Nigeria in deep mess as police publicly insinuate army aiding, abetting kidnapping
London, August 9, 2019 (AltAfrica)- What happens when security agencies charged with maintaining law and order publicly engage in media war over allegation of sabotage and aiding and abetting criminality?
The answer, simply is breakdown of law and order. That’s exactly the situation in Nigeria currently. Despite a presidential investigative panel raised to urgently investigate the incidence leading to the death of three police officers by some soldiers, the Nigerian police has ramped up further attack on the army asking it to explain its role in the escape of wanted kidnap kingpin, Alhaji Hamisu in Taraba state on Tuesday
On Thursday evening, police spokesperson, Mr Mba condemned the army’s description of their personnel as suspected kidnappers and challenged the military to provide evidence of its claim that villagers made a distress call to soldiers as claimed in their excuse for killing police officers on lawful duty
Mr Mba also raised a series of questions for the Nigerian Army to clarify to Nigerians around its culpability in the killing of detectives
The suspect, Alhaji Hamisu, who reportedly received N100 million ransom in a recent abduction of an oil baron in Taraba, northeastern Nigeria was arrested by the police on Tuesday before been allegedly freed by some soldiers who in the process killed three police officers
Though confirmed the involvement of soldiers in the death of the three police officers, Nigerian Army gave a different account of the incident
Army spokesperson Sagir Musa admitted soldiers from 93 Battalion were responsible for the tragedy. He, however, blamed it on poor communication on the part of the police, saying the officers were mistaken for kidnappers.
The army also claimed that villagers made a panic call to soldiers that kidnappers had come to operate in their community, leading to the hot pursuit that ended in the killing of three police officers.
In a strong worded statement on Thursday evening the police said the army lied asking series of questions that insinuate high-level connivance between criminals and army
Highlights of the release
The Full Press Statement by the police
SETTING THE RECORD STRAIGHT – WHERE IS THE “RESCUED” NOTORIOUS KIDNAPPER, ALHAJI HAMISU BALA WADUME?
The attention of the Nigeria Police Force has been drawn to the Press Release by the Nigerian Army dated 07 August, 2019, seeking to justify the unprovoked and unwarranted murder of three (3) Police officers and one (1) Civilian, and serious injury to other operatives, who were on legitimate criminal investigation activities to Taraba State, to arrest one Alhaji Hamisu Bala Wadume indicted in a series of high-profile kidnap incidents in the State. In the best tradition of Esprit de Corps, Inter-Agency Harmony and National Interest, the Nigeria Police Force would naturally have kept quiet, but it has become imperative to set the record straight by addressing the obvious distortion of facts inherent in the Press Release by the Nigerian Army.
Secondly, the Press Release was silent on the source of the alleged distress report or identity of the complainant, on the strength of whose report, the Army claimed had informed their decision to engage in the purported chase and rescue operation. Needless to state that in the true spirit of transparency and accountability, the Nigerian Army ought to have arrested the purported distress caller – if any – for obviously and deliberately furnishing them with false and misleading information. Besides, such arrest should, in fact, be made public!
Thirdly, it is not true that the Policemen failed to identify themselves as alleged in the Press Release. The video on the incident, now viral, wherein the voice of one of the soldiers was heard loudly proclaiming that the Policemen were from the Force Headquarters, Abuja speaks volume. Besides, the presence of the IRT personnel was well known to the Taraba Police Command as the Operatives officially and properly documented not only at the State Command Headquarters but also at the Wukari Area Command and the Ibi Divisional Headquarters. As a matter of fact, some of the Detectives from the Taraba State Command’s Criminal Investigation Department (CID) were part of the operation.
In the final analysis, we leave the Nigerian Army authorities to provide Nigerians with answers on the following questions emanating from their Press Release:
· Where is the notorious kidnapper, Alhaji Hamisu Bala Wadume ‘rescued’ by the soldiers?
· How and why was Alhaji Hamisu Bala Wadume released by the soldiers?
· How could a kidnap suspect properly restrained with handcuffs by the Police escape from the hands of his military rescuers?
· If Alhaji Hamisu Bala Wadume is a ‘‘victim of kidnap’’ as claimed, and properly rescued by soldiers, why was he not taken to the Army Base for documentation purposes and debriefing in line with the Standard Operating Procedure in the Nigerian Army?
· Why were the Police Operatives shot at close range even after they had identified themselves as Police Officers on legitimate duty as evident in the video now in circulation?
DCP FRANK MBA
FORCE PUBLIC RELATIONS OFFICER