Shoot out at the FCT in Nigeria

SEVEN people were feared dead Friday following a fierce gun duel between operatives of the State Security Service (SSS) and persons suspected to be members of the Boko Haram Islamic sect. The incident took place near the Apo Legislators’ Quarters in Abuja.
In a statement released yesterday in the FCT, the Deputy Director of SSS, Marilyn Ogar, said a combined security team was tipped off by two Boko Haram members that some arms were hidden in some uncompleted buildings at the Zone E area, near the Legislators’ quarters.
She said Kamal Abdullahi and Mohammed Adamu who had earlier been arrested for terrorist activities, led the team to an uncompleted building.
“The team commenced digging for the arms but came under heavy gunfire by other Boko Haram elements within the area, which prompted the response from the security team. Some persons where injured and 12 others have been arrested in connection with the incident and are making useful statements,” she said.
At the scene of the incident, it was observed that the building, which purportedly housed the victims, had almost been reduced to rubbles. Seven bodies were taken away in an ambulance with the inscription of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC).
Earlier, Mr. Sunday Odukoya, the Assistant Commissioner of Police in Charge of Abuja Metro Area Command, had confirmed the incident to newsmen, pointing out that although he could ascertain that seven people were killed in the shoot out, he could not say what actually led to the shootout.
“I have not heard something like that. But the issue is when a matter happens like this, we do investigation, people will tell us what happened, we will gather more intelligence,” he said.
Eyewitnesses said that the shooting actually started a little before midnight and lasted for an hour and was carried out by people dressed in army uniforms.
It was further gathered that the victims were squatters, artisans and petty traders obviously from Northern Nigeria, going by their dresses.
One Umar who was also at the scene said more than nine others had being taken to the hospital. He said the shooting was carried out by “soldiers who came at the prompting of the owner of the building. They came and fanned out. Some lay down, some went inside, some stood outside, all of them armed,” he said.
The owner of the house whom he could not name, had allegedly said he did not want to see anybody in his house when he came there one day and saw them squatting.
The uncompleted twin duplex located off Abba Kyari close, Apo Legislative Quarters Zone E, is said to be about 100 meters away from the official residence of the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal. It is believed to belong to a senior military officer. Some 12 people were said to have sustained various degrees of injuries.
The bodies, some of the victims were still dripping with blood at the hospital where they were kept in two separate vehicles, a hilux van belonging to the Nigeria Police and an ambulance belonging the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC).
While the circumstances of their shootout remains controversial, Comrade Prince Adeoso of the National Youth Council of Nigeria, (NYCN), has described the incident as “an extra-judicial execution of Nigerian youths.”
Adeoso spoke to journalists by the hospital mortuary, where the bodies of the victims of the shootout were deposited.
However, investigations revealed that the twin duplex in the neighborhood in Apo zone E where the incident took place, had provided shelter for some suspected Boko Haram members and other itinerant traders who eked a living operating the tricycles popularly called Keke NAPEP.
They were said to be occupying the apartments on a staggered rent payment arrangement in which they paid N200 weekly to the security man employed by the owner of the property before the morning raid to clear the uncompleted building of suspected Boko Haram members.
Police Public Relations Officer of the FCT, DSP Altine Daniel, confirmed that there was an incident at the uncompleted building and that men of the command were already at the scene.