Zamfara killings: Burnt victims were looters —Police •Two arrested

THE Commissioner of Police in Zamfara State, Mr Adaji Gabriel, has said that he will lead the team to investigate the case of an alleged blasphemy against a student of Talatan Marafa Polytechnic in the state which led to the death of eight people.

The police chief also disclosed that the eight victims were suspected looters of the property of the owner of the house which was attacked

He said two persons were arrested in connection with the incident.

Speaking at a news conference in Gusau, the police chief disclosed that the embattled student was not dead as being insinuated.

According to him, he is recuperating from the wounds he sustained in a hospital. “He is safe and is being given adequate protection by the police,” he added.

Gabriel claimed that the eight people that were killed in the house of one Taju had come to loot the house and met their death in the process.

“Before the mob came to his house, he got information that they were coming to set his house ablaze, so, he hurriedly evacuated his family. His wife and children are safe,” the commissioner said.

He said one of the survivors of the mayhem, who is recovering from wounds, gave the names of the eight that died and would assist the police in their investigations as soon as he recovers.

From preliminary findings, the commissioner said, the crisis emanated from a missing toilet soap and resulted in the crisis that caused wanton destruction and loss of lives.

He said the student, from Kogi State, who was alleged to have committed blasphemy, had converted from Islam to Christianity.

“We have arrested his roommates, Haruna and Zubairu. We have equally arrested others but I wouldn’t like to tell you the number now. His roommates are helping the police in their investigations. In fact, because of the nature of the case, I am taking charge.

Some students of the polytechnic had, last week, gone on the rampage on the grounds that a new Christian convert made some blasphemous remarks against Prophet Muhammad.

The accused student escaped lynching.

The man called Taju, who rescued him, was, however, unlucky as his house was burnt down with the eight people in it who have now been identified by the police as looters.