‘How kid­nap­pers gouged my brother’s eyes af­ter killing him’

Weekly Trust - - News - Ron­ald Mu­tum & Maryam Ah­madu-Suka, Kaduna

On Mon­day, 16th Jan­uary, 2017, Muham­mad Bello Dal­hatu, a 35-year-old Bureau De Change (BDC) op­er­a­tor in Kaduna left his fam­ily home lo­cated on Zango Road, Tudun Wada in Kaduna State, for Abuja, where he op­er­ates. The sev­enth child of an aged mother was one of three pas­sen­gers kid­napped along­side his friend Kabir on Abuja-Jere road around 7pm on that day. The driver of the ve­hi­cle was robbed of some valu­ables, but was not kid­napped, Daily Trust gath­ered.

The kid­nap­pers de­manded for N5mil­lion ran­som, which the fam­ily was try­ing to raise when the news of his death broke. He was killed on Sun­day, 22nd Jan­uary, 2017. It was gath­ered that an uniden­ti­fied se­na­tor also had his re­la­tions in the kid­nap­pers den and he was said to have paid N10 mil­lion to se­cure their re­lease.

Speak­ing to Daily Trust, Mai Ungwa Sadiq Hamza, the de­ceased’s el­der brother, said he was in talks with the kid­nap­pers whom he told rais­ing N5mil­lion would not be pos­si­ble. “When I told the kid­nap­pers, who were com­mu­ni­cat­ing with me ei­ther in bro­ken English or Hausa, that we can­not raise the ran­som, but could raise N50,000, he said ‘Na your mama you go give that one; you go lose your re­la­tion if you no pay’.”

“Muham­mad was our moth­ers favourite, he does not eat un­til she has eaten and she al­ways asks af­ter him when he is not around. On that day he left, he stocked his house with food items for his wife Zainab and their two chil­dren Abubakar (4) and Sau­dat (1) as if he knew he was go­ing to die.”

On how the fam­ily heard of his death, he said, “Some women who were also in the kid­nap­pers’ den told us. They are the ones whose ran­som the se­na­tor paid. They told us that the kid­nap­pers asked all of them to leave af­ter the N10mil­lion was paid and that when my brother stood up, they shot him in the head.”

The ladies also re­vealed to the fam­ily that the kid­nap­pers gouged out Muham­mad’s eyes and re­moved some other parts of his body. The fam­ily has not been able to re­cover his body for a proper burial.

On if the in­ci­dent had been re­ported to the po­lice, he said, “The other vic­tims have made state­ments and re­ports at the Bwari po­lice sta­tion, but as for us, we have not made any re­port be­cause we be­lieve that our brother is in the hands of Al­lah.”

Muham­mad’s young brother, Sham­sudeen Dal­hatu de­scribed the de­ceased as a jovial per­son and one with no en­e­mies.

Daily Trust fur­ther learnt that Muham­mad Bello Dal­hatu may be the vic­tim of a no­to­ri­ous gang of kid­nap­pers who reg­u­larly at­tack trav­ellers along the Jere-Abuja high­way.

Jere, in Ka­garko Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment Area of Kaduna State, sees heavy ve­hic­u­lar traf­fic dur­ing week­ends, be­ing a shorter route to Kaduna.

The armed rob­bery and kid­nap­ping gang on Mon­day 16th Jan­uary 2017 laid siege on the high­way be­tween Jere and Bwari and em­barked on an op­er­a­tion that lasted hours.

A vic­tim of the at­tack, Halilu Us­man, nar­rat­ing his or­deal, said the armed rob­bers adopted a bizarre kind of pro­fil­ing of their vic­tims be­fore kid­nap­ping them. He said they were stopped along with sev­eral other ve­hi­cles by the kid­nap­pers and dis­pos­sessed of phones and any cash they could find. There­after, they were or­dered to lie down, adding that the kid­nap­pers pro­ceeded to sep­a­rate pas­sen­ger in ve­hi­cles based on the flam­boy­ance of their at­tire. He said they pro­ceeded to carry out a har­row­ing in­ter­view, ask­ing each pas­sen­ger about his oc­cu­pa­tion and ask­ing other pas­sen­gers to ver­ify same.

Us­man said the kid­nap­pers took away those they deemed wealthy, based on their ap­pear­ance and oc­cu­pa­tion. He said he was left ly­ing on the asphalt while two peo­ple in the ve­hi­cle trav­el­ling with him from Kaduna to Abuja were taken away into a nearby bush by the kid­nap­pers. He also said he no­ticed that two women in an­other car stopped by the kid­nap­pers were taken away.

FCT Po­lice spokesman ASP, An­juguri Man­zah said the is­sue falls un­der the ju­ris­dic­tion of the Kaduna State Po­lice Com­mand. Kaduna State Po­lice Com­mand, ASP Aliyu Us­man promised to call back with a re­sponse but has not done so at the time of fil­ing this re­port.

They told us that the kid­nap­pers asked all of them to leave af­ter the N10mil­lion was paid and that when my brother stood up, they shot him in the head

Muham­madu Dal­hatu

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