THE incident that occurred at his Nassarawa GRA official residence yesterday morning was said to have been triggered by fire from a split air conditioner in the sitting room.
Briefing reporters on the tragic incident in his office, the Kano State Police Commissioner, Ibrahim Idris ruled out sabotage, pointing out that detectives from the command and men from fire service have started to investigate the circumstances leading to the incident.
Idris said, “today (yesterday) at about 4.30am, the policemen on guard duty at the official residence of the Kano Resident Electoral Commissioner, Alhaji Munkaila Abdullahi located at 2 Sir Kashim Road observed a fire emanating from split air conditioners in the sitting room. “
The official residence of the late REC is 500 meters away from Government House and 10 meters away from the heavily fortified security checkpoint in front of the official residence of the Assistant Inspector General of Police in Zone 1, Alhaji Tambari Yabo
The police commissioner further explained that efforts by the officers severally to get in touch with the victims failed. He said that the officers were banging on the doors and attempting to break windows of the toilet. They could not.
The police Commissioner said that at the point the officers on duty and the local guards secured entrance into the building, they discovered the sitting room was engulfed by fire and smoke.
Bodies of REC, family discovered at the toilet.
Idris further said that the bodies of the deceased REC, his wife and two daughters were discovered in the toilet of the master bedroom while still unconscious.
“They were quickly removed and moved to the Murtala Mohammed Hospital where doctors confirmed that the family of four died from inhaling hot and black smoke.”
The Spokesman of the Kano State police command, ASP Magaji Majiya, confirmed the fire incident incident, saying that the REC and his family died as they tried to escape through the window of their apartment. He said the fire was suspected to have been caused by a spark in the family’s generator at about 4.30 am.
Gov . Lamido, Jega pay their last respect.
The National Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Professor Attahiru Muhammad Jega accompanied by Governor Sule Lamido of Jigawa State and his cabinet members, as well as the Emir of Dutse, Alhaji Nuhu Muhammad Sanusi and other traditional title holders were among dignitaries that attended the funeral prayer for the late REC, Alhaji Abdullahi in Dutse, the Jigawa State capital yesterday afternoon.
Abdullahi who was born in Gantsa village, Buji Local Government Area of Jigawa State, held many positions in the Jigawa State civil service ranging from Director, Administration and Finance to Permanent Secretary before his retirement and later appointment as INEC Commissioner representing Jigawa State but posted to Kano.
The funeral prayer was led by the Chief Imam of Dutse Central Mosque, Dr. Abubakar Sani and attended by thousands of sympathisers most of who cried uncontrollably.
The deceased were laid to rest according to Islamic rites at Sabuwar Tasha Dutse graveyard along Kiyawa road.
Meanwhile, some neighbours, who declined to be named in this story for fear they might be harassed by the police, said the fire was strange, and suggested the police should not consider the incident an ordinary one.