By Tayo ABIOLA
In a case of mistaken identity, nine people going for a wedding Fatiha of their friend identified as Yusuf Attahiru were arrested and tagged bandits because of their mode of dressing in Sabon-Birni Local LGA of Sokoto state.
The nine people had set out from Zangon Tashalawa village in the same local government to attend the wedding Fatiha of their friend before they were arrested by vigilante operatives who tagged them bandits.
The news of the arrest of the alleged ‘bandits’ had gone viral on social media on Monday.
However, the spokesperson for Police Sokoto Command, ASP Ahmad Rufai, in a statement, denied claim that those arrested were bandits.
He also explained the circumstances that led to the arrest of wedding guests and their being tagged bandits.
He said, “This unique incident unfolded when nine individuals from Zangon Tashalawa village in Sabon-Birni LGA set out on a journey to attend the wedding Fatiha of their friend, Yusuf Attahiru.
“Dressed in traditional wedding attire (anko) and traveling on commercial motorcycles, they were halted by the local vigilance group members who mistakenly interpreted their festive attires as something more sinister.
“Unarmed and with no ill intentions,” Rufai continued, “they were stopped by the vigilance group members which led to their arrest.”
Rufai added that the news of the incident quickly spread, reaching far corners of the social media.
He said, “We want to clarify that these individuals were not bandits, as the viral post claimed. Instead, they were innocent friends on their way to celebrate a joyous occasion,” he said.
The police spokesman also urged the public to remain calm and continue their lawful activities.
He added that the police strongly disapproved of the spread of false information that may incite the public, and individuals involved in criminal activities would face legal consequences.
Rufai quoted the Commissioner of Police, Mr Ali Kaigama as reiterating that the state remains secured and safe, offering reassurance to the residents.