I am Abdullahi Bello, a truck driver from Bauchi State. The sad incident happened around 6.20 am on Monday, January 17, 2022. I was on my way to deliver a truckload of rice in one of the North-East states. Everything was okay until we got to a police checkpoint around Hashidu Junction on the Dukku-Darazo Expressway. My encounter with a particular policeman, called Ishaku, landed me here at the Federal Teaching Hospital Gombe. But I thank God the worst didn’t happen and I am getting better.
We had a disagreement at the checkpoint and the officer, Inspector Urbanus Ishaku, shot me on a side of my buttocks.
When we got to a stop-and-search line, smaller vehicles were in front of us. To our surprise, officer Ishaku and others at the checkpoint allowed the smaller vehicles to pass but when we wanted to pass he blocked the road. As he did that, he went to make way for other vehicles to pass since my trailer was blocking them. He did that because he didn’t want us to pass.
After all the cars had passed, I asked my assistant to check if there were more cars behind us, but he looked back and said there were none. So, I decided to park and come down.
As I attempted to come out of the truck, I noticed that this officer was cocking his gun. At first, I thought he was joking because there was nothing to warrant him to shoot me. He began by shooting into the air. We thought he was doing that to merely scare us off but then he turned the gun on us and began to fire. In the process, a bullet hit me on my buttocks.
I was the only one hit by a bullet. At first, people were asking whether it was our tyre that the officer shot at. But it was discovered that I had been shot. I was put into a Hilux van and they began to take snapshots of my injury.
A colleague of the officer who fired the gunshots called someone to take me to Dukku Hospital in order to stabilise me.
At the time the incident happened, I wasn’t being violent. What I noticed was that before shooting, he came to the side of my trailer and asked me how our journey had been and I said, ‘Fine, thank you.’ I don’t know whether he heard me or not because I didn’t wind down the glass window. It was a cold morning and I had to roll up the window.
After the exchange, this officer just walked away. And next, I overheard him saying that I disrespected him and one of his colleagues came and asked me what happened between me and his colleague. I told him I didn’t know. The colleague asked me why I didn’t wind down my glass when the officer was talking to me and told him it was due to the cold. He said it was not good I didn’t wind down my glass and said, ‘No problem,’ before he also walked away, that was just how it happened.
My prayer is that God should heal me, grant me quick recovery and for the officer (Ishaku), I know he did not do this to me intentionally. I want everybody to calm down. I know God will heal me as quickly as possible.
The police officers have been very helpful. Many of them have come to visit me, including the Commissioner of Police, Ishola Babatunde.