The police in Taraba State have been accused of releasing some Fulani men who attacked an education officer of the Taraba State Ministry of Education, Isa Adamu, in April.
Adamu told DAILY POST that he was riding a motorcycle to the next village before he was attacked with a knife in Gashaka Local Government Area of the state on April 5th, 2021.
He explained that he was accused of stealing a motorcycle even when he told them it was a mix up. He told our correspondent that he had borrowed his friend’s motorcycle to go to the next village after hearing rumours of an impending strike. On getting to the park, he discovered there were many motorcycles but insisted that the one he was accused of stealing had opened when he used the key his friend gave him.
While trying to defend himself, Adamu said one of the Fulani men brought out his knife and started cutting him. The cut he suffered led to the amputation of his right hand, while he also suffered a deep cut on his head.
“I wanted to speak with a senior officer in the next village because we don’t have an Etisalat network in our area, so I asked my friend to lend me his motorcycle. He gave me the key and when I went to where it was parked, there were other motorcycles there. However, the key opened the first motorcycle, which the Fulani men claimed was their own.
“While going to make my call, the Fulani men pursued me till I stopped, and they started accusing me of stealing their machine. While I was trying to defend and identify myself, one of them brought out a knife and started cutting me,” Adamu said.
The Chief Medical Director of Focus hospital, Dr JohnCross Ogbobe, said Adamu suffered several lacerations on his head and hand due to the attack.
Ogbobe, who corroborated Adamu’s story, said the Fulani men were apprehended by the villagers and taken to the police station within the vicinity before the matter was transferred to the State Police Headquarters in Jalingo, the state capital.
The medical doctor accused the police of releasing Adamu’s attackers without giving the matter proper attention.
Ogbobe said despite their release, the Fulani men have abandoned Adamu as they refused to take care of his medical bills and welfare as earlier agreed.
He said: “I’m the Medical Director of Focus Hospital, Dr John Cross Ebube Chibuzor. On April 5th, 2021, they brought Adamu to my hospital in company of policemen and relatives. They brought him in a semi-conscious state, and from examination, we noticed he had some laceration injuries on the hand and leg, the laceration on the right arm with just a slit of flesh remaining. Both the radial bone and inner core bones have been chopped off, the slit of skin at the right forearm was remaining with a thickness of about just 5mm. On the same right forearm, there was also another laceration injury close to the elbow. On further examination, there is a laceration injury at the bracket of the skull measuring about 10cm, involving both the scrap and the skull.
“He was severely anaemic, and his PCV at that point was 50 per cent. We gave him about six pints of blood for him to be restored to the normal PCV. After we attended to him, he regained full consciousness.
“Then he narrated that he wanted to communicate with his head of department based in Jalingo due to rumours of an ongoing strike. He wanted to know if they will join the strike or not at that point in time. He usually uses Etisalat, but the network was not available in their village, so he would travel to the nearest location to access the network.
“When he was about to go, the victim pleaded with his friend to lend him his motorcycle, and the friend gave him the key. He took the key and went to the location and he saw three motorcycles that looked alike parked. The key started the first motorcycle not knowing that it was the wrong one. The victim told me that one of those that attacked me was there when he collected the key.
“As he embarked on his journey, he gave a Fulani man a lift. While on the trip, his passenger beckoned him to stop because other Fulani men were chasing them. When he stopped to know what was the problem, they accused him of stealing their motorcycle.
“He even pointed out that one of the attackers witnessed when he was given the key to the motorcycle, but the Fulani man denied it. While trying to defend his innocence, the victim asked them to take him to their traditional ruler or the nearest police state but they refused. While they were arguing, about three motorcycles carrying other Fulani men arrived at the location and one of them said he should be killed. Immediately one of those who accosted him earlier removed his knife and started cutting him.
“After they butchered Adamu and discovered that he was unconscious, they took him to a nearby river and threw him there. He, however, managed to drag himself out of the river when his attackers left.
“The news quickly spread across the village, and a search party that went forth found the Fulani men. They asked after the man because they saw the motorcycle, but they said the man abandoned the motorcycle and ran into the bush on sighting them. After interrogating them, they took the Fulani men to the nearest police post.
“While they were there, one of the victim’s brothers went back to trace him in the bush only to discover him by the Riverside. When he went to pick the phone he saw him lying unconscious; then he went into the village to get help. With this development, the Fulani men started making confessional statements.
“The matter was transferred to the state Police headquarters, and since then, the family have been going there with nothing to show. So last week, I accompanied them there. A lawyer told me that the Fulani men said after bailing them, the police gave them an appointment to come back on that day to show their faces. While speaking with the IPO, he said the victim’s family was very weak, and the courts have been on strike, so there is nothing we can do. He told me they could not continue to keep a suspect in custody beyond 24 hours.
“The IPO told me that the family of the victim called them and agreed that they would reach an alliance, so they are relieving them to go and settle. At the end of the whole thing, I noticed that they were taking advantage of the family’s ignorance, so I left the station.
“My concern is that the victim is an Education Officer and his alternative job is Agriculture. What borders me the most is that his right hand has been amputated and he is depressed. I do spend hours with him trying to rehabilitate him.
“While in the station, the family gave the Fulani men one week, but nothing has been done; they just abandoned him. This thing happened on April 5th, and we are now in June.
“In this place, these Fulani people brag after they maim people, they usually say ‘we will sell two or three cows then use the proceeds to solve your matter’.”
When contacted, the state Police Public Relations Officer, David Misal, said: “I have not received such a report and would not have anything to say now. I will check the messages I have from that area if I have such information, but for now, I can’t respond to that question.”