​Police IG orders investigation into ABU Professor’s death

The Inspector General of Police, Suleiman Abba, on Monday ordered a full scale investigation into the circumstances surrounding the death of Ahmed Falaki, an Agricultural research professor at the Institute for Agricultural Research, Ahmadu Bello University Zaria.

In a statement by the police spokesperson, Emmanuel Ojukwu, the police chief ordered that the Assistant Inspector General of Police in charge of Zone 1, Tambari Muhammed conduct “in-depth forensic investigation” to unravel the circumstances surrounding Mr. Falaki’s attack and death.

Mr. Falaki, also a Director at the institute​,​ was killed on February 15 during an attack by Boko Haram terrorist group in Kibiya police station in Kano, Kano State.

Mr. Ojukwu said some arrests have been made in connection with the incident while Mr. Falaki’s vehicle has also been recovered in Bauchi State.

“The IGP wishes to assure the deceased’s immediate family and the general public that the Police will do all it takes to ensure ends of justice, while perpetrators of the unfortunate incident will not go unpunished,” Mr. Ojukwu said.

​There were reports that some police officers and villagers, had claimed killing two Boko Haram members that attacked the police station.

However, it was later discovered that one of the men killed was Mr. Falaki, while the others arrested were his brother, Abbas Mustapha, a retired school head master in Doguwa LGA the professor’s driver, Lawal Ahmad.

A source, who spoke to PREMIUM TIMES, said Mr. Falaki’s body was deposited at the Murtala Muhammed Hospital, Kano, by the police who gave strict order that it must not be released except with the permission of the state Commissioner of Police.

PREMIUM TIMES learnt Mr. Falaki had gone to the police station to give a statement on his official vehicle that was snatched on his way from Yadagungume in Ningi Local Government Area of Bauchi State. The late professor had duly identified himself at the same police station prior to the incident.

The source said Mr. Abbas​,​ narrating their ordeal​,​ said they had just entered Fala village when some police officers in mufti advised them to make a report about the​ir​ stolen vehicle at the police station.

While in the police station, some officers in two patrol vehicle, accused the late Professor and his brother of being Boko Haram members.

Mr. Falaki brought out his identity card which indicated his designation as a director at the Institute for Agricultural Research, Ahmadu Bello University Zaria; the officers examined the card and threw it back at him, saying Messers Falaki and Abbas were terrorist​s​ in government.

The police officers beat the late professor and his brother to pulp with sticks and local weapons.

Mr. Falaki died instantly while his brother was presumed dead by the police. Their bodies were carried in the police utility van to the state headquarters in Bompai, Kano.

The officers arrived Bompai having stopped at every police station on their way to showcase the feat against terrorists.

Just as expected, the police were given a gallant welcome at their state headquarters.

However, by Sunday – a day after the killing – the police refused to release the body of the late professor, his injured brother and his driver until an intervention from Mr. Abba.

Meanwhile, when PREMIUM TIMES spoke to the spokesperson of the Kano command, Musa Majiya​,​ on Friday, he said the reports that Mr. Falaki was killed by the police was wrong. He said the late professor was rather killed in a mob action.

​But former Vice President Atiku Abubakar in a statement faulted initial report by the police that the professor was a member of the dreaded Boko Haram group.

Mr. Abubakar said, “The explanation given thus far about how the leading Professor of Agriculture died under police custody falls short of logical assimilation.”

He said it is despicable that the police could confuse the identity of such personality as a Boko Haram member.

“In the manner that Professor Falaki was killed, it is not in doubt that he had believed that the police station was a sanctuary of safety for him from the jungle justice that he was receiving in the hands of locals who had mistaken him for a member of the dreaded Boko Haram sect,” Mr. Abubakar had said.

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