Dr. Yakubu Sankey, the husband of Justice Jummai Hannatu Sankey of Nigeria’s Court of Appeal, is dead.
There are however conflicting reports on the circumstances surrounding his demise. While a report alleged that he was shot by bandits during an attempted kidnap, another account said that the real target was his brother, a traditional ruler.
Hinting that the deceased may have died violently, former Chairman of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), Prof. Chidi Odinkalu wrote via his verified Twitter handle @ChidiOdinkalu, “My friend, Dr. Yakubu Sankey, has joined the list of victims in the #SouthernKadunaMassacres….?”
Also confirming the demise of the respected academic, outspoken former lawmaker who represented Kaduna Central Senatorial District, Shehu Sani tweeted: “The Killing of Professor Yakubu Sankey the former DG of Nigerian Institute of Policy and Strategic Studies by kidnappers in Southern Kaduna is sad, unfortunate and tragic. May his soul rest in peace.”
On its part, The National Institute, Kuru wrote via its verified handle @NIPSSKuru that Sankey died last Wednesday in his home town in Kataf Local Government of Kaduna State.
The tweet reads: “The Director General, Prof Ayo Omotayo, today, signed the condolence register opened at the National Institute in honour of the late former Secretary/Director of Administration and former Acting Director General, Dr Yakubu Sankey.
“Also, as part of measures to honour Dr Yakubu Sankey, and in recognition of his meritorious service to the National Institute and humanity, the Director General has directed that the NIPSS Flag be flown at half mast.
“Dr Sankey died in his home town in Zango Kataf Local Government of Kaduna State, Wednesday, 24 May. Until his demise, he was a farmer, lecturer and contestant for the seat of Bajju Traditional Council (Agwam Bajju). He was also Senior Adviser at Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue.”
While a report stated that terrorists shot former DG and dumped his body at backyard of his house, adding that “They storm (sic) our house with heavy weapons, operated for more than four hours,” another report by Law and Society Magazine stated that a source close to the Sankeys lamented that he “was not just killed. He was utterly, totally butchered. The Sallah Ram is treated better.
“He had visited the village briefly. The target, the story goes, was his brother, a traditional title holder who is also a politician. The killers met him and could not be bothered whom they slaughtered.”
Sankey was instrumental to the signing of a peace accord in Jos by the Berom, Fulani, Jarawa, Yoruba, Igbo, Hausa and Anaguta aimed to stem the violence in Plateau State. He is survived by his wife, Justice Jummai Sankey, and children.
Justice Sankey is the President of National Association of Women Judges. She is the second daughter of Elizabeth Pam. Elizabeth Pam was a member of the Oputa Panel (Human Rights Violations Investigation Commission) set up by the Obasanjo Administration in the year 2000 to investigate human rights abuses dating back to the military coup of 15th January, 1966 till 28th May 1999, the day before the last military handover to civilians.
Her father, Lieutenant Colonel James Yakubu Pam was killed during the 1966 coup. Lt. Colonel J.Y. Pam led the Nigeria-Tanzania Bilateral Special Training and Security Mission in 1964.