Grief descended on soldiers stationed in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State capital on Monday night, when a soldier shot and killed his colleague.
The suspect was identified as Lance Corporal Muazu (surname withheld) of the 423 Battalion, Elele Barracks, while the dead soldier was identified as Staff Sergeant Ishiaku Shuaibu.
The incident, which occurred at the military check point at the Bayelsa Government House back gate, Onopa, threw the area into pandemonium as residents feared the killer-soldier could shoot more people. Checks indicated that Muazu, who was on mufti had just returned from Elele Barracks, where he went to collect his duty allowances and was involved in an argument with Shuaibu.
Investigations revealed that the absence of two of their colleagues, who had left their duty post to attend to personal matters, gave Muazu the opportunity to snatch Shuaibu’s service rifle and shoot him.
Realising that he had killed the Staff Sergeant, the suspect stopped a tricycle popularly known as Keke NAPEP and headed towards the Hospital road.
According to eyewitness account, the victim was shot at close range and he died before help could reach him, adding that the gunshot attracted policemen, who were on duty at the Government House Banquet Hall, venue of the 2014 Legal Year Dinner.
“The sound of the gunshots attracted the policemen on duty at the Banquet hall, who later intercepted and stopped the tricycle. The policemen initially, did not know the shots killed the soldier until the bloodied body of the soldier was found at his duty post and the fleeing soldier was immediately arrested,” the witness said.
The suspect was later moved to the Bayelsa Police Area Command and after preliminary investigations he was released to the Joint Military Task Force, for further interrogation by the Military Police at the JTF headquarters.
The media coordinator of the JTF, Lt. Col Mustapha Anka, who confirmed the incident described it as unfortunate and assured that investigation had commenced to ascertain the circumstances that led to the shooting.