Prof. Ahmad Falaki, the director, Institute of Agriculture Research (IAR) of the Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) Zaria, has been killed in Kibiya Local Government Area of Kano State after he was mistaken for a member of the dreaded Islamic sect, Boko Haram.
The deceased was heading to Kano from Ningi in Bauchi State with his brother, and driver last Saturday when the unfortunate incident occurred.
The tyre of his official car punctured at Kibiya and had to be replaced.
Incidentally, the repair work coincided with the time Boko Haram members attacked Kibiya police station.
It was gathered that after replacing the tyre, some members of the sect snatched the Professor’s car at gun point and quickly drove off.
The deceased’s brother, Abbas Mustapha Falaki, who escaped death, recounted that the police and the villagers attacked them thinking they were Boko Haram members.
“We had a flat tyre in Fala village of Tudun Wada LGA of Kano State while returning from Bauchi State,” he said.
“It was while we were there that Boko Haram members riding on seven motorcycles came to us and demanded for the professor’s Toyota Hilux vehicle.
“The driver looked at the professor’s eyes and he asked him to give it to them. They jumped into the car and sped off. They did not harm us as we didn’t argue with them,” he said.
Abbas explained when the militants left, the professor asked them to trek to Fala village to get another vehicle to Kano, adding that while trekking to the village, the professor made some calls to Kano.
“When we got to the village, the people started suspecting us because some of them saw us while we were trying to change our flat tyre on the outskirts of the village.
“But we told them that our car had been snatched by some gunmen. The professor told them to help us get another vehicle because it was around 6.pm,” he recalled.
The brother added that while they were waiting for the vehicle, a team of policemen arrived from Kibiya and the villagers suddenly pounced on them.
“The professor quickly showed the policemen his ABU identity card and asked them to stop the villagers. But the policemen did not. The locals continued to stab him with knives and inflict machete cuts in many places. I ran into the bush but a police officer shot at my direction.
“I thought the bullet had hit me so I fell down. The villagers came to where I was and stabbed me on my face and other places. They threw me and professor into the police van. When we got to Kibiya police division, the policemen were celebrating that they had killed Boko Haram members,” he said.
Abbas said he told the policemen that they were not Boko Haram members and that the man killed was Professor Falaki of the ABU.
“It was while we were there that the professor’s driver, who ran into the bush was brought in. When operatives of the Kano Special Anti Robbery Squad (SARS) came, they interrogated me and the driver and discovered that we were not Boko Haram members,” he said.
Meanwhile, The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has urged the Inspector General of Police (IGP) to arrest those responsible for the murder of their colleague, Professor Ahmad Mustapha Falaki or universities in the country may be forced to shut down.
A statement jointly signed by chairman and secretary of ASUU-ABU, Dr. Muhammad Kabir Aliyu and Dr. Mustapha Liman respectively, said the union would be left with no option than to seek redress through other legal means if the IGP failed to heed to their call.
The statement said: “Professor Falaki was on an official assignment when his car was snatched by gunmen at Fala village. He was at Fala for more than two hours making calls to officers in ABU and his family. Suddenly, some persons who identified themselves as policemen appeared on the scene allegedly in pursuit of Boko Haram who had earlier laid siege on the Police post in Kibiya town.
“Professor Falaki identified himself by presenting them with his ABU identity card and driver’s licence. But for some inexplicable reasons, these policemen ignored the identification insisting that for all they care the deceased and his entourage were members of Boko Haram who had escaped from Kibiya. They then began to strike them with machetes and other clubs. Professor Falaki was struck a fatal blow and died on the scene.”