PHOTOS: How N1000 bribe triggered Kaduna-Abuja highway logjam


Travellers for Eid el-Kabir stranded on the Kaduna-Abuja Highway as motorists protest alleged killing of a commercial bus driver by policemen on Friday. Photo NAN

Travellers for Eid el-Kabir stranded on the Kaduna-Abuja Highway as motorists protest alleged killing of a commercial bus driver by policemen on Friday. Photo NAN

Travellers going to Kaduna and those going to Abuja went through hours of gruelling logjam as commercial drivers blocked both sides of the Kaduna-Abuja highway on Friday.

The drivers were protesting the killing of a colleague over his refusal to bribe policemen at a tollgate otherwise known as security checkpoint. The exact amount demanded was not certain as the News Agency of Nigeria reported in separate reports that it could be either N1000 or N2,000.

The killed driver was said to be conveying suspected smuggled rice.

But for drama that led to the closure of the road, we shall stick to the report by Philip Yatai, who said the tanker drivers ordered the road closed.

Some vehicles try to enter the bush to meander out of the logjam and soon found that it was a total lockdown
Some soldiers pacifying some commercial drivers who blocked the road

Read the dramatic report by the witnesses of the shooting over a bribe not given:

Travellers on both sides of the expressway were left stranded for several hours , with no option than to wait.

The co-driver of the Peugeot J5, with registration number KTN – 180 XQ, Ali Dan-Zaria, told NAN that they were conveying rice from Katsina to Abuja, when they were stopped by the police officers.

Dan-Zaria said that they were three in the vehicle: he, his boss the deceased Abdul Liman, 65, and a young boy of about 20 years.

Helpless travellers trapped waiting for the road to open

He said that they were stopped at about 5:30 am, few kilometres away from Olam Hatchery when one of the police officers demanded N1000 from them.

“I offered to give N200 which he refused to collect. I added another N200, but he still refused and insisted that I most give him N1000.

“Then his colleague stood in front of the windscreen and pointed his gun at us.

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“I was still negotiating with the officer who demanded the N1000 when I heard a gunshot and my colleague screamed, saying “they have killed him, they have killed him.

“I turned and saw my boss lying dead, with blood gushing out from his head, where the bullet hit him. I immediately came out of the vehicle and asked “who killed my boss?

“The one who did it immediately ran and disappeared into the bush, while the remaining ones quickly entered their vehicle and zoomed off,” he said.

Dan-Zaria said that in just a few minutes, the scene was filled with sympathisers and immediately the road was blocked to prevent commuters from plying the road.

The Deputy Chairman, Tanker Drivers Association, Kaduna State, Malam Musa Danazumi, told NAN that the road was blocked to draw the attention of security agencies and government officials.

“We decided to block the road to seek for justice for our colleague who was killed for no reason by police officers who were supposed to protect us from harm.

“We insisted that no vehicle will move until Gov Nasir El-Rufai or the state’s Commissioner of Police come to the scene and give us his words to bring the culprit to book,” Danazumi said.

It took the efforts of Col. I. B. Gambari, the officer-in-charge of operations along the expressway to calm the situation and convince the transport union officials to open the road.

Gambari promised the union officials that he would assist to ensure that the incident was documented and police authorities take necessary action.

The union allowed the road to be cleared at around 11:10 am.

This was after agreeing to hand over the corpse of the deceased to his family for burial, while Gambari and the union officials would see the commissioner of police for necessary action.

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