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EXCLUSIVE: Family Narrate How Over 30 Heavily Armed Masked Men Loyal To Kogi Gov, Yahaya Bello, Raided Abuja Estate To Abduct Shafiu, Brother-In-Law; Label Them As Terrorists

EXCLUSIVE: Family Narrate How Over 30 Heavily Armed Masked Men Loyal To Kogi Gov, Yahaya Bello, Raided Abuja Estate To Abduct Shafiu, Brother-In-Law; Assaulted Pregnant Wife, Mother, Others
October 28, 2022

A source who witnessed the operation told SaharaReporters that the gunmen came in multiple cars and were 30 – 40 in number.


Ibrahim Fari Shafiu, a loyalist of Natasha Akpoti-Uduaghan, the Peoples Democratic Party’s candidate for Kogi Central Senatorial District has been identified as one of the persons allegedly abducted by gunmen at Trademore Estate in Abuja on Monday.

The media on Wednesday reported that Nigeria’s secret police, the Department of State Services uncovered boxes of explosives in an estate located in the Lugbe area of the Federal Capital Territory.

It was learnt that two pistols were also recovered from an apartment rented by an alleged terrorist in the estate.

This was contained in a notice issued by the management of the estate to residents on Wednesday, urging them to be vigilant.

The management also advised residents to report any suspicious movements, persons or activities to its executives, street representatives or the police.

But the authorities of the Federal Capital Territory Police Command on Thursday described it as fake news.

DSP Josephine Adeh, Public Relations Officer of the FCT Police Command said, “It is not true, it’s fake news.”

When SaharaReporters visited the street where there was a raid by DSS officers, which is located behind Living Faith Church Worldwide, aka Winners’ Chapel inside Trademore Estate Phase 3, on Thursday, the estate securities and executives declined to make comments about the incident.

Some of the residents said they were scared and never saw it coming.

A source who witnessed the operation told SaharaReporters that the gunmen came in multiple cars and were 30 – 40 in number.

According to the source, the gunmen first entered a building that supposedly belongs to an assistant commissioner of police, where they assaulted the family and brought out children in handcuffs before one of them noted that they had raided the wrong house.

He added that eventually, they raided a house where Shafiu and his brother-in-law, Yusuf Abdulrahman, were arrested. According to the source, the operatives also went away with all the phones and wallets found in the house.

They also allegedly went away with a purse belonging to Shafiu’s wife with almost N350,000 and about three diaries, a laptop and his car.

The source said, "I was informed by an outsider that some unknown gunmen came and took Shafiu away. So, I rushed down to the estate. On confirming the incident, his wife and mother who were home when it happened couldn't speak; they were traumatised.

"They couldn't even move, they were just shedding tears and the whole house was turned upside down; the ceiling was broken and the doors and so on. So, I had to control myself and went to the estate management post.

"I met some security guards on duty and some management people and I asked them what actually happened. I was told that they noticed some movements around 2 pm that day. After some time, the guys came with Hilux, Prado SUVs and some Sienna buses. Although they couldn't give me the accurate number plates of the vehicles they came with.

"Someone in the estate who witnessed the operation told me that they were about 30 to 40 men and most of them were masked. He said only a few of them were not masked. They wore black and they noticed a white guy among them too.

"According to the witness, the gunmen first entered a building that supposedly belongs to one assistant commissioner of police. They assaulted the family and brought out the children in handcuffs before one of them said that he was not the one.

"They now proceeded to another building. After knocking without getting a response, they entered the compound using a ladder, jumped over the fence and ransacked the building. They did not see anything.

"Why this was going on, there was no movement. The people around were asked to lie down on the ground and the estate was on standstill.

"They sighted his (Shafiu) car coming which they were able to identify because of the plate number. They stopped the car and asked him to wind down. He refused and they broke the glass with their gun, dragged him out and put him inside one of the SUVs. They removed the front and rear number plates and proceeded to his house.

"In his house, there is the main building, and there are Boys’ Quarters (BQ). He stays in one of the BQs with his family. They first entered the main building and ransacked the place. They broke the door and entered through the ceiling with a ladder.

"They proceeded to the second BQ where they saw his neighbour cooking. They put guns to the heads of the neighbour and her children. The woman told me that she peed her pants when she saw the kind hefty men that came and their guns.

"Thereafter, they went to the last BQ where Shafiu stays. His family were inside watching television, so they just barged in and started ransacking the house. They even assaulted the wife that is pregnant.

"The wife’s younger brother, I think maybe in an attempt to prevent them from assaulting his sister was assaulted. He was tied and put on the ground, face down. The mother was also assaulted. When I met them, I was crying because the way they were assaulted is not even explainable.

"It was even a day after that they were able to even speak a few words, and they said they could not recognise anybody. But they said that one of them is white and that most of them were masked.

"When I spoke with the estate management chairman, he told me that he does not know them. He said all efforts to approach them proved abortive as they threatened to open fire on anybody that came close.

"They took Shafiu and his brother-in-law along with them and drove away. They went with all the phones and wallets in the house. They also took his wife's purse with almost N350,000 and about three diaries. They also went away with the laptop at home and his car.

"Till now, we cannot reach out to them (Shafiu and his brother-in-law) and we don't know where they are, as the men that came to pick them up could not be identified," the source noted.

However, the victim's wife, Shafiu Aishat Oyiza who also spoke with SaharaReporters narrated how the gunmen assaulted her along with other people in the house.

The mother of two who is also pregnant said the gunmen didn't have mercy on them, noting that they tied them and ordered them to lie down.

"I can only recognise the two white men among them because they all wore masks. We were six when they came in; they assaulted me with pregnancy, along with my mother-in-law, my brother, my two children and my neighbour's kid.

"My children were even begging them not to kill their mother or take her away.

"They scattered our house and went away with my younger brother, my mother-in-law’s purse and recharge cards. My money which is up to N350,000, laptop and all our phones," she said.

The woman described her husband as a good man who doesn't look for trouble. He said the only people her husband has a problem with are the Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello and his Chief of Staff.

"The only people my husband get problem with is Kogi State Governor and Chief of Staff.

"He organised a programme after Salah tagged 'Say No To Violence In Egbira Land'. After the programme, he started receiving threats from them before he now defected from the APC to PDP," she added.

Shafiu’s mother, Khadijat Echichi said the gunmen also tied her and made her lie down on the floor. Echichi said she was ill, adding that she came to Abuja so that her son could take her to the hospital.

She begged the authorities to come to the aid of the family.

A close source on Thursday told SaharaReporters that the arrest is political and has nothing to do with terrorism.

He alleged that Shafiu was abducted by Bello’s hitmen led by a Nigerian Navy officer identified as Charles.

According to the source, Shafiu’s trouble started when he dumped the ruling APC for PDP.

“His name is Shafiu, he was with APC and later switched to PDP. That is the reason why he was kidnapped. They fear he knows too much about their atrocities. He was working as a political thug for Yahaya Bello before he left APC; he was involved in many attacks on political opponents in Kogi State. So, they felt losing him to PDP would be disastrous.

“So they sent Nigerian Navy officers who are loyal to the governor to kidnap him. The hitmen working for the governor picked him up; they have taken him somewhere else. The group who kidnapped him was led by one Charles; he is the head of the hitmen working for Yahaya Bello," the source said.

Meanwhile, the DSS has claimed responsibility for the operation but denied engaging in any joint operation with American soldiers.

This comes as the US Embassy in Nigeria urged its citizens to leave Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

The spokesperson for the DSS, Dr. Peter Afunanya, told PRNigeria that the Service did not have any joint operation with foreign troops.

"I can categorically tell you that we did not carry out any joint operation with American soldiers as being widely reported in the media.

"Though we carried out an operation in an Abuja Estate with sister agencies, no foreign troops were involved," he said.