Former Commander of Mobile Police (MOPOL) 41 in Yobe State, CSP Dauda Fika, has narrated how he was allegedly shot by troops of the Nigerian Army on April 13, 2017.
He said the soldiers had attempted to kill him, after throwing him inside a “ditch”, but for the intervention of their superior.
In an interview with PRNigeria, Fika claimed that two other police officers were killed during the attack.
Before the attack, Fika had led many successful counter-insurgency operations in the North-East, fighting Boko Haram sect members “with his entire soul and body”.
“He led a team of security joint-task force to flush-out Boko Haram fighters from Fika town in 2016. He once led a rapid response squad to rescue 18 policemen who were held hostage by Boko Haram extremists in Borno. He was ambushed at four different times by blood-thirsty insurgents, but he escaped unscathed.
“As a matter of fact, he once had an enviable record that no other police officers and men deployed to the troubled North-East could boast of,” the report said.
According to the report, trouble started for Fika when policemen travelling in his convoy, had a scuffle with a soldier at a traffic point in Damaturu, the Yobe State capital.
Though the altercation was said to have been resolved, the MOPOL commander said he was shocked that some “hooded soldiers” allegedly stormed his house, subjected him to some form of torture, and later whisked him away to a military location on the outskirt of Damaturu.
He said: “I was taken to an Army battalion from my house. The soldiers, who whisked me away, would have killed me when we arrived at their battalion. They threw me and one other MOPOL officer inside a ditch and they cock their rifles to shoot. But a senior Army officer immediately arrived the scene, and I was taken out of the ditch.
“The Army officer took me to his office, and ordered me to go and calm my boys, who had already laid siege to the entrance of the battalion. By then, my boys were already shooting into the air sporadically. They were insisting that I must be released unhurt. So, I came down to meet my boys. They lifted and threw me into the air to welcome me, when I got to their place.
“They touched my body to check if I was fine and wasn’t hurt. I eventually calmed their frayed nerves, and ordered them to go back to their base. They all left, leaving behind two other MOPOL officers and myself. But it was at that moment, some soldiers who we did not know were trailing us opened fire.
“They killed the two people with me. I was shot twice in the hips and left in a pool of blood. But thank God, a high-ranking Army officer, who came and met me lying on the ground, ordered that I should be taken to the Army Hospital. It was while I was there that the state police commissioner called to inquire if I was truly the one alive.
“After we spoke, the commissioner directed that I should immediately be flown to Abuja for better medical attention. And because the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport was closed for rehabilitation then, I was first taken to Kaduna, and treated in a hospital. The next day, I was brought to CedarCrest Hospital in Abuja by an ambulance.”
In the report, the injured police officer was said to have alleged a misdiagnosis by a medical doctor, who had said the CSP had ‘tumour in the brain’.
A subsequent surgery, according to the report, had left him with “acute migraine and experiencing other intense pains.”
He disclosed that the police authorities had flown him abroad for proper medical attention.
He, however, regretted that he had to sell his family home, to enable him to attend to other needs, since the police had taken care of the medical expenses.
“I am surprised the Nigerian Army didn’t reach out to me since then. I strongly believe the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. General Tukur Buratai, could have assisted if he learned of my present predicament considering my exploit in a joint military-security operation in the North-East.
“I must thank the leadership of the Nigerian Police for their uncommon love, generosity, and kindness in the payment for the operation while I shoulder my accommodation and living cost here in London. Nevertheless, I will still plead to our indefatigable and dynamic Inspector General of Police, who is my boss and the Chief of Army Staff to assist me financially.
“Meanwhile, contrary to what the CedarCrest Hospital’s doctor said, I was told by my doctor here, that I never had any kind of tumour in my head. Yet, another surgery was then performed, where the doctors removed an infection which was affecting both my eyes and tooth,” Fika was quoted to have said.
While expressing the hope of returning to the country, Fika feared that he might not have where to live, having disposed of his property to attend to his needs.
He added: “Though, I have since lost my sight, I remain grateful to Allah for keeping me alive. My doctors in London successfully replaced my natural hip with an artificial hip. And right now, I am learning to walk steadily with the support of aid. With time, I will be able to walk unaided, my doctors have assured me.
“But the thing is, I don’t know where I am going to start from once I return to Nigeria. I don’t know where to go. I sold everything I have to gather money for my medication and accommodation in UK. I sold my entire belongings, house, cars, you can name them. I even had to sell our family house, and relocated my extended family members to rented apartments, just to raise money for my treatment. It is very traumatic.
“As I speak to you now, my landlord in Nigeria, who gave me a quit notice some months ago, has already ejected my belongings out of his estate. I don’t know where to go. I don’t know who I will run to for help. My health condition is becoming critical. I am suffering and dying gradually.”
Efforts to reach the Nigerian Army for comment were unsuccessful, as its spokesperson, Col. Sagir Musa, did not pick his calls.
He was yet to reply to a text message at press time.