Soldiers attached to the Special Task Force, Sector 7, Sha District, in the Bokkos Local Government Area of Plateau State, have been accused of torturing an 18-year-old secondary school-leaver, Amadu Atajan, to death over a stolen phone.
The deceased who died on Wednesday from internal injuries he sustained in the hands of the soldiers, was assaulted after his friend reported a case of a stolen phone to the men sometime last week.
It was gathered that the phone went missing after Atajan who attended his friend’s secondary school graduation in July during which he collected his Android phone to take pictures, gave the phone to another friend of the host who pretended he needed the phone for photos.
However this friend left surreptitiously with the phone while efforts to locate him proved abortive. Atajan on the other hand, pleaded with his friend to give him time so he could raise funds to buy another phone.
Punch Correspondent gathered that Atajan’s friend initially agreed to the plea, but made a U-turn last week and reported the case of stolen phone to the soldiers.They took the 18-year-old to their base and beat him up until he went into a coma.
Akans, who disclosed that the deceased was rushed to the general hospital in the neighbourhood, said;
“About one month ago, his (Atajan’s) close friend invited him to his secondary school graduation. The friend gave him an Android phone which they used to take pictures. Somebody came and begged him to give him the phone so he could use it to snap. He innocently gave him the phone, but the boy disappeared with the phone. They looked for him within the school premises but could not locate him.
“The victim begged his friend that he gave the phone to the boy innocently. He begged the friend that his father would deal with him if he knew about the phone. He asked the friend to give him time to pay for the phone. They agreed on that arrangement.
“All of a sudden last week, the friend reported him to some soldiers at Sector 7 of the Special Task Force, who invited him. He told them that he never knew the boy would flee with the phone and that he had pleaded with his friend to give him time.”
“Before he died, he narrated how he was tortured. He said, the soldiers hanged him upside down and tied his hands to his back. They beat him with iron rods and sticks.
“He collapsed and was rushed to Bokkos General Hospital. He was revived at the hospital but after three days, his condition worsened. It was discovered that he had internal bleeding as a result of the torture. Unfortunately, he passed on on Wednesday. He was 18-year-old; he just finished secondary school.
“This matter must be treated seriously and urgently. Nigerians must not be killed by security agents who are supposed to protect them,” Akans, who is based in Jos, the state capital, added.