Abuja Legislators’ Quarters Attack: Resident’s Claim Contradicts Account Given By SSS
The Department of State Services has said that the killing that took place at an uncompleted building behind the National Assembly quarters in Abuja was the outcome of the exchange of fire between Boko Haram fighters and security force.
Spokesperson of the department, Marilyn Ogar in a statement said security operatives had stormed the building following a tipoff that Boko Haram members are keeping a weapons behind the building, only to come under heavy fire elements believed to be Boko Haram members.
“Security forces headed to a purported weapons cache behind the building in Abuja’s Apo neighbourhood; shortly after midnight they started “digging for the arms”, Ogar said in the statement.
They then “came under heavy gunfire attack by… Boko Haram elements within the area, which prompted immediate response from the security team,” she said.
“Some persons were injured and 12 others were arrested in connection with the incident,” Ogar added.
But in his own account, Malam Huwal Umaru, the leader of labourers in the area, said six men in army uniform came into the uncompleted building where no fewer than 100 laborers were staying and started shooting.
“At the end of the operation, seven of my people were killed and many were injured, the uniformed men also went away with 15 of our people.
“We don’t even know their fate now, may be they are alive or dead and when we took a count we could not account for three,’’ Umaru said.
He said the armed men came in two jeeps, the white one was parked at the entrance of the gate leading to the street while the black one was stationed at the junction adjacent to the street.
He said when they got to the front of the building; they started shooting, rousing the people from sleep.
“It was the sound of the gun that woke the people up, they were confused and ran to the direction of the attackers.
“Those that were not sleeping were able to prevent more people from running outside,’’ he said.
Umaru said that before the tragic event, a security man from Kaduna State, had left the building with his girlfriend and his friend.
Umaru said for more than one year they had been living peacefully in the uncompleted building,
“We are into various menial jobs like shoe shining, masonry, selling tea, while some drive keke NAPEP (tricycle).
“This is a place we have been living for over one year, not free of charge and we don’t constitute nuisance to anybody,’’ he said.
Umaru said that on Wednesday the owner of the building came to pay the security man guarding the structure his salary and in the process noticed some movements within.
He said after series of investigation and questioning, he got to know that some people were hibernating in the building and he gave them a week’s notice to vacate.
“The man warned us that if we don’t vacate the building by Wednesday, he would make life unbearable for us, as he would bring solders to chase us away,’’ Umaru said.
He said they had an agreement with the security man to be paying N200 weekly per person.
“We don’t have problem with anybody, all we do is to go out in the morning to look for our daily bread and come back to lay our head,’’ Umaru said.
One of the security men in one of the houses on the street said that the uniformed men were more than six but only six went for the operation.
He said he and his colleagues were outside the building when the people came and ordered them to go inside their house and lock the windows.
He said that few minutes after the instruction; they heard gunshots and shouts of agony by people.
The corpses were taken away in an ambulance belonging to the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps on Friday. (NAN)
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