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The Police Command in Yobe has arrested two soldiers over their alleged involvement in the murder of an Islamic cleric, Sheikh Goni Aisami, in Yobe.
The police also revealed how the soldiers killed the cleric and made attempt to steal the deceased’s car.
Dungus Abdulkarim, a Deputy Superintendent of Police and the command’s spokesman, announced the arrest of the suspects on Tuesday in Damaturu.
Abdulkarim said that on August 19, police operatives apprehended the suspects, Lance Cpl John Gabriel and Lance Cpl Adamu Gideon in connection with the Sheik’s murder.
He said both soldiers were from 241 RECCE Battalion, Nguru, Yobe.
Preliminary investigation revealed that the cleric who was traveling from Kano State gave a ride to Gabriel, the principal suspect.
However, on their way to Jaji-Maji, a village along Gashua town, where the soldier said he was going to, he allegedly told the deceased that there was an unusual noise at the rear tyre, which made Aisami to stop.
It was when the cleric came down to check the tyres that Gabriel allegedly brought out his rifle concealed in a camp bed and shot him to death.
He then dragged the body and hid it in the bush and tried to take off with the deceased’s car, which, however, failed to start.
The principal suspect called Gideon, the second suspect, on phone to assist in towing the vehicle.
Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari has condemned what he calls “the unprovoked and cold-blooded murder of Aisami, by a callous soldier he had offered a lift as confirmed by the Police.”
Reacting to the incident on Tuesday, President Buhari said that “this barbaric murder of a compassionate man by a soldier he had assisted has no place in our training as soldiers, and it negates the entire ethos of military life which is anchored on discipline and respect for the sanctity of innocent lives.”
According to the President, “as the Commander-in- Chief, I am personally outraged by this criminal and wicked act by a law enforcement official trained to protect life.
“By our training, we are guided by a code of conduct that frowns on this kind of reckless and criminal act. It is not in our character and training to put innocent citizens in harm’s way. Of course, the action of this soldier is an isolated incident involving an individual, but it is capable of staining the collective image of our military.”
“This incident is capable of making our fellow citizens to be fearful of assisting soldiers, thereby destroying the bond of trust between our military and the civilians.
“I call on the military authorities to punish the perpetrators of this heinous crime without delay, and flush out other elements with such criminal tendencies,” President Buhari added.
He condoled with Yobe State Government, people of the State and family of the victim of this tragedy.
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