Taraba incident: Army sets up joint panel to probe killing of policemen

 

In compliance with President Muhammad Buhari’s order, The Nigerian Defence Headquarters (DHQ) has set up a joint panel to investigate the killing of three police officers and a civilian by soldiers in Taraba State.

Acting Director of Information Defence Headquarters, Colonel Onyema Nwachukwu, made this known in a statement on Friday.

He explained that the Chief of Defence Staff, General Abayomi Olonisakin, constituted the committee following the directive of President Muhammadu Buhari.

According to him, the seven-man panel chaired by Rear Admiral I.T. Olaiya has commenced work immediately.

The panel comprises representatives of the Nigerian Army, Nigerian Navy, Nigerian Air Force, the Nigeria Police, Department of State Service and the Defence Intelligence Agency.

Colonel Nwachukwu said the committee has been asked to unravel the circumstances that led to the killing of the security personnel and the civilian along Ibi – Wukari Road in Taraba on Tuesday.

President Buhari issued the directive on Thursday when he met with the Service Chiefs over the incident and the nation’s security situation.

According to a statement from the police, the slain operatives were on investigation activities to arrest one Alhaji Hamisu indicted in a series of high-profile kidnap incidents in the state.

ALSO READ: Taraba incident: Police demand whereabouts of suspected kidnap kingpin

The Force said the operatives, who were taking the arrested suspect to the Command Headquarters in Jalingo, were shot at severally by the soldiers despite sufficient proof that they were police personnel on legitimate duty.

Reacting in a statement, the army explained that although the incident could have been avoided, the policemen “refused to stop when they were halted by troops at three consecutive checkpoints.”

It said the refusal of the security operatives to stop at the checkpoints prompted a hot pursuit by the troops, adding that policemen opened fire at the troops “sporadically” which prompted them to return fire.

Read the full statement below:

In compliance with the presidential directive issued by the President, Commander-In-Chief of the Armed Forces of Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari, the Chief of Defence Staff Gen Abayomi Gabriel Olonisakin has constituted a 7-man Joint Investigation Panel to unravel the circumstances that led to the unfortunate incident between the Nigerian Army and the Nigeria Police allegedly resulting in the killing of 3 personnel of the Nigeria Police and a civilian along Ibi – Wukari road in Taraba State.

The Joint Investigation panel is headed by Rear Admiral IT Olaiya and has a representative each from the Nigerian Army, Navy, Airforce the Nigeria Police, Department of State Service and the Defence Intelligence Agency.

The Joint Committee has commenced work immediately.

ONYEMA NWACHUKWU

Colonel

Acting Director, Defence Information

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