The police in Yobe have arrested two soldiers over the murder of an Islamic cleric, Sheikh Goni Gashua.
Mr Gashua was killed on Friday night near Jaji Maji in Karasuwa Local Government Area of Yobe State.
The Police Public Relations Officer in Yobe, Dungus Abdulkareem, who confirmed the incident to PREMIUM TIMES said, “details of the incident would be relayed to the general public in a few days.”
“I can confirm that the soldiers are in our (police) custody. But I will give out details to the general public in a few days,” Mr Abdulkareem, a deputy superintendent of police, said.
He said, “the two soldiers have confessed to the crime but investigation is still ongoing.”
The police spokesperson refused to confirm the names of the soldiers.
A source in Yobe, who is a member of the vigilante in the state, however, narrated how the popular Islamic cleric was killed.
He said that one of the soldiers requested for a lift from the cleric who was returning to Yobe from Kano via Nguru.
He said the cleric obliged the request of the soldier.
“From the reliable information that we gathered, the first soldier came to the checkpoint at about 9 p.m. on Friday when he stopped the sheikh and requested a ride,” the source, who is involved in the investigations, said.
“Midway into the journey, the sheikh stopped to ease himself but upon return, the soldier was waiting for him with an AK 48 rifle asking him to stay away from the car. The surprised sheikh insisted on coming over to enter his car but the soldier, after firing a warning shot, fired a second one on his hand then finally gunned him down.
“After he killed the sheikh and he wanted to leave, the car refused to start. That was the point he called a second soldier, his friend, who came with a car but the crankshaft of his car also broke down and they called for help from the vigilante.
“It was when we came to help them remove the two cars that one of us noticed blood on the car.
“At that point, the police were alerted. It is then that we found the body of the sheikh in a pool of blood in the bush. The soldiers were immediately arrested and the gun recovered from him by the police,” the source narrated, asking not to be named as he has no permission to speak to journalists.
PREMIUM TIMES learnt that two similar incidents have happened in the state. One of the incidents happened near the State University Teaching Hospital, Damaturu, where the victim was killed and his car carted away. The attackers in that incident have yet to be identified.
Another incident happened at Pompomari where a woman was robbed in similar circumstances and the perpetrators were later arrested and were identified as soldiers.