I thought policeman who shot me was joking when he cocked his gun –Hospitalised Bauchi truck driver
Please briefly tell us about yourself.
Glory be to God, my name is Abdullahi Bello. I am a truck driver. I am from Bauchi State.
What led to your being shot by a policeman?
The sad incident happened around 6.20am on Monday, January 17, 2022. I was on my way to deliver a truckload of rice in one of the North-East states. Everything was okay until we got to a police checkpoint around Hashidu Junction on the Dukku-Darazo Expressway. My encounter with a particular policeman, called Ishaku, landed me here at the Federal Teaching Hospital Gombe. But I thank God the worst didn’t happen and I am getting better.
What actually happened?
What happened was that we had a disagreement at the checkpoint and the officer, one Inspector Urbanus Ishaku, shot me on a side of my buttocks.
When we got to a stop-and-search line, smaller vehicles were in front of us. To our surprise, officer Ishaku and others at the checkpoint allowed the smaller vehicles to pass but when we wanted to pass he blocked the road. As he did that, he went to make way for other vehicles to pass since my trailer was blocking them. He did that because he didn’t want us to pass.
After all the cars had passed, I asked my assistant to check if there were more cars behind us, but he looked back and said there was none. So, I decided to park and come down.
So, what happened next?
As I attempted to come out of the truck, I noticed that this officer was cocking his gun. At first I thought he was joking because there was nothing to warrant him to shoot me. He began by shooting into the air. We thought he was doing that to merely scare us off but then he turned the gun on us and began to fire. In the process a bullet hit me on my buttocks.
Were you the only one hit by bullets?
Yes, I was the only one. At first, people were asking whether it was our tyre that the officer shot at. But it was discovered that I had been shot. I was put into a Hilux van. They began to take snapshots of my injury.
A colleague of the officer who fired the gunshots called someone to take me to Dukku Hospital in order to stabilise me.
Why do you think the policeman shot you? Were you being violent as you came out of your trailer?
No, I wasn’t being violent. What I noticed was that before shooting, he came to the side of my trailer and asked me how our journey had been and I said, ‘Fine, thank you’. I don’t know whether he heard me or not because I didn’t wind down the glass widow. It was a cold morning and I had to roll up the widow. After the exchange, this officer just walked away. And next, I overheard him saying that I disrespected him and one of his colleagues came and asked me what happened between me and his colleague. I told him I didn’t know. The colleague asked me why I didn’t wind down my glass when the officer was talking to me and told him it was due to the cold. He said it was not good I didn’t wind down my glass and said, ‘No problem,’ before he also walked away.
So, you think it was your refusal to wind down your glass that infuriated him and made him shoot you?
I think so, because there was no issue between us. If there was any issue, it should be the fact that I didn’t wind down my glass. When my glass was lowered I noticed he was angry with me.
Did he demand money from you?
No, he didn’t ask me for any money and I didn’t give him either. The only thing I gave the officer was my vehicle papers.
Do you have any demands?
My prayer is that God should heal me, grant me quick recovery and for the officer (Ishaku), I know he did not do this to me intentionally. I want everybody to calm down. I know God will heal me as quickly as possible.
The police say they are investigating the case with a view to punishing the officer who shot you. Are you satisfied with the steps being taken by the police?
They have been very helpful. Many of them have come to visit me, including the Commissioner of Police, Ishola Babatunde.