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Thursday, August 8, 2019

WE MISTAKEN THEM FOR KIDNAPPERS — ARMY SAYS



The incident that happened on August 6, 2019 along Ibi-Wukari road in Taraba State between the Nigerian Army and Nigerian police officers were unavoidable because we mistaken them for kidnappers.

A team of 10 Intelligence Response Team (IRT) operatives from police headquarters in Abuja was attacked by Soldiers attached to 93 Battalion Nigerian Army Takum. Three police men were shot dead, one Inspector and two Sergeants including a civilian, many others sustained serious injuries while two are missing. 

The Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP), Frank Mba was on Wednesday night reacted to the Colonel Sagir Musa, the acting Director Army Relations statement said that it was caused by an unfortunate and unavoidable incident. 

It reported that the police officers came under sudden attack and serious shooting by soldiers notwithstanding the proof that they were police officers on legal duty. 

“On August 6, troops of 93 Battalion Takum while responding to a distress call to rescue a kidnapped victim exchanged fire with the suspected kidnappers along Ibi-Wukari Road in Taraba State.” 

“The suspected kidnappers numbering about 10 and driving in a white bus with registration number LAGOS MUS564EU refused to stop when they were halted by troops at three consecutive check points. The flagrant refusal of the suspected kidnappers to stop at the three checkpoints prompted a hot pursuit of the fleeing suspects by the troops.” 

“It was in this process that the suspected kidnappers who were obviously armed opened fire at the troops sporadically thus prompting them to return fire. In the resultant fire fight, four suspects were shot and died on the spot while four sustained various degrees of gunshot wounds and two others reportedly missing.” 

“It was only after this avoidable outcome that one of the wounded suspects disclosed the fact that they were indeed policemen dispatched from Nigeria Police, Force Headquarters, Abuja for a covert assignment.” 

“Following inquiries from a Police Station officer who was asked by the commander of the army troops whether he was aware of any Nigeria Police team being dispatched to operate in the LGA, the Divisional Police Officer of Ibi responded that he was not informed about any operation by the Nigeria Police Force headquarters thus lending credence to the distress call from members of the community that the suspects who turned out to be policemen on a covert mission were rather suspected kidnappers.” 

“This incident is indeed quite unfortunate and could have been avoided through proper coordination and liaison as the Nigeria Police Force are partners in the fight against crimes such as kidnapping amongst myriads of other internal security threats confronting our nation of which the Nigeria Police is the lead agency.” 

“In order to avert future occurrences of this nature, the Army Headquarters and the Force Headquarters of the Nigeria Police have agreed to constitute a joint investigation panel to be headed by the Deputy Inspector General of Police in charge of Criminal Investigation Department, DIG Mike Ogbizi, to investigate and report on the true circumstances surrounding the unfortunate incident.” 

“Therefore, until the Joint Investigation Panel concludes and submits its report, it will be premature to officially conclude and speak on the real circumstances that caused this unfortunate but very avoidable incident,” Colonel stated. 

The wounded ones are receiving treatment, deceased were deposited in the morgue while  investigation is still going to ascertain the real cause of the incident.

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