Kills Man At A Bar Over quarrel with Own Boss
Victim’s Family Alleges Cover Up By Police
By Our Correspondent
What started like a small quarrel between a police Sergeant and his subordinate, a corporal at a local beer parlour, popularly called Gidan Zanna, adjacent the Nigeria police Command Headquarters in Gombe on December 11th 2015, turned tragic when the corporal, simply called Peter shot to death a staff of the federal ministry of Agriculture, Bitram Boyi Baka.
Our correspondent reports that, the popular bar, where the incident took place is a usual rendezvous for policemen from the command headquarters who are off duty as well as those who want to avoid the hustles and bustles of more congested joints in the city centre.
That fateful day, our correspondent learnt, the two police officers had just closed from duty and decided to cool off at the joint, but at a point, the corporal was angered by his boss who asked him to buy a packet of cigarettes across the road, but instead of buying the cigarettes, he went back to the command Headquarters and signed for a riffle, before heading back to the restaurant.
Before he got back, the bar manager who seem to have noticed his anger, and knowing him for his often erratic behaviors, asked the superior officer to leave, as people reported back to him that the enraged corporal was heard saying, he would take a life that day.
Eye witnesses told nationalTRAIL that the sergeant, whose name was not readily available heeded to wise counsel and left the restaurant, and unknown to Bitram Boka, who arrived the bar after the quarrel, he sat on the seat vacated by the sergeant, on returning to the bar armed, the enraged corporal fired Bitram three times at point blank, apparently mistaking him for his boss.
The victim was confirmed dead at the Federal Medical Center, Gombe, which is also a stone throw from the scene of incident, at about 9 PM that fateful day, leaving behind a wife, Hauwa Bitram and her two daughters, Stephanie and Stacey, aged 8 and 6 years old respectively.
Our correspondent who spoke to the father of the deceased and the wife during the funeral service on December 13th, two days after the incident reports that there may be a plot to cover up the murder, as the Police, who initially claimed to have arrested the erratic corporal, denied knowledge of the incident, and the corporal may have disappeared from their cell in Gombe.
Family of the deceased are clamouring for justice, stressing that Bitram has been their bread winner, as his other sibling works in Abuja, but expressed fears that the Police may be plotting to shield the corporal as they have neither been approached for any form of discussion with the Police since the incident.
Bitram’s father, Mr. Boyi Baka Molta told nationalTRAL at the ECWA Gospel Church where the funeral took place that, the family was pained because the police did not show any concern to him, nor his wife, comfort, or even the wife and children of the deceased, as if taking life by the police seems to mean nothing.
Mr Molta, a retired educationist and former member of the Teachers service Commission explained that, the late Bitram was the second born of the family, born on August 2, 1972, in Azare, Bauchi State. A graduate from the University of Maiduguri, he worked with the Gombe state Universal Basic Education Commission, before moving to the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Water resources before his death.
While appealing to the Inspector General of Police to step into the matter and ensure that justice comes the way of the family by bringing the erring corporal to book, and paying compensation to the family, he takes solace in God as a Christian believing that God will eventually redress their petition.
Police Public relations Officer for Gombe, Fwaji Attajiri,( ASP ), said he was not aware of the incident and could not confirm if the suspect has been remanded, or even what has become of the matter and the fate of the family, before switching off the phone on our correspondent.