BEVERLY HILLS, August 11, (THEWILL) – The Defence Headquarters has constituted a seven-man joint investigation panel to unravel the circumstances that led to the killing of three police personnel and a civilian by troops of Nigerian Army in Taraba.
The Acting Director of Defence Information, Col. Onyema Nwachukwu, disclosed this in a statement saying that the Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Gabriel Olonisakin, constituted the panel in compliance with the presidential directive issued by President Muhammadu Buhari.
He said that the panel which was headed by Rear Adm. I.T Olaiya, had a representative each from the Nigerian Army, Navy, Air Force, Police, Department of State Service and the Defence Intelligence Agency.
The police authorities had on Wednesday announced the killing of its personnel from the Force Headquarters on covert by the troops along Ibi-Wukari road in Taraba state adding that the suspected kidnappers in custody of the attacked officers were released by the army troops.
Army Headquarters, in reaction, described the incident as unfortunate and avoidable while explaining its own side of the story.
The army had explained that the said army troops, while responding to a distress call to rescue a kidnapped victim, exchanged fire with the suspected kidnappers along Ibi-Wukari Road in the State.
The police, in a counter reaction on Thursday, had raised a number of questions that the army authorities needed to unravel especially the whereabouts of the arrested suspected kidnapping kingpin, Alhaji Hamisu Bala Wadume.
There are insinuations that the soldiers who opened fire on three policemen in Taraba state were ordered by a captain.
According to New Telegraph, the senior military officer is believed to be part of those benefiting from the largesse of Wadume.
A source was quoted as saying the wanted kidnap suspect, who has been generous to soldiers in Ibi, paid a ransom of N1.5 million when one of the soldiers was kidnapped few months ago.