Taraba Police killing, Nigerian Army react, say officers were suspected kidnappers

The Nigeria army have reacted to the alleged killing of three police officers by by troops of 93 Battalion, Takum, Taraba on Tuesday.

The army said it will jointly investigate the incident together with the police authority to uncover the true situation of what has happened.

Mr. Sagir Musa, the army Spokesman, disclosed this in a statement on Wednesday.

The army said that Mr. Mike Ogbizi, Deputy Inspector General of Police in charge of Criminal Investigation Department, would head the investigation into the Taraba incident.

The army said it will only ascertain the real truth of what happened after the investigation has been carried out and report submitted.

Musa, disclosed that the military officers while responding to a distressed call to rescue a kidnapped victim exchanged fire with the suspected kidnappers along Ibi-Wukari Road in the state.

The military spokesperson pointed out that the kidnappers who were over 10 drove in a white vehicle with Reg. No LAGOS MUS 564 EU.

He said the suspects refused to stop at three different military checkpoints.

The refusal of the suspects to stop at the checkpoints forced the military officers to chase after the suspects.

“It was in this process that the suspected kidnappers who were obviously armed opened fire at the troops sporadically thus prompting them to return fire.

“In the resultant fire fight, four suspects were shot and died on the spot while four others sustained various degrees of gunshot wounds and two others reportedly missing.

“It was only after this avoidable outcome that one of the wounded suspects disclosed the fact that they were indeed policemen dispatched from Nigerian Police, Force Headquarters, Abuja for a covert assignment,” he said.

The military officers went to Ibi Divisional Police Officer, to ask if is aware of any police operation in the area, but he said no, army spokesman said.

Musa said that the suspects who turned out to be policemen on a covert mission were rather suspected kidnappers.

“This incident is indeed quite unfortunate and could have been avoided through proper coordination and liaison.

“Nigerian Police Force are partners in the fight against crimes such as kidnapping amongst myriads of other internal security threats confronting our nation of which the Nigerian Police is the lead agency,” he added.

Mr. Frank Mba, the police spokesman, in a statement on Wednesday say the military opened fire and killed the officers along Ibi-Jalingo road of the state.

He disclosed that a civilian was also killed in the incident.

Other persons injured in the cross fire were a  police inspector and two sergeants.

The police spokesman, say the injured officers were lucky to have escaped  with gun shot wounds.

Mba said the the officers were in Taraba to make an arrest of Mr. Hamisu, a suspected kidnapper who has been fingered to have carried out  many kidnapping in Taraba state.

The police spokesman said the soldiers after killing the police officers loosed handcuff on the suspect and set him free.

“The Police Operatives, led by ASP Felix Adolije of the Intelligence Response Team (IRT) reportedly came under sudden attack and serious shooting by soldiers of the Nigerian Army, along Ibi – Jalingo Road, Taraba State,” he said.

“The Operatives, who were taking the arrested suspect, Alhaji Hamisu to the Command Headquarters in Jalingo, were shot at severally by the soldiers despite sufficient proof that they are Police personnel on legitimate duty.

“Three Policemen (comprising 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.”

Mba said the freed kidnapper has been on the police wanted list for alleged high profile cases in Taraba state.

He alleged that the kidnappers is been trailed by the police for the abduction of an  Oil-Mogul in Taraba State wherein a ransom of about N100,000,000 was paid.”

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