*Wanted district head, two others turned themselves in
Seriki Adinoyi in Jos
Following intensified efforts by the military towards unraveling the whereabouts of Major General Idris Alkali (rtd) who was declared missing on Monday September 3, while in transit from Abuja to Bauchi, a shallow grave where his body was allegedly buried before it was exhumed and taken to an unknown place has been discovered.
Alkhali’s car had earlier been recovered from a mining pond at Dura-Du village in Jos South Local Government Area of Plateau State.
Also suspects who aided in exhuming the general’s remains have been apprehended and are now helping in the investigations.
Some persons, including the district head of Dura-Du, Mr. Yakubu Rapp, who were declared wanted by the Police in connection with the incident, have also turned themselves in.
Gen Alkali, immediate past Chief of Administration of the Nigerian Army, was travelling from Abuja to Bauchi via Jos in his black Toyota Corolla car with registration number, Kwara MUN 670 AA on a restive day when he ran into some hoodlums who were protesting an attack on the village which had happened the previous night, September 2, 2018. The General was allegedly assaulted and killed by the hoodlums.
Addressing newsmen on Friday on the efforts to recover the body of the general, the General Officer Commanding (GOC) 3rd Armored Division, Major General Benson Akinroluyo, said initial credible intelligence revealed that his car was stopped and he introduced himself as a general to the hoodlums who had barricaded the road, and that he was just passing through to Bauchi, adding that the Senior Officer was assaulted and killed.
He said, “Thereafter, his belongings such as clothing, cash, phones and laptop were shared by those who killed him. His body was dragged before being moved to somewhere else and his car was driven and pushed into the abandoned mining pit filled with water. The irate youths who followed his car to the abandoned mining pit filled with water on many tricycles popularly known as “Keke NAPEP” jubilated for reason best known to them or for mission accomplished. He was later buried in a shallow grave in an area popularly known as, “No man’s land” within the community.”
Narrating further, Gen Akinroluyo said that when the general’s car was recovered from the mining pit, those involved and those not involved in the killing of the general held a meeting to relocate his corpse away from the community because of the inherent danger it would attract to the community, adding that consequently, a ten-man team was constituted to relocate his corpse earlier buried in a shallow grave within the community to somewhere else while a specialist in preservation of corpse was contracted and assisted in exhuming his corpse from the shallow grave.
“He added; “Only few trusted members of the community knew where his corpse was relocated to. The specialist is currently in our custody. Again, this is an attempt to cover up the heinous crime committed by the community. There exist other evidence and indicators that pointed to the fact that those who were involved in the killing of the Senior Officer are being supported and backed by Community leaders within the Dura-Du district.
“In recent times, they have been staging press conferences and writing petitions in order to smear the image of the Division in particular and the Nigerian Army in general. This Division will not yield to the antics or blackmail by those who have committed this dastardly crime.”
The GOC revealed that Da Chuwang Samuel was believed to have masterminded the assault and killing of the retired general, adding that Nyam Samuel, Pam Gyang, Mathew Wrang, Moses Gyang. Timothy Chuang, Yakubu Rapp (the district head of Dura Du village) and Chuwang Istifanus have been declared wanted by the relevant authority based on their degree of culpability in the killing of the general.
He said that four different sources, not known to each other, at various times took the military to the open shallow grave where Alkali’ s remains were initially buried but subsequently removed, adding that “sniffer dogs that have been cultured with the personal effects of the senior officer led us to the same open shallow grave.”
“That was the only grave we were led to by different people and sniffer dogs. We did not go to any other grave as the operation was carried out based on credible intelligence. Like I always say, the cordon and search operation is intelligence driven and that is why the operation has been conducted in line with international best practices and respect for human rights. This further explains why the Division did not clamp down on the entire community. Only the perpetrators are being targeted”.
He reiterated that all the actors involved in the dastardly act who are still at large are known to the military while all efforts are being made to get them arrested and brought to justice as their photographs and personal details are with the relevant security agencies.
The GOC added that the cordon and search operation conducted by troops had really exposed the heinous crimes committed by the few but fully supported and concealed by the entire community, and commended members of the public for their cooperation, and still solicited for anyone with credible information on where Alkali was re-buried to come up with it.
He pointed out that relations of those whose vehicles were discovered in the mining pit had come up to identify the vehicles with proven evidences.
One Mohammed Sadiq Abdulahi whose father owned the Toyota Hiace bus that was found in the mining pit said his father was waylaid in the area in July and killed, while another person Yusuf Abubakar also identified another Red Rover car belonging to his uncle, Alhaji Lawal Isa.
Meanwhile, barely 24 hours after they were declared wanted by the Police, three suspects on Friday voluntarily surrendered themselves to the Plateau State Police Command in Jos.
The suspects, who surrendered to the police were the Village Head of Dura – Du District in Jos South Local Government Area of Plateau State, Yakubu Rapp (52); Youth Leader of the community, Matthew Rwang (27); and Tipper driver, Timothy Chuwang (26).
They were said to have arrived the Police Command Headquarters in Jos by 10:00am on Friday accompanied by the lawyer to the community, Mr. Matthew Godfree.
The suspects were sighted in the office of the Officer-in-Charge (Homicide Department) for their interrogation and investigation.
Godfree said, the community was ready to cooperate with the police in their investigation.
Rapp had promised to surrender himself because he was innocent.
He had said, “I don’t know anything about the missing Army General. On Sunday, September 2, the solders came to our Lopandyet community, started shooting and killing people. Even two of my sons were killed and two of my grandsons were wounded, and are now in critical conditions. One was taken to the Jos University Teaching Hospital, while the other was admitted in Plateau State Hospital.
“On October 2, about one month later, the Divisional Police Officer of Anglo Jos Division called me and showed me two of the police officers who gave me a paper that I should report to the Plateau State Command Headquarters on October 4 in respect of the missing Army General.
“The Army also came to my house and started shooting guns sporadically. They knocked at my door and threatened that they would kill me as they killed my children. They left, but promised to come back by 3:00am. They threatened that if they did not see me, they will arrest my children, with the hope that I will come if they detain me.
“The soldiers destroyed my house and it was because of their threats that I did not come. When the Army came to the mining pond, they never asked for anybody. I have decided to surrender myself to the police after I heard that I have been declared wanted. I have decided to go myself because I am not a wanted person. Let the police carry out their investigation. I have confidence in the police than the Army. Let justice be done.”