Posted by News Express | 3 January 2017 | 6,944 times
A soldier identified as Corporal Muritala Ibrahim on Monday battered the Chief Imam of Federal Prison, Ile-Ife in Osun State, Malam Muritala Akanbi Tadese, as the crises rocking the Jama’at Ta’awunnil Muslimeen Islamic movement became messier.
The soldier, who is serving in Maiduguri, Borno State, was said to have come as bodyguard of the factional President of the organisation, Malam Daood Molaasan, to the venue of a reconciliation meeting held at the Islahudeen Government Middle School, Oke-Afo in Iwo, Osun State.
It was gathered that an argument ensued between the two factions of the group during the meeting and the Soldier attacked the Chief Imam of the Ile-Ife Prison with his military belt and battered the Muslim cleric to the extent that the Imam was bleeding from the nose.
The meeting was deadlocked as a result of the incident and the matter was reported at the Divisional Police Headquarters in Iwo. The soldier was arrested by the police and detained for interrogation. The Imam was rushed to hospital for medical treatment.
The Commissioner of Police in the state, Mr Fimihan Adeoye, confirmed the arrest of the soldier over the incident. He said the matter is under investigation.
The CP, who spoke through the Police Public Relations Officer, SP Folasade Odoro, said: “The Osun State Police Command was trying to resolve the crises rocking the Jama’at Ta’awunnil Muslimeen and we were very careful about this matter because religious matters are very sensitive.
“It was the police command advised the parties to meet and resolve the crises amicably among themselves but we were surprised that someone who claimed to be military personnel went there and assaulted one of the Muslim cleric who was part of the meeting.”
“We are trying to establish if the true identity of that Soldier so as to know whether he is a real soldier or not. If he is a real soldier, then, we shall inform the Army authority for necessary actions.”
The factional president of the Jama’at Ta’awunnil Muslimeen, Dr. Shafi’i Abdul Azeez Bello, described the action of the soldier as barbaric. He urged the Nigeria Army and the Army Commission to investigate his action and punish him appropriately so as not to erode the confidence of the citizenry in the Nigeria Army.
Dr. Shafi’i said: “It was very unfortunate that someone that is in best position to protect us as citizens of this country could harass assault, brutalised and battered an Imam like a common criminal or like a worthless fowl. We urge the Army authority in this country to investigate this matter dispassionately and punish this soldier appropriately so as to prevent the reoccurrence of such ugly experience.”
But Malam Molaasan said it was not the soldier that battered the Imam, claiming that the cleric sustained the injury when a fight ensued at the meeting. He said the soldier only dealt with the person that attempted to fight him.
“They (Dr. Shafi’I faction) also brought their security men. One of the security men from their side attempted to fight the soldier. The soldier whipped him just twice. Then, the Imam started recording what happened with his phone and he was prevented from recording it. The soldier was not the one that attacked the imam. We were also surprised to see blood coming out from his nose,” he said.
Meanwhile, the State Governor, Ogeni Rauf Aregbesola, has set up a committee to resolve the matter and ensure peace among the members of the organisation. The reconciliation committee set up by the governor is headed by Amir Hajj in the state, Malam Sikirulah Hassan.
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