the family that the deceased was the son of a Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, chieftain Alhaji Umaru Dahiru Baraden and the biological son to the senior sister of the Emir of Bauchi, Alhaji Rilwanu Suleiman Adamu.
In his account of the unfortunate incident, Suleiman’s father, who is also a staff of the FCDA, Abuja, Alhaji Umaru Dahiru, confirmed the killing of his son which he described as very unfortunate.
According to him: “We held a wedding ceremony in my house on Friday around 11am which was attended by many people from the town. Many of the women who attended the ceremony were not mobile, so I instructed my boys to use their cars to convey them back to their various destinations.
“Suleiman was one of those who assisted in conveying people to their destinations. He made about eight to ten trips that day; but later on we did not see him and nobody knew his whereabouts or what had happened to him. As he was nowhere to be found, we started looking for him, but all our efforts were futile.
Checking for corpse in the hospital
“Later in the night, we heard gun shots near my house, but nobody suspected that my son was involved in the incident as we did not know who the target was. On Saturday morning, we did not see him at home, so we decided to search for him. As we intensified search for his whereabouts, we were told by some people to check Gida Block. When we got there, we saw his car parked inside with blood stain one side facing the Major road opposite Gwallaga Juma’at mosque.
“We saw blood inside his vehicle with many bullet holes. We were then told by the same people to check for his corpse in the hospital. When we arrived at the hospital, we saw his corpse. It was like a bad dream because I had no idea who killed my son and why. We only found his dead body with bullet wounds at the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa Teaching Hospital”.
A Personal Assistant to the father of the deceased, Umar Musa told VM that from the reports the family got, the deceased was killed by a Joint Patrol team comprising Police and Army.
He said: “When they killed him they took his vehicle inside Gidan Block from the main road and policemen took him to hospital”.
A close friend to the family, Nasiru Ibrahim Darazo, confirmed to VM that the hospital authorities refused to release his corpse because he was brought to the hospital by the Police. He disclosed that the hospital had to get permission from the Police before they released his corpse.
He added that: “We waited till six o’clock in the evening because we are planning for his funeral prayer in front of the Emir of Bauchi’s Palace”.
In a telephone interview with VM, the Bauchi State Police Commissioner, Mohammed Ladan, said the police did not receive any report concerning the killing of Suleiman, adding that it was the first time he was hearing of the incident.
A reliable source, an operative of the Bauchi State Security Services, told VM that the deceased was pursued and shot because he disobeyed an order to stop at the road block for normal search.
When contacted the Chief Medical Director of the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa Teaching Hospital Bauchi, Dr Mohammad Alkali, said the police brought the deceased to the hospital alive around 2am for treatment but he later died in the hospital while receiving treatment.
Meanwhile, the death of the deceased sparked uproar among the residents of the area. Crying for justice, they demanded that the killers of young Suleiman must be fished out and brought to book.
Among the dignitaries that attended his funeral prayer at the Emir’s palace in Bauchi were the Emir of Bauchi, Alhaji Rilwanu Suleiman Adamu and his districts head and traditional rulers; former Minister of Police Affairs, Dr Ibrahim Yakubu Lame; Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, Bauchi State guber candidate, Senator Baba Tela; Chairman of Fityanul Islam, Bauchi State Chapter, Mallam Balarabe Isah; a senior brother to the Emir of Bauchi, Dangaladiman Bauchi, Alhaji Bala Suleiman; Alhaji Dini Suleiman Adamu and many other people.