Some officers of the National Drugs Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Bauchi State Command, were accused of rape and human rights violation, but they may get away with it as the command is attempting cover up by coercing their victims to let go of justice.
Baba Hayatu (otherwise known as Gombe), Abubakar Adamu and one other officer of the command, had on October 18, 2022 assaulted one Auwal Abdullahi, a resident of Wuntin Dada, a suburb of Bauchi metropolis. The officers would later raided the victim’s residence where they attempted to rape his wife, Aisha Auwal, according to Council for Affirmative Action (COFAA), a human rights organisation in the state.
“One among the officers entered the petitioner’s bedroom and met Aisha Auwal, grabbed, hugged her and in the process, he dragged her and Aisha shouted for help,” COFAA said in a petition addressed to the command on October 24. “The rapist’s phone fell down and he picked up the phone and fortunately he left the memory card inside the bedroom and they all ran way.”
According to COFAA, Abdullahi was in his marketplace at Wuntin Dada when he spotted the officers of the agency clad in Mufti, brutalising one Aminu Alkali “for an unknown reason.” The officers would descend on him after he tried to save Alkali. The matter was later reported to the village head of Wuntin Dada where the memory card was presented as exhibit.
Three days after the rights group petitioned the command, the latter responded in a letter signed by Negedua A. Nathaniel (DCN) Deputy State Commander, demanding that Mbami Iliya Sabka, COFAA’s boss and the victims appear in its office for investigation.
“I am directed to request you to avail the office with the under listed Actors for in depth Investigation on the matter. Mr. Auwal Abdullahi, Aminu Aminu Alkali, Village Head of Wuntin Dada, Aisha Auwal and Mbami Iliya Sabka (Human Rights Defender),” the command stated in the letter. “You are therefore requested to come to NDLEA Bauchi State Command Headquarters, Mechanic Village Bauchi by 10:00am on Monday the 31st day of October, 2022 with all concerned actors mentioned above.”
When the victims alongside representatives of COFAA honoured the invitation, the command forced the victims to recant their allegations against its officers and also detained the members of the rights group for over six hours.
“We honored the invitation and we were ably represented by some of our staff as requested; but to our greatest dismay the investigation was a secret interrogation by the command where the victims’ statement were obtained under duress and threatened the Complainants to withdraw their earlier complaints written,” COFAA affirmed. “It may still interest you to know that our (Human Rights Monitors) Who Led the victims to the NDLEA office were also detained for over six hours. Their phones were confiscated, denied access to monitor and witness the interrogation.”
“They ordered and intimidated our staff to Produce Sabka who signed the complaint on behalf of the victims,” the organisation added.
THERE COMES ANOTHER INVITATION
Yesterday, the command, again, wrote to COFAA demanding the presence of Sabka and Alkali (one of the victims who was absent during the first inviation) for onward investigation on November 3, 2022.
The rights group was not only asked to present Sabka and Alkali, it was also told to bring with it its certificate of incorporations, memorandum of association and any other document.
Before that, COFAA had written a petition to Bauchi State Commissioner of Police demanding that the command probe the NDLEA officials for allegations of rape and human right violation.
When contacted, Femi Babafemi, spokesman for NDLEA assured WikkiTimes he will find out and revert.