A 70-year-old native doctor, Musa Ardo, has died in the custody of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad, SARS, after he was allegedly brutalized by the squad.
Trouble started for Mr Ardo, also known as Filani Dankali, when a disappearance amulet he sold to one of his client suddenly disappeared from the client a few days after purchase.
According to a petition by the lawyers of the deceased septuagenarian, SARS officers from Kano whisked him away from his residence at Gedege village in Kubau Local Government Area of Kaduna State over a case that borders on alleged breach of trust.
The petition reads in part: “One Alh. Musa 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 informing about the strict guidelines, which must be adhered to to avoid 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 as a clever way of cheating to secure another one for free. Malam Ardo then insisted that Alh. Musa should bring back the charm to claim his money.
“Alhaji Musa 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 accept the money Alh. Musa was now claiming, that is N1.6million. He later even claimed it was N2million while the deceased rejected the claims in totality.”
In the 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, circumstances leading to his death as well as autopsy report.
“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 right to life, beside no cogent e explanations was given to either the deceased family or their lawyers on same.
“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, said 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 has been concluded for the burial in Kano,” he said.
When we contacted Mr Musa (the disappearance amulet buyer) on phone, he declined commenting on the issue but instead, queried how we got his phone number and warned us not to call the number again.
Spokesman for Kano Police Command, Magaji Majiya, confirmed the incident and receipt of the petition. He said the matter was before Chief Magistrate Court 30, sitting at Audu Bako Secretariat, and that the court issued a bench of warrant for the arrest of Mr Ardo for criminal conspiracy and threat 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.