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How policemen, Kano officials broke my leg –Trader

Adelani Adepegba, Abuja

A drug dealer at the Sabongari Market in Kano, Emmanuel Augustine, has narrated how some policemen and Kano Hisbah Board officials allegedly assaulted him and broke his leg on Saturday.

Augustine, who said he was at a traditional bone healer’s home, alleged that the policemen also threatened to shoot him.

Trouble started when drug dealers in Sabongari Market, Kano had a confrontation with the police over the closure of the market on the orders of the state government.

Augustine told Northern City News on Sunday that he got to the market and found that the gate to the drugs section had been locked by policemen and Hisbah officials.

The trader said that he saw some of his colleagues planning to protest over the closure of their shops, but did not join them.

He said, “Three days ago, they (state government) brought in the police, Hisbah personnel, the vigilance group and KAROTA and said they should seize every pharmaceutical products coming or going out of the market.

“The traders confronted the police and drove them away. Yesterday, (Saturday) I just came to the shop and suddenly, everyone locked their shops and started running away, but as I was walking away, the Hisbah officials and KAROTA personnel supported by regular policemen descended on me with sticks.

“The policemen cocked their guns and wanted to shoot me. That was when I fainted, but when I regained consciousness, I discovered they had broken my leg. I couldn’t walk  or stand up. I was admitted at the hospital but they said they would operate it, that was why I went to a traditional healing home.”

He claimed that a trader was killed while another one sustained gunshot wounds during the fracas.

“I learnt that one Hausa man died on the spot while another trader was shot, but I don’t know if he died,” he stated.

Recalling how the conflict started, the trader narrated that the former administration of Rabiu Kwankwaso had earlier ordered a relocation of the pharmaceutical section of the Sabongari Market.

He said traders resisted the directive because the government did not provide an alternative place for them to build their shops.

Augustine said that the government had on three occasions seized his goods worth about N5m.

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