The Nigerian Army has reacted to the reported killing of three police officers and one civilian in what has turned out to be a covet operation of officials of the Intelligence Response Team of the Police Headquarters.
According to a release issued by the Force Public Relations Officer, DCP Frank Mba, the army says an investigation into the unfortunate incident which it says was due to communication break between the Army and the Nigerian Police is currently ongoing.
According to the release, the Nigerian Army on the 6th of August said it responded to a distressed call to rescue a kidnapped victim and ended up exchanging gun fire with the suspected kidnappers along Ibi-Wukari Road in Traba State.
Narrating the incidence, the report read, ”The suspected kidnappers numbering about ten (10) and driving in a white bus with Reg No LAGOS MUS 564 EU refused to stop when they were halted by troops at three consecutive checkpoints. 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 armed opened fire at the troops sporadically thus prompting them to return fire.
The Police release on the issue earlier on Wednesday, however, revealed that the operatives, led by SP Felix Adolije of the Intelligence Response Team (IRT) reportedly came under sudden attack and shooting by soldiers of the Nigerian Army along Ibi-Jalingo Road, Taraba.
“The operatives were taking the arrested suspect to the Command Headquarters in Jalingo when they were shot severally by the soldiers despite sufficient proof that they are police personnel on duty.
“Three policemen, one inspector and two sergeants, and one civilian died as a result of gunshot injuries sustained in the attack while others sustained serious gunshot wounds.
“The soldiers, thereafter, released the handcuffed suspect, Hamisu, who is now on the run,” he said.
He said the suspect had been a notorious kidnap kingpin and had been on the police wanted list for his complicity in several high-profile kidnap cases.
Mba said that one of the cases included the recent abduction of an oil mogul in Taraba State wherein a ransom of about N100 million was paid.
The army in its release however said that while the incident is indeed quite unfortunate and could have been avoided if there had been proper coordination and liaison between both agencies noted that in order to avert future occurrences of such nature, a joint investigative panel to be headed by the Deputy Inspector General of Police in charge of Criminal Investigation Department, DIG Mike Ogbizi had been set up.
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