by Stanley Azuakola
How much is a human life worth these days?
Well, in Kano, where the police is holding two men in connection with the assassination of two lawmakers in the state assembly, it is worth just N20,000 per head.
The man who allegedly ordered the killings of the lawmakers, Saleh Kura, 54, was a former chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Tarani local council of the state and currently the chairman of the Amalgamated Traders Association of Sabo Gari Market, Kano.
Kura has denied being responsible for the deaths of the two men, Hon. Ibrahim Abba Garko (PDP) and Hon Isa Kademi (ANPP), who were assassinated just a month from each other in November and December 2012. At the time, most Nigerians believed it was the doing of Boko Haram.
Ibrahim Lawal, whose day job was professional dying of clothes, confessed in his interrogation tape which was obtained by The Vanguard to have been a member of the gang that murdered the two lawmakers and named Alhaji Saleh Kura, as their sponsor.
Lawal’s confession is at variance with what he said four days ago when he and Kura were paraded by the Kano State Police Commissioner, Mr Ibrahim Idris. That day, he denied ever being involved. He said his confession was coerced.
In the 25-minute tape, Lawal could be heard saying: “I am not a member of Boko Haram. I am a hired assassin and armed robber.
On the killing of the lawmakers, the suspected assassin said, “We were mobilised by Sale Kura who personally handed over to me N20,000 twice (making N40,000) and we trekked to the abode of one of the targets while some other members of the gang arrived on motorbike.
“The target was identified and we went out of our way to spray others within the vicinity to avoid any of them recognising us. The gang escaped in the ensuring melee.”
The first scene of the video tape of Lawal’s interrogation opened in an apartment where six cops, led by a high ranking officer, were seated. A Mobile Police officer came in with the suspected assassin.
A gentle voice fired the first salvo,”Who are you”?
The suspect answered: “My name is Ibrahim Lawal; I live at Layin Yarbawa Ungwa-Uku. I had my primary education at Ungwa Uku, and proceeded to Government Secondary School Bichi. I ventured into professional dying after I dropped out of secondary school. I maintained a shop at Layin Tazarce at the same quarters.”
In response to a question on whether he was a member of Boko Haram, the suspect, in a loud voice, declared: “I am not a member of Boko Haram; I am a hired assassin and armed robber. We operated in a group of 6 and all of us live at Ungwa Uku”.
“Tell us more about the group”?, one of the police officers said.
Lawal replied: “We have Sagir Yahuza of Farin Massalaci Ungwa Uku, Surajo Adamu of Layin Tazarce Ungwa Uku, Tasiu Shuaibu of Layin Yarabawa Ungwa Uku and Mohammed AbdulSalam of Layin Tazarce Ungwa Uku quarters in Kano metropolis”.
On how he joined the gang, the suspect alleged, “I was personally recruited into the group by Alhaji Sale Kura who happens to be my neighbor and we enjoy a close relationship since 1999 when he became the PDP chairman of Tarauni Local Government Area of Kano State”.
Asked to comment on the criminal gang, Lawal stated: “We are not only into killings, we were also involved in violent robbery operations and Alhaji Sale Kura usually provided us with concoction to drink before embarking on operations. The drink had the effect of emboldening us as we confronted risks head on”.
The interrogation drew to a close with a question on how the suspect was captured by the police.
Lawal stated: “I was with Mabo, the leader of the gang, when we received a call that a person on our hit list was sighted around Mabo shop and we quickly armed ourselves and moved in but, on arriving at the shop, the said person was no where to be found.
“As we were returning to my shop on a motorbike, we were accosted by a team of police officers who arrested me but Mabo was lucky as he escaped.”
The police says it’s on the lookout for the other suspected members of the gang.