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Soldiers Kill Man in Adamawa Over ‘Missing’ Phone

A timely intervention by local leaders has averted a major communal crisis in Ganye, a town in the southern part of Adamawa state, following the killing of a young man by soldiers for allegedly stealing a mobile phone handset.

Reports from the area revealed that a woman, believed to be a friend of one of the soldiers manning a checkpoint in the town, on Monday, December 5, reported to the soldiers that a neighbor, Abdulaziz Adama, stole her Asha Nokia handset, worth about N5000.

The soldiers were said to have subsequently whisked Mr. Adama away to their base in Ganye for interrogation.

“He insisted that he did not steal the phone but they refused to listen and went ahead to manhandled him until he died,” claimed a local youth leader, Geoffrey Babale.

According to Mr. Babale, two days after Mr. Adama’s death, his accuser however found the missing handset lodged in the cushion of a chair in her sitting room.

“This development led to protests and pandemonium by youth who insisted justice must take its course over the unlawful killing,” he said.

Multiple sources confirmed that the paramount ruler, the Gwangwari Ganye, Umaru Adamu Sanda, and other notable personalities of the chiefdom, managed to pacify the irate youth and brought the situation under control.

Confirming the incident, spokesman of Adamawa Police Command, Othman Abubakar, said the police had officially written the brigade commander of the Nigerian Army 23rd Armored Brigade, Yola to hand over soldiers involved in the incident for interrogation and prosecution.

Mr. Abubakar, a superintendent of police, however lamented that the Army commander was yet to respond to the letter since it was delivered last week.

When contacted on phone, the Army Public Relations Officer of the brigade, Ahmed Ngulde, a major, said he had been on a course in Lagos for the past three months and was not aware of the development.

However, the state Commissioner of Information and Strategy, Ahmad Sajoh, told journalists on Sunday after an emergency security meeting over the Madagali twin bomb blast that claimed over 30 lives that the state government and the military authorities discussed the killing of Mr. Adama in Ganye.

“The military assured us of handing over the accused soldiers to the relevant authorities for necessary action after their own internal investigations,’’ said the commissioner.

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