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