Abuja — As public outrage over the killing of 10 squatters in a compound believed to be owned by a serving General in the Nigerian Army grows, soldiers and other security agents, who carried out the attack, as well as residents, have fled the area.
This is just as the Senate has ordered a probe into the killings while the National Human Rights Commission, NHRC, has also set up a panel to investigate the incident.
When Vanguard visited the area, behind Zone E district of the Apo Legislative Quarters, neither the residents nor the soldiers who ransacked the area last Friday, were seen in the compound.
But one of the residents of the area, Mallam Aminu Yusuf , who volunteered to speak to Vanguard about 300 metres away from the scene of the attack, explained that the residents had to run away to save themselves from further onslaught by soldiers and men of the Department of State Services, DSS.
Yusuf said that since the attack took them unawares, they were forced to retreat from the neighbourhood until the security situation improves.
He said: "The way things are going in the area, where our brothers were slaughtered like chicken, the situation calls for caution. We had to run away from the area to protect our dear lives."
Pointing to no fewer than 50 huts, which were hitherto used by itinerant traders and artisans, who were killed by the security forces last Friday, Yusuf lamented that the blood of the slain men had forced them to flee.
He said: "This place is where the tea sellers, commercial motorcyclists, and suya meat sellers used to stay and do their business before they were shot but now nobody is here again.
"The rampaging soldiers killed some of us and left many others in the hospital and the agony of their murder is still rising in the community. That is why the lucky ones among them had to run away."
A combined team of soldiers backing DSS operatives launched an early morning raid on the Apo neighbourhood and killed artisans, who they labeled Boko Haram terrorists.
No fewer than 17 others were rushed to Asokoro General Hospital. One of the wounded died on Monday morning bringing the number of deaths to 10.
Senate probes killing
Meanwhile, the Senate yesterday, mandated its Committees on National Security and Intelligence, Legal Matters, Judiciary and Human Rights to investigate the killing just as National Human Right Commission, expressed its determination to get to the root of events that culminated in the shooting of the victims.
While referring the motion to the appropriate committees, Senate President, Senator David Mark, said that the relevant committees should unravel what led to the killings, adding that there were three issues already playing up that needed to be investigated.
The committees were mandated to investigate and report within two weeks, whether what happened was an act of terrorism as alleged by the security agencies and whether it was extra-judicial killing or the reason behind the incident.
Mark, however, said that the Senate condemned any act of terrorism and extra-judicial killing in the country.
The resolution by the senate to investigate the killing of the 10 persons which the DSS alleged were members of Boko Haram, came after Senator Sahabi Ya'au had in a motion on point of order, alleged that security forces on the said date killed innocent people they were supposed to protect.
Senator Ya'au of All Progressives Congress, who represents Zamfara North had in the motion, noted with dismay the shooting that occurred in an uncompleted building on Soji Aderemi Close, Bamanga Tukur Street of the Apo Legislative Quarters, Abuja.
NHRC sets up panel
Also, the National Human Right Commission, has said it was determined to get to the root of the killings. Consequently, the commission has constituted a high-powered investigative panel, with a mandate to unravel the true identities of the victims and those currently in custody of DSS.
Director, Public Affairs and Communications Department at the NHRC, Mr Muhammad Ladan, in a telephone interview with Vanguard yesterday, said the commission would not rest on its oars until it uncovers the truth about the shootings.