Taraba Police Killings: Grumbles over delayed investigation, prosecution
The lack of action by security agencies over the investigation and prosecution of suspects involved in the killing of three policemen and a civilian by soldiers in Taraba state has been described as a conspiracy of silence, Daily Trust gathered from a top security source on Tuesday.
The source who begged for anonymity said, “There is so much inactivity and the press and members of the Nigerian public have been kept in the dark over the investigation, the military and police spokespersons are silent on the matter.”
The source added that “The military has custody of some of the suspects; curiously the military does not prosecute, they have not handed over the suspects to the police, why the delay? They are using the instrumentality of the joint investigations panel to delay, while the facts speak for it.” Attempt to contact the spokesman of the Defence Headquarters, Colonel Onyema Nwachukwu, was unsuccessful today as his phone numbers were unreachable.
When contacted on the status of the investigation today, the spokesman of the Nigeria Police Force, Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP), Frank Mba said, “
The right people to answer that question is members of the investigation panel set up by the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS).” He said the panel is in the best position to explain the status of their investigation, the content of their report and the recommendation of the investigation and other things relating to their investigation.
When asked the whereabouts of the kidnap kingpin, Hamisu Bala ‘Wadume’, whose initial rescue led to the alleged killing of the policemen by soldiers, Mba said, “Wadume is in custody of government security agents, I will not speak as to which agency and his location.”
In August, the Police re-arrested Wadume, who in a confessional video said soldiers aided his escape from police custody after his first arrest in Ibi, Taraba state. A Nigerian Army Captain Tijanni Balarabe allegedly freed Hamisu Bala ‘Wadume’ after whisking him away from the Ibi military base in Taraba state.
Captain Balarabe, also allegedly gave the orders to soldiers at a checkpoint to shoot at policemen from the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Intelligence Response Team (IRT) after they arrested Wadume.
Three policemen and one civilian; Inspector Mark Edaile, Sergeant Usman Danzumi, Sergeant Dahiru Musa and Olajide Owolabi were killed in the gunfire along Ibi-Wukari road in Taraba state, on 7th August, 2019.
The IGP had ordered an immediate investigation into the matter. But shortly after, the Defence Headquarters also constituted a panel to investigate the circumstances that led to the killings and injury to those who survived the shooting.
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