The Board of Inquiry (BOI) set up by the defence headquarters to investigate the Taraba killings has recommended punishment in accordance with extant laws for those culpable over the incident.
The BOI, which has since submitted its report to the authorities, however, noted that there were infractions and poor communication between personnel of the Police and troops of the Nigerian Army.
A statement by the acting director, defence information, Colonel Onyema Nwachukwu, also accused the men of the Nigeria Police and the Nigerian Army involved in the incident of failure to adhere to standard operating procedure.
The board also recommended that Captain Tijani Balarabe, alleged to have led the attack on the police team and the DCO, Ibi Police Division, Aondoona Iorbee, and others should be further investigated for complacency and possible disciplinary action.
It would be recalled that a troop of the Nigerian Army was on August 6, 2019, alleged to have killed three policemen and two civilians in Ibi Local Government area of Taraba State.
The policemen, who were personnel of the IGP-IRT team were said to be conveying an alleged notorious kidnapper Alhaji Hamisu Bala, also known as Wadume, who was set free by the army officers.
The crises generated by killing made President Muhammadu Buhari, to order an immediate investigation into the incident following which the Chief of Defence Staff, General AG Olonisakin constituted a Board of Inquiry (BOI) to investigate the incident.
The seven-member BOI led by Rear Admiral Ibikunle Taiwo Olaiya, as chairman, comprised one representative each from the Defence Headquarters, Nigerian Army, Nigerian Navy, Nigerian Air Force, Defence Intelligence Agency, Nigeria Police and Department of State Service.
The statement read, “After a thorough and painstaking investigation into the incident, the BOI submitted its report to the convening authority observing that, there were infractions and poor communication between personnel of the NPF and troops of the Nigerian Army.
“It was also observed that there was non-adherence to the Standard Operating Procedure by both parties involved in the incident. It further made some recommendations to the Nigerian Army and Nigeria Police Force to forestall future reoccurrence and bring anyone culpable to book in accordance with extant laws.
“The BOI also recommended that the NA and NPF should further investigate Captain Tijani Balarabe, Sergeant Ibrahim Mohammed, Corporal Bartholomew Obanye, DCO Ibi Police Division, Assistant Superintendent of Police Aondoona Iorbee, and Inspector Aliyu Dadje for complacency and necessary disciplinary measures.
“It was also recommended that further investigation be conducted on Hamisu Bala for gun running and possible kidnapping, in order to prosecute the suspect.
The BOI also recommended that the services and other security agencies establish an Interagency liaison desk to include senior officers for timely resolution of a future misdemeanour.