Why Soldiers Beat Up Traders In Kaduna

Drama ensued at the popular Makarfi Plaza, Kaduna, yesterday, as eight soldiers stormed a shop and reportedly beat up shop owners over a girlfriend’s phone.

The soldiers who said they were allegedly working under the instructions of the General Officer Commanding (GOC), 1 Mechanized Division (Nigerian Army) were led by one Lieutenant Mohammed Hamji, who after receiving a call from Kate Michael storm the cell phone shop inside the Plaza, while whisking away a sale boy to an unknown destination.

Trouble started last week when the lady returned a smart phone she had purchased two weeks ago claiming that the camera phone was no longer working and the shop owner, Mohammed Rabiu, said he collected the phone worth N90,000 from the lady and after snapping more than 10 shots but the lady refused to accept the phone.

So he told her that he was going to observe the phone for 24 hours before he could change it for her if truly the phone was faulty. Obviously not pleased withthe response she got, the lady reported the matter to her soldier boyfriend which led her to bringing soldiers the following day and arrested a sales boy on duty.

According to the shop owner, Rabiu: “After they arrested my boy last Friday, we went to their place around Ungwan Kaji to secure the release of the boy, but they told us to go and bring another phone if we don’t want the case to go beyond their own level. We brought another phone but the lady refused to collect it. She said she wanted her money back.

“So, we too reported the case at Magajin Gari Police Station and the lady too was arrested. But this morning eight soldiers led by one Lt. M. Hamji stormed my shop and started beating everyone, including a customer. In fact, they injured one of my colleagues.

“As I am talking to you now, the soldiers said they were directed by GOC and they have gone away with my sales boy, Ibrahim Mohammed to an unknown destination, after handcuffing him”, Rabiu narrated.

Meanwhile the spokesman of 1 Division Nigerian Army, Col. Abdul Usman when contacted said such orders could never have  come from the GOC to harrass civilians while saying that the accused Lt. Hamji was a fake Army officer who has been wanted by the Army.

Reacting to the Army vehicle (DIS 111 FER/005) used to convey soldiers to the scene of the attack, Col. Usman said, maybe the fake officer used his rank to command the soldiers to accomplish his mission.

The lady in question is said to be at CID section of the Kaduna Police Command Headquarters.

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