Lance Corporal John Gabriel, a soldier with registration number N/A13/69/1522, has opened up on how he tricked Sheik Goni Aisami-Gashua, a prominent cleric in Yobe State, before killing him.
The cleric was shot dead after he offered lift to his killer on Friday night.
Aisami was headed for Gashua from Nguru when his killer who was in mufti pleaded to join him to Jaji-Maji.
As they proceeded on the journey, he tricked the cleric who alighted from his vehicle but never made it back again as Gabriel snuffed life out of him.
Speaking when he was paraded by the police on Wednesday, the killer soldier who was attached to 241 Recce Model Battalion, Nguru, 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. (Channels)