By Armstrong Bakam, Gunmen, suspected to be kidnappers, on Thursday, shot dead a government official with the Bauchi State Ministry for Local Government Affairs. A police sergeant was also said to have been injured following an exchange of fire between security operatives and the gunmen, who escaped through the bush. The PUNCH learnt from a source, who spoke in confidence, that the gunmen stormed a mosque at about 6am, where the civil servant, Babangida Garba, had gone to pray and asked everybody in the mosque to lie on the floor. The suspected kidnappers were said to have taken Babangida away but angrily shot him when he was reported to have resisted their attempt to drag him away. The source said, “Babangida came out this morning to pray in a mosque located in front of his house, opposite Larema Hotel, at the new GRA and immediately after the prayer, some gunmen entered and asked us to lie down on the floor. “They took him(Babangida) away. We later heard gunshot and by the time they left, we saw Babangida’s body close to the mosque where they shot and abandoned his corpse. It’s quite sad and unfortunate.” The 53-year-old Garba was a former accountant at the office of the Secretary to the State Government in Government House, Bauchi, and was, until his death, the Director, Administration and Finance in the Ministry of Local Government Affairs. Confirming the murder to newsmen at a press conference in his office, the Bauchi State Police Commissioner, Lawal Shehu, said there was a serious exchange of fire between his men and the armed men. “There was a serious exchange of fire between our men and the unspecified group of armed men along Bauchi-Jos highway at 6.20am following a distress call; and as a result, the armed men abandoned their vehicle and fled into the bush with bullet wounds. “The suspects stormed a mosque at new GRA, opposite Larema Hotel, where they shot and killed a 53-year-old Babangida Garba, a worker at the Ministry of Local Government Affairs in his bid to resist being abducted,” he said. He added that a police sergeant attached to the Federal Highway patrol sustained injuries in the encounter and was responding to treatment. Shehu said exhibits recovered from the gunmen included one magazine and 31 rounds of life ammunition of 7.62mm, 12 empty shells of 7.62mm, one black Volkswagen Golf station wagon car with number plate, KTN-124-TED, as well as other vital documents that would help in arresting the culprits. CREDIT: www.punchng.com
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