Sheikh Goni Aisami Gashua: Army Dismisses Two Soldiers Over Murder

Sheikh Goni Aisami Gashua: Army Dismisses Two Soldiers Over Murder

The Nigerian Army has dismissed two soldiers over the murder of an Islamic cleric, Sheikh Goni Aisami Gashua, in Yobe State.

 

The dismissed soldiers include Lance Corporal John Gabriel and Lance Corporal Adamu Gideon.

 

The acting commander officer in charge of 241 Reece battalion, Nguru, Yobe State, Lt Col. Ibrahim Osabo, told journalists a joint board of inquiry set up in collaboration with the police had found them guilty.

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He said the two soldiers were dismissed on a two-count charge of failure to perform duties and conduct prejudice to service discipline.

 

Lt Col Osabo added that the dismissed soldiers will be handed over to the police in Damaturu for prosecution in court of law.

 

Sheikh Goni Aisami-Gashua was reported dead earlier this month.

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The cleric was said to be travelling from Gashua to Kano when he was followed in a bus by the attackers.

 

Some Gashua residents said the incident happened around 10am at Jajimaji, a distance of less than 30 kilometers away from Gashua, the hometown of the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan.

 

President Muhammadu Buhari has condemned the murder.

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How Sheikh Goni Aisami-Gashua was Murdered

According to DSP Dungus Abdulkarim, spokesman of the Yobe Police Command, two suspects who claimed to be soldiers attached to 241 Recce Model Battalion, Nguru, were behind the tragic incident.

 

Mr Abdulkarim said police detectives from Karasuwa Division on 19 August, responded to a distress call and apprehended Mr Gabriel, A Lance Corporal with service number N/A13/69/1522 and Mr Gideon with service number N/A13/70/6552 both attached to 241 RECCE Battalion, Nguru.

Sheikh Goni Aisami Gashua: Army Dismisses Two Soldiers Over Murder
Lance Corporal John Gabriel and Lance Corporal Adamu Gideon were officially dismissed from the Nigerian Army on August 27, 2022.

The police said one of the suspects, Mr Gabriel, “whose intention was to rob unsuspecting motorists of their vehicle left the barrack on the date in mufti having concealed his rifle in a camp bed for the military checkpoint at Nguru at about 2200hrs.

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The police spokesperson stated that Aisami was driving his car to Gashua from Nguru, when the principal suspect who was in mufti and carrying a camp bed, pleaded with him for a lift to Jaji-Maji.

 

“On approaching Jaji-Maji, the cleric stopped the car to urinate,” he said, adding that as soon as he returned to continue the journey, the principal suspect brought out an AK-47 and shot him twice to death.

 

Abdulkarim further stated that the suspect tried to flee with the deceased’s car but failed, as it got stuck in a mud and the vehicle failed to start.

 

“He put a call through to the second suspect, who drove another vehicle to the scene. Unfortunately for him, his drive shaft broke.

 

“The two suspects then requested for help from a vigilance group in Jaji-Maji. When the group arrived the scene to tow the broken down vehicles, incidentally Aisami’s body was found at the scene,” the police spokesman said.

 

Abdulkarim added that the vigilance group later drew the attention of the police to the incident which led to the arrest of the suspects.

 

He noted that the police recovered the gun and the two cars, adding that effort was ongoing to confirm the identity of the suspects.

 

Abdulkarim said the suspects would be prosecuted after completion of investigation.

 

Meanwhile, Governor Mai Mala Buni has expressed sadness over the murder of the Sheikh.

 

Buni, in a statement issued in Damaturu by his Director-General Press and Media Affairs, Alhaji Mamman Mohammed, described the circumstances surrounding the murder as sad, regrettable and most unfortunate.

 

“The alleged circumstances surrounding the death is most unfortunate and will be investigated thoroughly. Government will ensure that every detail is investigated and anyone found wanting, will face the full wrath of the law. The state government will work closely with the security agencies to unravel every detail to ensure justice is done,” he said.

 

The governor condoled with the family of the deceased, the people of Bade local government area and the entire state over the death of Aisami.

 

Buni called on them to remain calm and law abiding as investigation was ongoing and would be pursued to its logical conclusion.

 

He prayed to Allah for the repose of the soul of the deceased and give his immediate family and the entire people of the state, the fortitude to bear the loss.

 

Speaking when he was paraded by the police on Wednesday, the killer soldier who was attached to 241 Recce Model Battalion, Nguru, Lance Corporal John Gabriel, a soldier with registration number N/A13/69/1522, said the Sheik asked him two questions before he pulled the trigger.

 

“We were approaching Jaji-Maji and the windows were wound down, so I told him (the victim) that I was hearing a sound under his vehicle and he said he was suspecting something under it and he wanted to park and check. After he parked by the roadside, he alighted and I followed him. After checking, he found out that it was not what he suspected.

 

“”Meanwhile, I had removed my rifle and fixed the magazine when he was under the vehicle. When he didn’t find anything under the vehicle, I told him to check the back tyre, but as he was about doing so, I pointed my rifle at him and he asked me, ‘What did I do to you?” And I responded, you did not do anything to me. He asked further, ‘Do you want to kill me?’ And I said, ‘No I don’t want to kill you.’ So, he kept quiet and I fired a warning shot, thinking he would be scared and run away. But he didn’t run away. However as he made to enter his vehicle, I fired directly at him.”

 

The death of the Islamic scholar had sparked a nationwide outrage, with many demanding immediate prosecution.

 

In an interview with BBC Hausa Service, the National Chairman of Islamic propagation group, Izala Movement, Sheikh Abdullahi Bala Lau, had said the manner in which he was murdered showed its terrorism against the Muslim Ummah.

 

“We condemn the assassination and we call on the Federal Government to quickly prosecute the assassins; let’s probe the motive of the killing. If it had happened that a Muslim killed a pastor, the story would have been different, we won’t let this go, we won’t keep quiet anymore,” he had said.

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