17-year-old boy falsely accused of stealing iPhone 7 allegedlly dies after being tortured by Task Force in Adamawa

Abdullahi Tukur Abba, a 17-year-old student, died as a result of alleged torture by security forces associated with Operation Farauta in Yola, Adamawa State.

Abba was detained on August 5, 2023, while taking his SSCE, after a neighbor reported him to the task force for allegedly swiping his iPhone 7.

Abdullahi died on Wednesday, August 9 at the Modibbo Adama University Teaching Hospital in Yola after allegedly being beaten into a coma by the task force.

Abdullahi passed away after four days in a coma, according to Barrister Abubakar Hamman Diram, a lawyer for the deceased’s family who confirmed the occurrence.

“A mobile phone was stolen in the neighbourhood and a boy claimed that he took the phone and gave it to Abdullahi. But he (Abdullahi) swore that he knew nothing about it and advised that tracking technology should be used to trace the phone, so the person holding it could explain where he got it from. Yet he was tortured until he became unconscious and consequently died today (Wednesday) at the ICU unit of the teaching hospital in Yola,” the lawyer said.

Barrister Diram had on August 7 filed a petition to the Adamawa State Commissioner of Police, copies of which were sent to the National Human Rights Commission and the Officer in Charge of Operation Farauta, seeking justice for Abdullahi who was still lying in a coma.

The deceased father, Dr Tukur Abba said he would file a court case against the people who lodged the complaint with Operation Farauta as well as those who caused his son’s death.

“The task force often derails from its assignment of fighting robbery, banditry and activities of thugs to entertaining civil and criminal cases. In the process, they end up trampling on the rights of people”, said a resident who did not want his name revealed.

Spokesman of the State Police Command, DSP Sulaiman Nguroje, confirmed the incident.

According to him, investigation has commenced into the case and would ensure justice prevail.

Operation Farauta, led by the military, comprises soldiers, police, operatives of the Directorate of State Security (DSS) and the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC).

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