There was a gridlock at Murtala Muhammed Bridge, Jamata along Lokoja-Abuja road yesterday following the killing of a tanker driver, Mallam Suleiman Ibrahim, by some state tax force revenue officers over N2,000 fees.
The gridlock which lasted for 11 hours, left motorists and commercial drivers stranded beyond Koton-Karfi and Jamata as Murtala Muhammed Bridge was totally occupied by various trucks.
THISDAY reliably gathered that the incident occurred at about 12 midnight yesterday when some state tax force revenue officers allegedly clubbed one of the tanker drivers, Ibrahim, to death over N2,000.
According to sources, an argument ensured when the driver was stopped and asked to pay the fee which he objected to, saying he can only afford N1,000.
“Suleiman Ibrahim, the slain driver, was conveying beans in his truck from Yobe State and was heading to the southern part of the country when he was stopped by the task force members who charged him N2,000.
“The slain driver pleaded that he can only afford N1,000, but argument ensued and an officer of the task force dragged the driver from his vehicle and hit him on the head with the plank they use to block roads. The nails on the plank sank into the driver’s skull and he died after the attack.
“Other drivers made to apprehend the task force officer but he was rescued from the mob by policemen,” the sources stated
He added that at that point, one of the tax force revenue officers pulled the tanker driver from his truck and allegedly clubbed him to death. The action of the tax force revenue officers angered the tank drivers who resultantly blocked the Murtala Muhammed bridge at Jamata with their trucks as it became impossible for other road users to cross the bridge.
Three motorcycles belonging to the tax force revenue officers were allegedly burnt by the angry drivers as security men were helpless as the drivers stood their ground. However, when the state Deputy Governor, Simon Achuba, visited the scene, he was chased away by the truck drivers, telling him that they wanted to see the Governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello, who sent the people to kill one of their own.
The state Chairman of National Association of Road Transport Owners, (NARTO), Alhaji Danladi Ibrahim, while speaking with journalists, condemned the action of the tax force revenue officers.
He noted that he saw no reason why somebody should kill a fellow human being just because of N2,000.
Ibrahim stated that the attitude of the tax force revenue officers has becomed radical as they are found harassing motorists plying Okene-Lokoja-Abuja highway.
Meanwhile, the state Commissioner of Police, Aliyu Janga, and other officers, including the military, visited the scene as effort were made to control the situation to avoid a break down of law and order.