NIGERIA: President Muhammadu Buhari has ordered the Defence Headquarters to take over the investigation of the killing of three police operatives and a civilian and the freeing of a kidnap kingpin by troops of 93 Battalion, Takum, Taraba.
The Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, disclosed this when he briefed State House correspondents at the end of the meeting of the National Security Council, with Buhari presiding, at the State House, Abuja.
The Army and Police authorities had on Wednesday constituted a Joint Investigation Panel to investigate the incident. It now means that Buhari’s directive has rendered the panel useless.
Col. Sagir Musa, Acting Director of Army Public Relations, in a statement on Wednesday, said the panel would be headed by the Deputy Inspector General of Police in charge of Criminal Investigation Department, DIG Mike Ogbizi.
Musa said that the panel would jointly investigate and report on the true circumstances surrounding the unfortunate incident to avert future occurrences.
He said the soldiers shot at the police vehicle because they thought they were kidnappers. He however did not explain why the soldiers released the handcuffed real kidnapper, one Alhaji Hamisu
The Force Public Relations Officer, DCP Frank Mba, on Wednesday said that the Police Operatives, led by ASP Felix Adolije of the Intelligence Response Team (IRT) reportedly came under sudden attack by soldiers along Ibi–Jalingo Road.
Mba said that the operatives, who were taking the arrested suspect, Alhaji Hamisu to the Command Headquarters in Jalingo, were shot at by the soldiers in spite of sufficient proof that they were Police personnel on legitimate duty.
He said that three Policemen comprising one Inspector and two Sergeants and one civilian died as a result of gunshot injuries sustained in the attack while others sustained serious gunshot wounds.
According to him, the soldiers thereafter released the handcuffed suspect, Alhaji Hamisu, who is now on the run.
However, the Chief of Air Marshal said: “The council also decided that the unfortunate incidents in Taraba State in Ibi, a committee will be setup under the Defence Headquarters to critically look into the circumstances that led to the unfortunate incident.’’
Abubakar also revealed that the council evaluated the current strategy of managing internal security operations across the country.
According to him, the council expressed satisfaction with the current efforts aimed at restoring law and order in the country.
“We are making substantial progress in all the areas of conflicts,’’ he said.
On the issue of using technology and drones to fight crimes as earlier pledged to the south-west leaders by the President, Abubakar said technology would continue to play a very critical role in resolving security challenges in the country.
“All the services are using one technology or the other in order to ensure that our country is secured.
“So, security will continue to play a role and we are also looking at other areas of technology that are not currently in use to ensure that we put together all that is required to ensure the security of Nigeria and Nigerians,’’ he added.
The chief of air staff also reassured Nigerians that the armed forces of Nigeria and other security agencies would continue to work to ensure the security of Nigerians and to also ensure that no individual or group of individuals undermine the territorial integrity of country.