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Katsina Students Brutalised, Extorted for Not Running When They Saw Policemen

Badamasi Auwal and Dauda Isah, both Katsina-based students were arrested, brutalised and detained for “not running after sighting a police patrol van.”

The duo were arrested in their residential area — Sardauna Estate — by police officers attached to Batagarawa Division. They would later be released after paying N10,000.

Auwal, a sophomore student of Chemistry Education at Al-Qalam University, Katsina told WikkiTimes he was sitting outside his house and pressing his phone when the police officers arrived. According to Auwal, the officers brutalised him and hurled him into their patrol van.

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His co-detainee, Isah, a year-one student of Library Information at Umaru Musa Yar’aduwa University, was accosted while he was on his way to buy bread from a nearby shop. The police also damaged his phone’s screen.

AUWAL RECOUNTS EXPERIENCE

“It happened on Tuesday night around 11:00 pm on the 23rd of May,” he recalled. “I was sitting outside our house at Sardauna Estate when I saw a police van approaching the area. They stopped some people and started arguing. I just continue with my phone call. The next thing I saw was four police officers running towards me, as soon as they came they started beating me.”

Auwal said he sustained physical injuries from the beating.

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“As they were beating me, I asked them what offence did I commit but they continue beating me and hurled me into their patrol van and drove away,” he said. “As we were going they saw another person [Dauda Isah] who resides in the same area and also beat him, damaged his handset before throwing him into the van.”

Auwal said the police took them to Batagarawa Division and threw them behind counters. They were released on bail after parting with N5,000 each. The bail fees were sent to a Guaranty Trust Bank (GTB) account provided by the police. Auwal paid the money using an Opay account. According to him, he also paid for Isah’s bail.

‘HOW I WAS BAILED’

“While I was behind the counter, I sent a text message to one of my brothers who informed Ahmed Gidado, my Katsina-based cousin brother. He later came with his friends around 3:00 am,” Auwal told our reporter.

“They told them that if they want to bail me, they must pay N5,000. But I pitied the other guy who was arrested with me, so I had to pay another N5,00 for his bail,” he said.

The police wanted to rip him more, but he refused.

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“They gave me the account number to make the transfer. I made a transfer of N5,000 twice and later they said I should add another N5,000,” he explained, adding the “new charges is for the officers at the counter but I declined.”

Auwal told WikkiTimes he wanted to hold police responsible for injuries he sustained and his co-detainee’s phone that was damaged, but his cousin, Gidado, told him to let go. The latter feared the police could trump up another charge.

In a chat with WikkiTimes, Gidado said one of the police officers told him that Auwal’s offence was seeing them and not running. He added that the police said it was disrespectful not to run when one sees officers in uniform.

“I was at home when one of our relatives called and inform me that Auwal was arrested and detained at the Batagarawa Division. We went there with my friends to find out what happened. By the time we arrived at the station, they have already beaten him and his friend’s mobile phone screen was also damaged,” he told WikkiTimes.

According to him, even though the police didn’t charge them for any offence, they collected money before releasing them.

“We demanded bail for them but the police said it is N5,000 per person. My brother had to transfer it to the account they gave us. He has the receipt of the transaction. But my brother keep on asking why would they beat him mercilessly and damaged his friend’s mobile phone for no offence.

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“I heard one of the police officers saying Auwal didn’t have respect for them. Why would he continue pressing his phone after seeing them? And that is why they beat him and detained him,” Gidado told WikkiTimes.

I ONLY CAME OUT TO BUY BREAD’ — ISAH

Auwal’s co-detainee, Isah, said he had stepped out to buy bread when the police picked him up.

“I only came out to buy bread from a nearby shop. As I was going, I saw a Hilux car coming at high speed, I shifted a little bit but the next thing I saw was police officers alighting from the vehicle and started beating me before taking me away with their vehicle. They took us to Batagarawa Divisional Office and put us behind counters,” he corroborated Auwal.

He revealed that the police arrested about nine people that day and each person greased their palms before they could be released.

“As were there, one of the people they arrested told them he wanted to be out and the police instructed him to meet their ‘Oga’,” Isah revealed.

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“They neither tell us our offence nor write our names on their records but anyone who met the said Oga would be given an account number to transfer money to him. We were about nine in number there. When you make the transfer, you have to show them evidence of completing the transaction before they let you go,” he added.

Despite said despite damaging his phone, one of the police officers told him “nothing will happen.”

When contacted, Abubakar Sadiq Aliyu, spokesman for Katsina Police Command, declined to comment on the matter saying it happened during his predecessor’s time and he was away on assignment when the incident happened.

WikkiTimes further asked him what action had been taken over the incident, but he refused to speak.

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