Friday | True Life Issues with ‘Seun Oni
How Usman kidnapped, nearly strangled partner over N1million contract in Jigawa
Daily Courier – How I Left Lagos for Jigawa, attempted to be killed in Taura LGA, seek justice in Kano at a Magistrate Court and Nigeria happened to me eventually
• How it all began
My name is Eludire Isaac and this is a true life story of how I escaped death in Jigawa. I was kidnapped, attempted to be strangled, lost #960,000 all to someone I called a business partner and how Nigeria’s justice system failed me.
This true life story happened in Sabon Gari yaya of Taura Local Government Area of Jigawa, between me, Alhajiji Usman, Hussein Alhassan and Abubakar Zangina (Manager Nushe Filling Station, Sabon Gari Yaya).
Please read till the end as it’s really going to be worth your time and I will need your help to seek justice. I’m not falling into depression yet, thank God for the few amazing friends around me, before I cross the thin line between sanity and depression I need to come out and let this out.
On the 11th July, 2021, I made a business trip to Jigawa, of course after weeks of discussion and deliberations with my so called business partner in Jigawa state, Taura Local Government to be precised and Sabon Gari yaya town in this local government is where Usman Alhajiji stays.
I have been in business with Usman for about 4 months and we have shared so much together as regards agro business and he knows how well I’m involved in it. I have been in agricultural business since 2019 and have done several deliveries to companies across the country, ranging from Corn, Soyabeans, Paddy Rice and even Cashew. I have a registered company under Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) and functions as a company with team members.
Around June 2021, I needed Paddy rice and I was told I can get it in Jigawa at a very good price, I remembered that Usman is from Jigawa so I called him up. He attested to the fact that it’s surplus in Jigawa and also told me I can get it at his village.
• My first trip to Jigawa
On 11th of July, I set out for Jigawa and got to Gunjugun to lodge before I was told that Gumel will be a better place for me to get a good hotel. I called Usman and notified him of my arrival in Jigawa and planned to meet the second day, which is Monday.
I met Usman on Monday, he took me to his house, I met his wife, kids and relatives and also met his brother, Abubakar Zangina who is the manager of Nushe Filling Station in the town.
Usman called on the farmers who have rice and we went to check it. I intended to buy 50 bags for a start and the farmers made the paddy rice available. Some brought 10 bags, some 5 and some 20. The rice were stored at Usman’s house and it took us 5 days before we gathered the rice and got it ready for delivery.
Zangina Abubakar, Usman’s brother and manager of the filling station was the person I transferred the money to and he was the one giving us cash to pay the farmers. Usman told me that Zangina is his brother and business partner and that if I don’t see him, I can see his brother. In fact, on some days, Usman used his brother’s car to convey me back to my hotel at Gumel. I was supposed to make the paddy rice delivery to Kano but my contact in Kano was not reachable, so Usman offered to make the delivery to a company in Hadejia which happens to be a company his uncle (who he said is a member of Jigawa State House Of Assembly) uses in delivering paddy rice, the uncle is also into cow and goat business.
He called the uncle and he linked us up to the closest person, Alhaji Abubakar in the town that can help us with the delivery because he (the uncle) was not in town. Alhaji Abubakar also happens to be a politician and also a contractor.
Alhaji Abubakar was going to make a-50 bag delivery also, so we joined the goods together to make it 100 bags. The goods were not delivered until 19th July when I got the weighbridge certificate of the goods so that I can calculate my money since it will be a 50/50 division. I dropped my measuring scale in Usman house hoping to either come back or send someone to come back and help me purchase more since the business was profitable by my calculations. I left Jigawa on 20th July which was a festive holiday for the Muslims and I went back to my base hoping to get paid before the week runs out or early the following week as public holidays on Tuesday to Thursday could delay the payment. However, I kept in touch with Usman to confirm the status of my money which is about 1 million naira.
That week went by, no positive update and the following week was running out and no update, so I decided to travel back and confirm things myself. One of the excuses he gave for the delay was that Alhaji Abubakar is making a new delivery and the man is waiting for the goods to reach about 600 bags so that they can pay him the money together and not just 100 bags. I was obviously not buying that excuse any longer so I told him I was coming back.
• My trip to Kano
On the 31st July, I was in Kano where he said we can go and meet the Alhaji Abubakar so that I can collect my money or tell the Alhaji to pay me off and wait for the company to settle him later since he was the one who has direct access to the company and we already know how much my own money is by the weighbridge certificate. So, I can be paid and he (the Alhaji) can wait on the company. That was the plan and reason I needed to see the man and Usman promised to set that up.
Getting to Kano, I called one of my partners to intimate him about the development and for him to follow me to see the Alhaji. I could not see Usman until 1st August because I entered Kano late on 31st. Usman entered Kano around 9pm and met me with the other partner of mine in Kano and he drove us to one house where he claimed the man lives. We got there and we were told that the “acclaimed” man was not around and that he slept in Jigawa that day.
Usman decided to head back to Jigawa that night and I stayed in Kano with the arrangement that the man will be in Sabon Gari Yaya the following day which is 2nd August, Kano is about 1hour drive from Sabon Gari Yaya if you board car from Yankaba park. That night Usman drove back to Jigawa. I was even scared for him because it’s late at night and I had to call him around 12midnight to confirm if he got to Sabon Gari yaya safely which he told me “yes”.
2nd August, I traveled from Kano to Sabon Gari Yaya, of course with no fears but only focused on retrieving my money because it’s now up to 2weeks, so I needed to see the so-called Alhaji Abubakar and collect my money. I got to Usman’s house, met his son, wife and relatives and we exchanged pleasantries. Now, a recall: before I traveled back to claim the money I instructed Usman to send me the Alhaji’s number and he sent me a number that was not going through and the excuse he gave for that was that the man (Alhaji Abubakar) is a politician and might switch off his phone because of bla bla bla.
So, on that 2nd August, he went about looking for the man’s number that is going through before he told me towards the afternoon that he was able to speak with the Alhaji’s manager (the Alhaji also has a filling station in Ringim, a town just before Taura LGA) and the manager told him that Alhaji Abubakar will be in town by evening so I had to wait till evening (apparently that’s not the first time I’m staying that late in their town and not the first time I’m dealing with Usman at night, in fact there was a time myself and the Usman were together for up to 3days on the road traveling together).
• A Rope On My Neck
Around 8pm, we set out to see Alhaji and Usman actually got a car and drove us. Just to note, that was not the first time he would get a car to drive me around so that we can spend less on transportation. During my first weeks(July) in Jigawa, he got a car to drive me to Gumel where I lodge because most times sourcing for the paddy rice could make me stay in Sabon Gari Yaya till night. So, he usually drives me to Gumel even late at night.
On getting to where we were supposed to meet the man, we were told he left already. I was so angry, devastated and felt like blaming the Usman all for what happened, I cringed but I kept all these anger to myself because I don’t want to discourage him to help me get the Alhaji so the idea was to get the person that can get us the Alhaji’s number.
Around 9pm, I called a friend to explain all that was happening to him. Around 10:30pm, my friend in Kano called me to confirm if I’m still coming to Kano that night and I told him yes, obviously because I know the town to Kano is about an hour and also Usman promised to drive me back to Kano no matter how late it will be and also I know if I can get the Alhaji’s number that is connecting or if I can see the Alhaji that night, all my worries will be gone. So, I kept on pestering Usman to speed up the process of either seeing the man or getting his contact that is connecting. Around 11pm, he called someone and that person described who can get us the number so we set out to meet the person.
The road that leads to this person’s house was a bit messed up and I told Usman that we should go back and come back the following day because if the car enters the muddy road and the tyres get stucked, we won’t get help that night and more so, he seems so confused about the road also. He suggested picking someone that knows the road well. So, we drove back and picked a man called Alhassan Hussein who entered the car and sat at the back. I was beside the driver (Usman).
We drove for about 30 mins before we eventually got to a place where it seems we have gotten to the man who will help us with getting the Alhaji. Usman and Alhassan left the car to meet this man and collected Alhaji’s number, I felt so tired, the only thing in my stomach that day was the energy drink that Usman bought for me.
It was already getting to 12 midnight but I was happy we finally got a step closer to solving all these. So, I unconsciously took a nap but I made sure I closed and locked the car door behind me, wound down the car window beside me but I locked the door. My phone was between my laps and I stretched back my seat just to have a good posture of catching a short nap.
Few minutes into my nap, I heard Usman and Alhassan back and I can tell that they didn’t know I locked the back door so I stretched my hand to help them open the door and in a split of seconds I felt a rope on my neck, I looked up and saw Usman trying so hard to strangle me.
My life flashed in my eyes, late in the middle of the night, in a silent bush, with two people whose minds were made up. You can imagine how helpless I was. I witnessed how someone you trust can in a jiffy turn to be the reason for your death, it was such a scary and horrible scene that still keeps tormenting me.
Alhassan was behind me also, I tried wrestling the rope with Usman and that was when I heard him telling Alhassan in Hausa to hold my legs. Before Alhassan could turn and reach the front seat, I don’t know how I wrestled the Usman and I took off the rope on my neck, boom I was off the car and running inside the bush aimlessly. I lost my medicated eye glasses and my phone in the process.
• How I survived the gruesome night
After running for about 15 mins inside an unknown bush, I eventually climbed a tree and stayed there but to my surprise I started seeing flashes of touch light from different directions searching for me in the bush, from my East and West. I stayed put on the tree, observing the direction of the passing vehicles at night and also calculating how close I was to the road.
For a minute, their search light was just beside the tree I climbed. I could hear their footsteps. I became so scared that I wanted to jump and start running again but a voice I later believed could only come from God whispered to me to stay put, it was not easy to obey the voice but I did.
All through the night, I was on the tree inside the cold and paying attention to every detail of what was going on around me.
• My disguised escape
At about 5:30am I noticed they left because I could not see the flash of torch and I could track the time because of the Muslim prayer call. When it was dawn at about 6:15am when I could read my wrist watch, I left the tree and went straight for the road where I boarded a bike to Gumel. I had to pay the bike man triple the normal fare because I needed to escape from that village.
Getting to Gumel, I went straight to the place I used to eat during my first week in the town and I met the woman who saw how messed up my clothes and look were. She took me to meet a Yoruba man in the town so that I can explain my ordeal. I met the man and I narrated my story, he gave me his phone which I used to contact my close friends and sister, oh less I forget, I found it difficult to trust them when I called but I just have to trust someone.
I got a small phone after money was sent to me, luckily enough for me I still had my ATM with me. I changed my look, bought a new cloth, trouser and sun shade with a cap just to disguise myself from the town and about 4pm I escaped to Kano and I could not return to my friend’s house that day because I found it very difficult to trust even him, but thank God he also understands I needed to cool my head and think the whole scenario through.
• Police involvement
On 4th August, I finally decided to go back to my friend’s place and explained everything to him. By 5th of August I was able to make it to Police state headquarters at Bompai in Kano, I wrote to the commissioner of police who later directed me to Assistant Inspector General of Police (Zonal Headquarters Zone 1 BUK road, Kano) from there, the case was attached to two IPO and they started the process of arresting the culprit (Usman) and Alhassan (his accomplice). After a month of reporting the incident and spending money (you know nau) from filing, tracking, logistics, welfare bla bla bla.
5th October, 2021 was when the police made the arrest. The police were able to pick the accomplice (Alhassan) as Usman was already on the run. We were told he left the town weeks ago and never came back, the brother (Zangina Abubakar, the manager of the Nushe Filling Station) who I sent the money to his account was arrested since the tracking proved that he was in constant communication with Usman and also Usman has already said they were working together. They (Alhassan and Zangina) were both picked at Sabon Gari Yaya and transported to Police Zonal Headquarters Zone 1 in Kano. Something to note; Alhassan confessed the incident to the IPO just like I told them in my statement, he confessed everything in my statement.
I was even told to feed them that night they spent in detention which I did (I was told it’s the normal thing to do actually). On 6th October, Zangina and Alhassan faced the Deputy Commissioner of Police where Zangina made it known to the DCP that Usman was an ex-police officer who was dismissed from the service because of bad behaviors and he is in Abuja to work his way back into the Police system.
• Alhassan charged to court
Alhassan was charged to court on 4 count charges, including attempted murder (Culpable Homicide), breach of trust, kidnapping.
Zangina was released and told to produce his brother within one week. He was released with guarantors, they promised to pay me back my money which is #960,000 and also pay for my lost phone, medicated glasses, my measuring scale and whatever I lost in the process, I was told I will be compensated and the DCP really do felt my pain, agony, ordeal, he was so sympathetic about it and could not believe one of “our people” can do this. He also condemned the act and promised to see to it that I get justice. I was happy to hear those encouraging words and I was believing all will be well.
The court case was attached to a prosecutor named Shu’aibu Musa and to a Magistrate Court at Gidan Murtala precisely Court 60 in Kano. The case started and Alhassan (the accomplice) used his mouth to confess all that he did with Usman, the Magistrate was furious at the act done against me owing to the fact that I meant no harm to either of them, only came to do business and trusted them to handle it for me. He was sentenced to remand for 1 month and told the police to produce Usman.
November 2021 made it a month, the family of Usman sent a representative to the Police Zonal Headquarters, Zone 1 BUK road through someone that I was told is a personal aide to the formal Assistant Inspector General (AIG) in that zone and he delivered #500,000 to the Police and told them they will bring the remaining money and my damages.
The court demanded 10% of the money through the prosecutor attached to the case, his name is Shu’aibu. I paid them and also settled him (the prosecutor) and the registrar and some other guys in the court. The prosecutor told me to write down and quantify what I lost including my bank interest on the money and my Return On Investment (ROI) within the time this case happened that I will be paid in full. I quantified it, gave it to him and I was told they will press for it that I should not worry.
I started spending money on the case, traveling almost twice a month and also on some other expenses because I was promised my money will be recovered in full and all spent on the case will be paid and my damages will be claimed and overall, Usman will be arrested and face the wrath of the law.
December came, Usman was not apprehended, only for me to hear that Alhassan (accomplice) has been released and my prosecutor knew about it and didn’t even bother to inform me. All of a sudden, Alhassan and the prosecutor became so close that I can’t even differentiate if the prosecutor is working for me or with Alhassan.
Before December, the family of Usman brought in another #200,000 and that was how they started paying this money in pieces like #50,000 and I have to travel down to Kano everytime the case is supposed to be heard. Now, I barely survive because I have been out of business since last August and even suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
January 2022, the same story of adjournment set in, Usman was nowhere to be found, the prosecutor doesn’t even pick my calls most time again, my damages no longer a discussion again, they stopped talking about the balance of the main money, instead it has been adjournment upon adjournment knowing fully well I travel a long distance to Kano whenever the case is to be heard. It’s either the Magistrate is not sitting, the prosecutor is not around or another story altogether and I have to risk my life, spend money to travel and still get this disappointment or the other.
So, I looked at it and told myself in January the Magistrate was not around, February the prosecutor told me he is not around because the court did not notify him of the sitting after I called him and told him myself of the sitting, March the accomplice was not around and the prosecutor is still saying the Court didn’t notify him of the sitting (after I called and told him myself ooo), he came eventually but the accomplice was not around so the case was adjourned again.
• Where is lady justice?
At this point, I studied the chain of events since December when this adjournment became so pronounced and said to myself this will keep on like this till I’m tired of coming for the case, so I would lose my business money, money spent on the case, damages and an attempted murder on my life by someone at large will just all slide like that? Is that the country I was born into? Is that what has been happening to numerous Nigerians that didn’t voice out? What is the fate of Usman’s next victim? Is Usman close to another person’s life as we speak? What went wrong in this justice system I was following gently? What is the fate of my business that I have been building since 2019?
Where will I pick it from? Family and friends looking up to me, Banks and ROI staring at me even in my dream. What can I do? So that’s why I’m here in the media to seek help from well meaning Nigerians to help me with this case and help my mental health.
I’m at the verge of losing everything!!! like, everything including my sanity!!!
The truth is, I still have so much zeal and ambition to keep fighting for my right… I can’t go and do business and almost lost my life, lost my money, still risking my life and just walk away like that… I lost everything!!! All the years of my labor, all the sweat, all the prayers… I just don’t know how to bring myself down to believe I will just lose everything.
Oh, I have not crossed the thin line between sanity and depression but if this continues, I don’t think I won’t cross the line. I’m only surviving on God’s HOPE to see me through. I love my business and how I have been pushing hard to excel in it, everyday I see opportunities pass me by to make money and here am I battling with how to survive this case and be on my feet again. I’m not lazy, I work daily to build this my company and just help others to rise while working with me. Now I’m facing the reality of our justice system that is crippling me and maybe about sending me to an early depression state and I need to voice this out now!
Please, if you know any human right activist, lawyer, individual that can help me with this case, I need all the help I can get… Bank interest rates keep growing daily on my neck, individual money investment also on my neck and very soon I might not be able to breath. Please, I need all the help you can render.
NB: I have pictures, videos and audio evidence to ascertain everything said so far.
[You can reach me via firstname.lastname@example.org or call 08037998398 True Life Issues with ‘Seun Oni]