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Protest as DSS operative ‘kills’ fashion designer in Abuja

Officers of the Federal Capital Territory Police Command, on Thursday night, quelled a violent protest that erupted following the alleged killing of a fashion designer by an operative of the Department of State Services who shot intermittently and injured several people.

According to a report by PUNCH, it was gathered that a customer brought the DSS official to the victim’s shop for allegedly failing to deliver some clothes on an agreed date.

A trader in the market, who did not want her name in print for fear of being victimised, said some of the fashion designer’s colleagues, who learnt about the incident, intervened but their interference did not go down well with the DSS operative.

She noted that the operative was arrested and detained by the police after he allegedly shot and killed the fashion designer.

“A female customer of the fashion designer brought the DSS. She said the fashion designer did not sew her clothes. Her colleagues joined and defended her. The issue led to a serious argument.

“We later heard a gunshot and learnt that the fashion designer had been killed and another injured. The DSS operative was arrested and detained at Wuse Market Police Station. That is where all our people are now,” the trader said.

Responding to the development in a statement on Thursday, the spokesperson for the FCT Police Command, SP Josephine Adeh said, “In an incident at Garki International Market on September 7, 2023, an altercation arose between market occupants and certain individuals, including a DSS personnel and a tailor named Muhammad Habibu. The Garki Divisional Police station mobilised officers in response to a received distress call reporting the invasion of the market by these individuals, who fired shots at a tailor known as Mubarak Mubarak.

“This incident led to some of the local youths reacting angrily and attempting to confront the DSS personnel involved. In response, the police intervened to rescue the individuals and protect public safety. During the incident, there was damage to a section of the Police outpost as some of the irate youths acted in a disorderly manner. It is important to note that some weapons used in the commotion have been recovered, and normalcy has now been restored.

“The Commissioner of Police, FCT, Haruna Garba, emphasises the commitment to maintaining peace and respecting the rights of all citizens within the FCT. He encourages market occupants to also refrain from engaging in mischief involving public property, especially that which belongs to the security agencies in place to safeguard their well-being. Additionally, he urges the public to utilise the police emergency lines 08061581938,07057337653, 08028940883, for assistance when needed.”

However, in a statement on Thursday, the spokesperson for the DSS, Peter Afunanya, said the secret police was investigating the matter.

“The attention of the Department of State Services has been drawn to an incident that occurred a few hours ago between its staff and a mob at the Garki Market, Abuja. Information at the disposal of the Service was that its FCT Command responded to an SOS from their field operatives who allegedly came under a mob attack in the said market.

“Consequently, the Service has commenced an investigation into the matter. The public is assured that details of the inquiries will be communicated as soon as possible. The Service assures that it will not hesitate to mete out a proper disciplinary measure(s) to its staff if found culpable or running foul of the Standard Operating Procedures on dealing with a member of the public.”

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