One person was killed on Friday by a police officer trying to disperse crowds, in a bid to protect the governor of Sokoto State, Aminu Tambuwal.
The incident happened when the governor was attending a special prayer session for the commemoration of Nigeria’s forthcoming 60th anniversary which took place at Sultan Bello’s mosque, Sokoto.
The Sokoto police spokesperson, Muhammad Sadiq, in a press statement, confirmed the incident and said the officer has been taken into custody for interrogation following the unprofessional conduct.
The police identified the deceased as Aminu Abdulrahman, aged 25, and said three others sustained injuries during the incident. The deceased and injured victims were evacuated to Specialist Hospital Sokoto for treatment and autopsy respectively.
Eyewitnesses said while at the mosque, Mr Tambuwal gave out some money to a group of people who hailed him as he arrived at the mosque. However, the sharing of the money turned violent when another group of people appeared at the scene.
The trouble started when the warring group suddenly appeared from Iraq, a community in Sokoto metropolis, and claimed ownership of the money given by the governor.
The thugs started fighting over the money and the environment became tense with the governor still in the vicinity. The police officer in a bid to disperse the youth, shot dead one of them.
The Commissioner of Police in Sokoto, Ibrahim Kaoje, had ordered the detention and trial of the erring officer and charged the state criminal investigation department to speed up the investigation.
The spokesperson said the police command condemned in its entirety the unwarranted, uncivil, and unprofessional conduct of a police sergeant, who is on special duty in the state.
The police identified the erring officer as Sergeant Bello Garba serving at Counter Terrorism Unit Base 18 Gusau, attached to government house Sokoto but on special duty at Sultan’s palace.
“The commissioner unequivocally cautions that officers and men of the command must deploy all professional acumen at their disposal including psychological capacity in order to enhance the safety of the people of the state and not to resort to using the same against the populace,” the police in a statement said.