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Following Thursday’s shooting incident at Garki Market involving alleged operatives of the Department of State Services (DSS), an Abuja-based tailor, Mubarak Usman, has shed light on the circumstances that led to his getting shot.
In an exclusive interview with Channels Television, Usman says a woman, who had come to him in need of his services, reported him to a DSS operative on August 23.
According to him, the woman visited his shop to ask about the six pieces of fabric she had handed him along with a sample belonging to her mother-in-law.
Usman says he told the DSS operative that he had completed two of the clothes and had begun on two others. He adds that he admitted to having not worked on the last two and that he informed the customer that the sample was missing.
The tailor states that the DSS operative left and told him to find the missing clothing item and complete the other ones to be collected upon his return
By the time the officer came back, Usman says he had completed work on three of the clothes and gave them to the operative, but that he thought to call the customer to be sure she was, in fact, the one who had sent the DSS operative.
According to him, the officer refused but he insisted on calling her. Usman says an argument ensued, ending with the DSS operative’s promise to return on another day.
Usman says he went to the nearest police station to report the matter and that the police officer on duty cautioned him against following the supposed DSS operative if he came to arrest the tailor.
He adds that the police officer gave him a number to call if the operative came to arrest him.
Narrating further, Uman says, “After I came back from Mosque on Friday, I saw three DSS officers with guns. One is yellow (fair-complexioned); he was wearing a T-shirt with DSS trousers. The other two were in DSS outfits; two of them had shotguns.
“They said, ‘Are you Usman?’ I said yes, and they said, ‘You are under arrest.’ I said, ‘Okay, let me lock my shop.’ But in my mind, I was looking for how to call the police officer who gave me his number.”
Usman tells our correspondent that he did not have airtime on his phone and could not top up at that moment because he was being hurried out.
They said, ‘Let’s go,’ and I asked if I could carry the clothes; they said okay. But I was looking for a way to run,” he says.
“I dropped the clothes and ran into the neighbouring block to enter the police station which was nearby. In between the two blocks, I heard a gunshot but I kept on running. Close to the other block, I just fell down.”
The tailor says immediately he fell, he saw blood gushing from his left leg, close to the knee.
“I was shouting, ‘I am not a criminal.’ I was telling the people there, ‘Please, call the police for me! The police are aware of this!’ The DSS started beating me; one held my neck and I couldn’t shout again. They started dragging me and that was when I sustained most injuries on my body.”
Usman says he told one of his former apprentices to call the police.
“He ran out to call them. The DSS dragged me close to their vehicle before people surrounded us, stopping them from taking me. The police later came and insisted that they won’t take me away and after some time they left,” he says.
DSS Orders Probe
The DSS on Friday said it was carrying out an investigation on the incident.
A statement by the services’ Public Relations Officer, Peter Afunanya, said, “Information at the disposal of the Service was that its FCT Command responded to an SOS from their field operatives who allegedly came under a mob attack in the said market.
“Consequently, the Service has commenced an investigation into the matter. The public is assured that details of the inquiries will be communicated as soon as possible.
“The Service assures that it will not hesitate to mete out a proper disciplinary measure(s) to its staff if found culpable or running foul of Standard Operating Procedures on dealing with a member of the public