A soldier has reportedly shot a commercial motorcycle rider and his passenger, a nursing mother and her baby, in Babanna community in Borgu LGA of Niger State.
ABN TV gathered that the incident happened on Monday evening when the victims were returning home from the Babanna weekly market.
Residents told City & Crime that the soldier fired a gunshot at the commercial motorcycle rider for refusing to pay the N200 bribe he demanded and that the bullets penetrated his stomach and hit the woman he was carrying, as well as the baby on her back.
A resident, Saidu Babanna, said, “One of the soldiers deployed in Babanna to protect lives and property shot three people because of a N200 bribe. When the victims were entering Babanna in the morning, soldiers collected N200 from them at their checking point, and when they were returning from Babanna to Nigangi in Benin Republic, the soldiers demanded another N200 from them, which they couldn’t afford to pay. That was what led to a soldier opening fire and killing the three people on a motorcycle on the spot.”
Another resident who didn’t want his name mentioned said, “The incident happened on Monday evening. The Babanna market is on Mondays. The victims were returning home from the market. When they were coming in the morning, there were many soldiers at the Benin Republic border who stopped them and collected N200 from them. So, when they were going back, the same soldiers stopped them again and demanded N200 again, which the Okada man refused to give. They started arguing and the Okada man kicked his motorcycle and zoomed off and a soldier also kicked another motorcycle and followed him until he overtook him. He then fired the gun and bullets penetrated the stomach of the motorcycle rider and hit the woman he was carrying, killing the woman and the baby instantly.”
He said the soldier was arrested and taken to the 221 Battalion, Kainji, New-Bussa, Borgu LGA, following a call to military authorities by the district head.
He said the woman and her baby died on the spot while the Okada man was responding to treatment in a hospital in Benin Republic.
Another source said, “It was the arrest of the soldier and the intervention of the district head that saved the situation from degenerating into a fracas between youths and soldiers.”
Effort to get the reaction of the Niger State Police Command’s spokesman, DSP Wasiu Abiodun, was not successful.
But the chairman of Borgu LGA of Niger State, Alhaji Suleiman Yarima, confirmed the incident, saying the woman and her baby died but that the motorcyclist survived and he is receiving treatment at a hospital in Parakou in Benin Republic.
‘’The victims are from Benin Republic, who came to the market in Babanna to shop. It’s a weekly market. The bodies were taken to Benin Republic and can’t confirm their burial for now. However, investigation is ongoing,’’ he said in a text message sent to our reporter late yesterday.