Tuesday, 29 May 2012

The Untold Story of The Murder of a Bureau de Change Opreator at Apapa

PERHAPS, if three of the hospitals, the 35-year-old bureau de change operator, Ali Sani, who was attacked and fatally wounded by a Lebanese national in an hotel in Apapa area of Lagos State, had offered him first aid treatment, he would have lived today to give account of the incident.
Ali Sani was lured into the hotel by the Lebanese, Bilal Fahs, 23, and his colleagues in crime, on the pretext of changing a large sum of foreign currency for them. Rather than exchange currency with him, they turned round to attack him with dangerous weapons.
The operator who was bleeding profusely from the gaping wounds inflicted on him by his attackers, could not live after he was rushed to three hospitals by his colleagues for treatment. However, instead of offering the medical assistance, the hospitals insisted on a police report and down payment of about N2.5million.
Accounting for efforts they made to save the life of the operator, Chairman of the Bureau-De-Change Operators Association, Mallam Garba Kano, said that Ali was rushed to three hospitals where he was rejected. He said: “When I got wind of the report, I alerted the DPO Apapa who immediately rushed there with his men. But for him, the suspects would have escaped. We first rushed Ali to an hospital where he was rejected.
*Sani struggling for life in the hospital before he gave up the ghost
Demand for N2.5m deposit
We later took him to Apapa Health Centre where, again, he was rejected. We took him to one other hospital where the same thing happened. By then Ali was no longer talking. He was in coma. We then rushed him to Lagoon Hospital where he was accepted and we were asked to pay N2.5 million as deposit. But we were able to deposit N750,000 before treatment commenced. Unfortunately he died hours later.”
Giving more insight into the circumstances that resulted in the death of Ali, Mallam Garba said: ”It was not as if Ali went to meet the Lebanese just like that. His telephone number was given to the Lebanese by someone he knew very well at a supermarket.”
Garba lamented that members of his association had been under incessant attacks from criminals who hide under different guises not only to unleash mayhem but also to kill and make away with their huge sums of money.
He added: “In the past, gun wielding men would storm the area, shooting my members and making away with their monies in naira and foreign currencies. Sometimes, robbers would pose as bank customers, asking my members to meet them at the bank. But on reaching the bank, the operator would be attacked and dispossessed of his money. Some of my  members ended up losing their lives . So far, four of them have lost their lives.”
Another member of the association, Mohammed Lawal, who accompanied the deceased to the hotel told Crime Alert: “When the Lebanese informed him that he would send his driver to come and pick him to the hotel where he lodged, he told me to follow him secretly behind.
They drove in a Toyota Camry car. When they arrived the hotel, I hid outside. I waited for my friend to come outside but he did not and that made me suspicious. I dialed his number but there was no response. Not long thereafter, I saw one white man with blood stain all over his body.
He wanted to escape but the security guards started shouting for help. The shouts alerted other people in the hotel. And that was what made me call our chairman and my other colleagues that they should help call the police.
Then, I approached the hotel gate and started hauling stones at the white man and shouting at the same time. In the process, I managed to grab him. When we followed him to the room he lodged in, I saw my friend in a pool of his own blood and when the policemen conducted a search of the hotel room, they found two other persons.”
One of the suspected killers of the operator, a Lebanese, who is currently being detained at the Special Anti-Robbery Squad, SARS, Ikeja Lagos, told Crime Alert: “Penultimate Friday, April 27, 2012, I can’t really tell what I was actually doing when my friend came to me and told me that he had a plan that could change our current status and turn us into billionaires and make us join our peers in Apapa.
He brought out a bank cheque of N9 million and showed me. He said there was this bureau de change operator he knew in Apapa that could provide us with the value in dollars but when he comes, we would hack him to death. We perfected the plan and even hired a taxi driver that will bring him to my hotel.
I gave the taxi driver the phone number of the Bureau de change operator, I don’t know how he did it but the next thing I saw the taxi driver and the bureau de change operator. They came to the hotel where I was lodged and I asked the taxi driver to remain outside while I transact business with the guy.
But before then, Hassan had arranged for one Muhammad who works with his father to bring the killing instrument and he hid in the bathroom inside the room where I was lodged. When Sani got in, he wasn’t aware of what was happening. First, he brought out the money, $50,000 and handed it over to me.
“The plan was that Muhammed who was hiding inside the bathroom would attack Sani from behind with a weapon and hack him to death. The moment he did that, Sani screamed painfully and Muhammed started stabbing him and when he was doing that.
I prepared myself and I and Muhammad left when he was done. I didn’t know that one of the female hotel attendants heard Sani’s scream when he was being stabbed and she started shouting that I have killed someone. A police guard who was at the hotel quickly grabbed the bag I was carrying and held me.
I wrestled myself out from him and I pulled out a knife and threatened that I would kill anyone who attempted to hold me. I stabbed myself once but they were all undeterred by that action and they started beating me. They hit me with woods and iron.
After a while, the police officer held me and took me to the police station at Apapa. But currently, I don’t know where Hassan is, I learnt he and his father have ran away. I was mislead. I wish I could get a second chance, I would correct my mistake.”

No comments:

Post a Comment