Filani Dankali aka Musa Ardo, 70, has died in custody of the Police Special Anti-Robbery Squad, SARS, after he was allegedly brutalised by the personnel.
According to the lawyers of the deceased septuagenarian, SARS officers from Kano had seized him from his residence at Gedege village in Kubau Local Government Area of Kaduna State.
In their petition filed by Al Qasim Ja’afar and Co. (Gidado Chambers) dated July 16, 2018, and addressed to Kano State Commissioner of Police, late Mr Ardo’s family requested for the full details of the SARS action and the circumstances that led to his death as well as an autopsy report.
It reads in part: “One Alh. Musa Kano consulted the deceased in his resident at Gedege village in Kubau Local Gov’t Area of Kaduna State and sought a protection charm (Layar Bata), which they negotiated at the cost of N30,000. The client left for Kano after being informed about the strict guidelines, which must be adhered to in order to avoid the disappearance of the charm.
“To the amazement of late Malam Musa Ardo, he returned two days after, thus before the completion of the directives given, complaining that the charm had disappeared. He demanded for another charm but the deceased perceived that it was a clever way of tryingnto secure another one for free. Malam Ardo then insisted that Alh. Musa Kano should bring back the charm to claim his money.
“Alh. Musa Kano returned to the deceased house two days after in company of a police officer from SARS Office, Kano by name Auwal. They made three trips in an effort to force the deceased to refund the money Alh. Musa was now claiming was N1.6million. He later even claimed it was N2million while the deceased rejected the claims in totality.
“It is evident that Alh. Musa Kano who is with NNPC Kano Depot has connived with Auwal, Umar and one other SARS Officer to cause the arrest and detention of the deceased as to hatch plans to eliminate him which they succeeded in doing. This amounts to flagrant violation of the deceased’s right to life, besides, no cogent explanations were given to either the deceased family or their lawyers on the matter.
“All those involved in the arrest and detention of the deceased should be immediately apprehended and interrogated for their role in conniving to cause the death of the deceased.”
The deceased son, Shehu Musa, recalled that they followed up the case to SARS office a day after, and met their father in good condition.
“But on Wednesday, July 11, we received calls from the police that we should come to Kano as our father was seriously sick. We arrived the following day to meet his corpse deposited at Murtala Mohammed teaching Hospital Kano. Our father apparently died on that Wednesday.
“The Police officer named Auwal told me to go back as arrangement had been concluded for the burial in Kano,” he said.
The spokesman for Kano Police Command, Magaji Majiya, confirmed the incident and receipt of the petition told Daily Nigerian.
He said the matter was before Chief Magistrate Court 30, sitting at Audu Bako Secretariat, and that the court has issued a bench warrant for the arrest of Mr Ardo for criminal conspiracy and threat to Mr Musa’s life.
On the circumstances leading to Mr Ardo’s death, Mr Majia said the deceased was rushed to Sir Sanusi Hospital at Hedejia Road, Kano and later transferred to Murtala Mohammed Teaching Hospital, where he died of complications of cholera.