By Yemi Akinsuyi, Senator Iroegbu and Adebiyi Adedapo
It took the combined effort of members of Nigerian Police, National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and other security agencies to foil a suicide attempt by a man known as Mr. Musa Inuwa, who alleged to be owed by former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar.
Nuwa had gone to the Federal High Court, Abuja yesterday morning with a documented complaint alleging that he was being owed N15 million by Atiku and subsequently, climbed a mast shortly after his complaint was turned down.
The middle aged man, who unconfirmed reports said hails from Adamawa State, claimed he had executed a construction contract for the said politician but refused to pay him the contract sum.
Reacting, Abubakar’s spokesperson, Garba Shehu, described the man as “mentally derailed, who was out to make money by fraudulent means from the former vice-president.”
In his words: “We honestly suspect that his man is sick. If there is one Nigerian who pays his bill, it is Atiku Abubakar. If the idea of the police climber is to get N15 million from Turaki, this certainly is not the best way to go about it. I will say that the man should be simply ignored. He will climb down when he gets tired of staying up.”
A reliable security source alleged that Inuwa claimed he had written to the high authority in the police and the State Security Service (SSS) to prevail on Atiku to pay the money but without success.
After several failed attempts, Inuwa climbed the mast at about 12 noon and remained there until about 4:55p.m. before he could be persuaded to come down.
He came prepared with a detailed document on the allegation, which it was later learnt was seized by the security agencies.
Initially security guards in the premises had prevented Journalists and other onlookers from gaining entry into the premises in attempt to keep the scene from the public.
The incident eventually attracted passersby and court workers who abandoned their duty posts to watch the man-monkey on top of the mast.
It was Mr. A.A Baba, Chief Superintendent of Police (CSP), the officer in charge of the Criminal Investigation (CIB) at the FCT Police Command who was able to convince him to come down using Hausa language.
Baba pleaded with the man not to take his life as no amount of money was worth dying for.
He said: “We are appealing to your conscience not to throw away your life and that of your family in jeopardy. Nobody is saying that you are not saying the truth but you have to come down alive to stake your claims because if you die who will enjoy the money.”
The officer further pleaded with him that the authorities would investigate the complaint with a view to resolving it.
Speaking after the man came down, the FCT Police Command’s spokesman, Mr Jimoh Moshood said the complaint and grievances of the man would be thoroughly investigated.
Asked whether Inuwa had been arrested, Moshood said the man was being taken into custody for protection.
“The next thing is to investigate and actually know what prompted the action (Inuwa’s action) to know the next line of action to take,” he said
Apart from the police, the SSS, Firemen, National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) operatives as well as ambulance of FRSC were deployed to the scene.
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