SSS agents on illegal duty open fire in Abuja market, hit fashion designer, salesgirl

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Trigger-happy State Security Service (SSS) agents have shot a fashion designer at Garki International Market, Abuja, while having an altercation with a tailor, Muhammad Habibu, along with some traders and other individuals.

The victim was identified as Mubarak Mubarak.

A viral video of the incident seen online showed an individual shot in the leg, lying on the floor before a police officer trying to quell the situation. 

While those at the scene confronted the secret police for their action, one of the SSS operatives joined his already seated colleagues in their vehicle and zoomed off. Seeing the operatives fleeing, the people pelted their vehicle with objects. Police officers eventually saved the SSS agents from being lynched by the mob, leading the angry crowd to storm a police post.

An X user, one of many who posted a video of the incident, said, “On the evening of Sept. 7, 2023, A lady called some @OfficialDSSNG personnel to arrest her tailor who didn’t deliver her clothes. They came and not only shot him (tailor) but a stray bullet hit an innocent sales girl sitting at her shop. The action of the personnel angered marketers who attempted to block them from leaving the market. The personnel quickly took to their heels while the marketers pelted their vehicle with stones.”

The salesgirl and the tailor were said to have been taken to a hospital.

The FCT police command confirmed the violent incident in a statement on Thursday. 

Its spokeswoman, Josephine Adeh, said the cause of the violence was “an altercation” between market occupants and certain individuals, including an SSS agent and Mr Habibu.

“The Garki Divisional Police station mobilised officers in response to a distress call, reporting the invasion of the market by these individuals, who fired shots at a tailor known as Mubarak Mubarak. This incident led to some of the local youths reacting angrily and attempting to confront the DSS personnel involved,” the police statement explained. “In response, the police intervened to rescue the individuals and protect public safety.”

The SSS said it had launched an investigation into the market shooting and ensuing violence involving its operatives.

“Information at the disposal of the Service was that its FCT command responded to an SOS from their field operatives who allegedly came under a mob attack in the said market,” the SSS said in a statement by its spokesman, Peter Afunanya.

It added, “The Service assures that it will not hesitate to mete out proper disciplinary measure(s) to its staff if found culpable or running foul of standard operating procedures on dealing with a member of the public.”

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