REPORT: How soldiers killed noodle seller in Lagos

IF Maryam Ibrahim, 20, had known that death lurked behind the corner of her house on April 18, she would not have left her one-bedroom in Orile Iganmu, Lagos State, where she was hit by stray bullets allegedly fired by Nigerian soldiers.

The ICIR gathered that Maryam had left her mother in Ile-ife in Osun State to spend some time with her father in Ibadan, Oyo State in February after when she left for Lagos to ‘hustle’.

Late Maryam Ibramim. Source: Family

The deceased had reportedly learnt how to sell clothes for two years after she finished her secondary school education in 2017.

Since her mother, a divorce, could not provide her with the graduation fee after learning how to sell clothes, Maryam followed a friend to Lagos where she started selling cooked noodles at a motor park at Orile Bus Stop. From her saving, she paid for training on how to make dresses.

The ICIR learnt that some youths had hijacked a motorcycle from an officer of the Nigerian Army earlier last week. The officer later called for reinforcement from his colleagues and returned to claim his property which caused a face-off between the two parties.

Ibrahim Aliyu, Maryam’s maternal uncle told The ICIR that stray bullets hit Maryam who was coming out of a makeshift bathroom opposite her rented apartment.

“I was told that within some seconds of her stepping out of the bathroom, she was hit by bullets and she lost much blood.”



    Sixteen minutes after she was shot, eyewitnesses said Maryam was still breathing as the bullet hit her on the arm, but the soldiers threatened to shoot a male co-tenant who wanted to rush her to the hospital.

    “She was later rushed to His Stripe Specialist Hospital here in Iganmu, where she died and she’s now in the mortuary. We are still waiting for her family,” a source who did not want to be identified told The ICIR.

    Maryam’s death has left her mother (name withheld) childless as her brother died a few years ago after a brief sickness.

    The ICIR called and sent a message to Sagir Musa, the spokesperson of the Nigerian Army, but he could not be reached for comment.

    Samad Uthman is a multimedia journalist with the International Centre for Investigative Reporting. He tweets @sarmerdk2 and can be shot through [email protected]

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