On Wednesday 9th August 2023, the family of Dr.Tukur Abba was thrown into mourning over the death of their son, Abdullahi Tukur Abba.
Investigations by Radio Nigeria revealed that Abdullahi died after being allegedly tortured by the Joint Task Force, code named ‘Operation Farauta’ in Yola, the Adamawa state capital.
The dream of 17 year old Abdullahi Tukur Abba, fondly called ‘Abdallah’ by family and friends was to enlist in the Nigerian Defence Academy after his secondary education.
However, this dream was cut short when on 9th August, 2023 he died following alleged torture by men of Operation Farauta.
Speaking to Radio Nigeria, father of the deceased, Dr. Tukur Abba said a boy in the neighborhood had confessed to stealing a mobile phone which he claimed to have given to his son.
“The boy suspected of stealing the phone confirmed that he stole the phone and said he gave it to my son. But my son insisted that he was not given the phone. He even insisted that the phone should be tracked.
As a matter of fact, he went himself to the Civil Defense office in Yola town to complain’, Dr. Abba said.
According to Dr. Abba who is the immediate past Librarian, Modibbo Adama University, Yola, Abdullahi was taken into custody for questioning on Saturday, 5th August 2023 over the allegation and was brought back home in handcuffs after being brutalized.
“When they came home with him, he was handcuffed, he was beaten thoroughly, there were bruises all over his body, his head.”
“They were about three Police men in uniform; one was holding a big stick, one was holding a whip, while the other one was holding a gun. My son said he had to tell them that the phone was at home because they wanted to kill him. The boy said, ‘Daddy, please don’t allow them to go back with me, they are going to kill me’, he continued.
“He could not walk, we took him to his room and he started complaining that his body was paining him, and that he was not even seeing, then he stopped talking”, he narrated.
He added that his traumatized child was immediately taken to the University teaching hospital and remained in coma till he died at the intensive care unit.
Dr. Abba while seeking justice over the alleged killing of his son, appealed to government and relevant authorities to set up of a Commission of Inquiry to check the activities of the joint task force, Operation Farauta, which comprises security agents of the Nigerian Army, Air force, Police, DSS, and Civil Defense Corps.
Counsel to the family of the deceased, Barrister Abubakar Diram appreciated the effort of the Police, while hoping that investigations into the matter would be concluded soon.
“Since it is a murder case, there needs to be investigations.The Police are trying, and we appreciate their support”, he noted.
He pointed out that results of the autopsy had been submitted to the police and expressed faith in the judiciary to prosecute the matter.
According to Diram, “We are certain that the truth must come out, nobody will allow this injustice to go, at the end, justice must be given to the family of the deceased”, he said.
Meanwhile, confirming the report, Police Public Relations Officer, Adamawa state command, SP Suleiman Yahaya Nguroje said three police officers, that is, two Inspectors and one Corporal have been arrested in connection with the case, while harmonization of report of investigations among the security agencies was still ongoing.
“All the security agencies must conduct internal investigations and they are duty bound to carry out disciplinary sanctions”, he added.
SP Nguroje who noted that Operation Farauta is under the control of the military, assured that disciplinary measures will be taken against the culprits.
“We assure all members of the public that justice will be done and in the course of getting justice, we are going to charge them to court. All we are doing now is to gather both human and material evidence that will substantiate the allegations against them and possibly charge them to court”, the PPRO said.
It therefore remains to be seen if justice will be served in the case which has attracted the attention of the Adamawa state government, Civil Society Organisations, and indeed the general public.