A lawyer and President of the Yoruba Council of Youths, Aremo Hassan has described as blatant lie, claims by the Nigerian Army (NA) that the 20-year-old apprentice murdered by rampaging soldiers was a notorious criminal.
Reacting to the statement by the spokesman for 81 Division of the NA, Lieutenant Colonel Olaolu Daudu which claimed the deceased Sadiq Ismaila shot at the soldiers first, Hassan appealed to the Lagos State Government to carryout forensic analysis and gun powder tests on the deceased.
According to him, it was shameful for the army to cover up a clear murder committed by its personnel, vowing to drag the service to court unless they was incontrovertible evidence to back their allegations.
Hassan said: “We demand that the Lagos State Government, through the Ministry of Justice should carry out thorough investigation into this matter.
Thankfully, Lagos now has a forensic department and so, it should be used as a parameter to investigate the kind of gun the young man was carrying the deceased’s system to establish if he smoked Marijuana. They should check for gun powder on his hands. If anything incriminating is found, we would believe them. But if nothing, the army would meet us in court.”
Continuing, the lawyer described as blatant lie and figment of the officer’s imagination, claims that the deceased was a notorious drug peddler an armed robbery kingpin, adding that he lacked information on the scene of crime.
The lawyer said:”What the army said is a figment of the imagination of the officer who issued that statement. He did not visit the scene of the crime and he adduced so much to a place that doesn’t even fit into the claims he made. It is blatant lie.
“The deceased is very innocent. Based on the army’s claim that he’s a notorious criminal, where is his record of crime in Lagos? They should show us his record even in the immediate police station, Maroko that is a stone throw.
“I am sure if he was a notorious criminal as they claimed, his crime record would have been in at least one police station. By that statement, it means the aware was aware their men killed someone and they have not bothered to visit the scene?
“They have not released the body. We do not know where he is at the moment. Their claim that they arrested other nine criminals is false because those boys are innocent.
“Two of them are Sadiq’s friends. They are Adamu Dandi and Musa Mohammed. They were the ones those soldiers forced to carry his corpse into their Hilux. Their parents went to the police with us to complain about their missing children.
“Let the Nigerian Army come out clean to the world and apologise for the murder of an innocent boy. They cannot hide behind their atrocities and think they can deceive Nigerians.
“Enough of the ineptitude and callous practices of the Nigerian Army in this country. According to the rules of engagement, Crocodile Smile is just for display of the armament of the Nigerian Army.
If they had gotten records of criminals, they ought to have been on ground in the area before the declaration of Exercise Crocodile Smile II.
“They shouldn’t have used the exercise as a means of targeting the people they came here to raid to please whoever might have authorised them. I believe strongly that 81 Division as a whole has a lot of complicity in this case.
“We believe what we are doing is to not just shout but to make the world know that the Nigerian Army under Tukur Buratai and President Muhammadu Buhari has not done much to build confidence.
“How can the army that is meant to protect the citizenry meet a young man while doing his legitimate job as a block loader and kill him?
“The boy was killed within the area of his business. He was killed on the spot where he was moulding block not in an armoury, deadly zone or criminal hideout.”