Mother of Slain Musician Laments Police’ Failure to Unmask Killers

Emameh Gabriel in Abuja

One year after the gruesome murder of an Abuja-based music artist Abbas Itope Sanni, his mother, Hajiya Rekiya Sanni, has expressed disappointment over the lukewarm attitude of the Nigerian police to unravel the mystery behind her son’s murder.

Hajiya Sanni said despite her efforts in providing the police with useful information that could lead to the arrest and prosecution of the suspected killers of her son, the police have practically shifted their responsibility to her, even as she was still grieving over her son’s death.

Abbas, who was an undergraduate of the Department of ICT at the Nasarawa State University, Keffi, was said to be closed to winning an international competition at the time of his murder, and had become the best in Abuja at the Naijaloaded Next 2 Blow competition. He was allegedly murdered two days to his victory in the competition.

His mother claimed that her son was killed by his follow artists, who became jealous of his speed to fame.

Before his demise, the deceased signed a music management contract with Chungai Studio, a business owned and headed by one Mr. Dan Sanni.

“Abbas doesn’t keep company or make out outside the music industry, and he loved and trusted all of them. That was his weakness,” his mother said.

On the day he was killed, Abbas was said to have been invited by one Ms Patricia Ogbenetega on March 6, 2021, to Abuja to participate in a musical shoot. He was seen on the CCTV footages arriving the location, New World Hotel in Utako, Abuja, at about 5p.m. to participate in the musical rap shoot but strangely did not participate.

His mother said he was last found in the company of Ms Patricia Oghenetega and a popular music group called Antiworld Gangsters. On the CCTV, Abbas left the company of this group at about 9:30p.m. His lifeless body was discovered at the Galadimawa Roundabout by a patrolling police at about 11p.m.

At a memorial event organised in his honour by some Nigerian universities artists in Abuja at the weekend, his mother, Sanni, said she had been mentally down since the incident and the police were compounding her frustrations.

While she said she suspected a foul play, Sanni explained her ordeals that: “We have a lot of issues with the police in the management of the murder case. First of all, the operatrives of the Galadimwa Police Station who found the dead body practically without doing any findings filed initially that it was an accident.

“It was when he was at the mortuary that they told us that there were stabs on his body before we took it up.

“Then the case was transferred to State FCAD because nothing was done in three days and the homicide OC there, a woman, did nothing for almost three weeks.

“I had to write another petition before it was transferred to Force Headquarters. And since then, I have practically and personally become the investigator, the journalist and I am trying to push out information to the police. I am investigating on the background on my own; I became the detective and investigator.

“And most of the pieces of information that are being passed to the police are practically what I dished to them. Unfortunately, that is where we are.

“The lady who invited my son for the show before he was murdered, Mrs. Patricia Ogenetegha, is an indigene of Delta State. Unfortunately, the police are yet to unravel the motive behind the gruesome murder of the 27-year-old Abbas Sanni since March 6 last year.”

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