Abdullahi Hassan, Zaria
The authorities of the Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria, has given details about the circumstance that led to the death of Precious Asso, who was killed by a phone thief last month.
The 22-year-old 100 level student of Veterinary Medicine who hailed from Benue State was found in a gutter around 8pm on February 16, at 147 Nuhu Bayero Street, Area F Staff Quarters, ABU main campus.
Chief Security Officer of ABU, Colonel Jibrin Tukur (rtd), said there were indications to suggest that she died as a result of suffocation and maltreatment in the hand of the killer, who stole her two phones.
He said the late student reside off-campus with her sister.
Tukur said on the fateful day, she left home in the evening to read at the faculty with other students. While on her way, a young man on motorcycle stopped and offered her a ride to the campus, unknown to her that the boy was a thief, who wanted to steal her phones- Sony Express and Techno.
Initially, Precious declined the offer but her sister persuaded her to join him. As they approached the university gymnasium which is a lonely area, the boy stopped and attacked her, collected the two handsets and took off leaving her unconscious.
A medical doctor working with a private hospital, who was passing by saw Precious in the gutter in critical condition and rushed her to a nearby private hospital. ` Unfortunately, after arrival at the hospital, Precious gave up.
“The doctor observed that Precious was assaulted by the killer because there were signs on her body. It was suspected that both struggled before the thief overpowered her and made away with her phones,’’ Turku said.
He said when the sad news reached the Vice Chancellor, he directed detectives to commence investigation by tracking the number of the handset which was successful carried out and later a suspect, Magaji Nasiru, 40, who lived at Anguwan Banzazzau , Zaria City was arrested.
“We recovered a Tecno handset from him belonging to the late Precious, while her Sony Express phone was sold to a vendor according to Nasiru. He confessed to have assaulted Precious and stole the two handsets but denid killing her,’’ he disclosed.
He said the management of the institution had directed the medical department to carry out an autopsy to establish the cause of death but her parent rejected the idea and took the corpse to Benue for burial.
“Nasiru is awaiting trail, we can only charged him with armed robbery and confiscation of property, certainly we have lost the homicide angle at the moment,’’ he said.
According to him, Nasiru specialised in stealing of handsets and other electronic items and operates in the nights.
The chief security officer said the VC has set up a legal committee to ensure that the accused person is punished for his offence to serve as deterrent to others.
Reacting to the incident, a students union leader, Yushu’a Iliya said: “We followed up the case and discovered that there was security lapse on the part of the management; as such, we urge the ABU security unit to introduce a one-on-one screening on anybody entering the university in the evening.’’
According to him, Precious would not have been killed by the suspect if security had screened Nasiru before entering the campus.
“The union is monitoring the matter to ensure that the suspect is punished. We can not afford to be losing our colleagues to some criminals,’’ Iliyasu maintained.
A friend of Precious, Jummai Yohana, said she was an innocent girl who did not deserved to die. “She wanted to fulfill her dream, desire and ambition of becoming a Veterinary doctor,’’ she said.
Yohana said Precious was a victim of a thief who killed to take her phones.
“We are studying medicine together and always reading in the faculty library, but that day she was coming to meet me at the faculty at 8pm. I didn’t see her, I tried her number several times but there was no response until in the morning when I was told that she was killed by phone thief.’’
She described Precious as intelligent, humble, religious and committed to learning and appealed to the police to ensure justice is served on Nasiru.
Kaduna State Police Public Relations Officer, ASP Hussaini Aliyu, confirmed the incident .
“We are still investigating the matter with the support of ABU security and the suspect would soon be arraign,” he assured.