The Nigerian Army has commenced investigation into the alleged killing of a Watermelon trader by a soldier after the seller demanded payment of goods bought from the soldier in Zamfara.
A statement signed by Brigadier General Mohammed Yerima, Director Army Public Relations, said, “The General Officer Commanding 8 Division, Major General Usman Yusuf, has since commissioned an investigation to unravel the circumstances that led to the altercations which eventually claimed one life as efforts are ongoing to arrest the yet to be identified perpetrator.
The Army also says though the watermelon seller was killed by yet-to-be-identified personnel, the allegation that one of its operational vehicles was burnt by angry youth following the shooting is untrue.
It adds that the incident is regrettable and condoles with the family of the deceased.
The Army in a statement signed by its spokesman, Brigadier General Mohammed Yerima, says the General Officer Commanding 8 Division Major General Usman Yusuf has since commissioned an investigation to unravel the circumstances that led to the altercations which eventually claimed one life as efforts are ongoing to arrest the yet to be identified perpetrator.
The Nigerian Army reiterates that it remains professional and will never condone any act of misconduct by troops against the very people they are deployed to protect.
The Army wishes to state clearly that, the alleged perpetrator once identified will be subjected to a thorough investigation and if found wanting, will be made to face the full wrath of the law in accordance with extant provisions.
The also assures the good people of Zamfara State that normalcy has been restored in the general area and the Army remains committed to the discharge of its constitutional responsibilities.
The Army is also working to put in place measures to ensure that such incident never occurs again.
Narrating the incident, the father of the deceased, Alhaji Mustafa Musa, told newsmen that two soldiers went to his son’s fruit stand on Sunday and purchased a bunch of bananas.
According to him, when the soldiers paid for the bunch, they tried to collect another one for free and this led to a squabble.
Mustafa stated, “They bought a bunch of bananas for N300, and instead of them to take the one they paid for, they also took another one and wanted to go with it, but my son did not allow them to do so.
“When they insisted that they must go with the bunch of bananas, the fruit vendor rushed to the police station, which was very close to the scene of the incident, and reported the case, and the two soldiers were arrested, but they were released shortly after.”
Mustafa added that immediately the soldiers were released, one of them went home, fetched a gun and returned to the scene, and shot the fruit vendor.
“My son was shot in the back and we took him to the Yariman Bakura Specialist Hospital, but unfortunately, he lost his life,” Mustafa said.