Police to Army: You got it wrong on slain policemen

The Nigeria Police Force (NPF) has taken a swipe at the Nigeria Army over the killing of its officers by a soldier in Taraba state.

Force Public Relations Officer DCP Frank Mba faulted the explanation offered by the army in a statement, Thursday night, titled: Setting The Record Straight –Where Is The “Rescued” Notorious Kidnapper Alhaji Hamisu Bala Wadume?

Mba said on Wednesday that three policemen attached to the IRT were killed by soldiers while transporting a suspected kidnapper, simply identified as Alhaji Hamish, who has been linked to several high profile kidnap for ransom.

However, the acting Director Army Public Relations Col Sagir Musa in a press statement, Wednesday night, said troops attached to 93 Battalion, Takum, Taraba state, shot dead the policemen and one civilian in error after they were mistaken for kidnappers.

According to the spokesperson, “The attention of the NPF has been drawn to the press release by the Nigerian Army dated August 7, 2019, seeking to justify the unprovoked and unwarranted murder of three police officers and one civilian, and serious injury to other operatives, who were on legitimate criminal investigation activities to Taraba state, to arrest one Alhaji Hamisu Bala Wadume indicted in series of high-profile kidnap incidents in the state.

“In the best tradition of Esprit de Corps, Inter-Agency Harmony and National Interest, the NPF would naturally have kept quiet, but it has become imperative to set the record straight by addressing the obvious distortion of facts inherent in the press release by the Nigerian Army.

“The most important question arising from the Nigerian Army press release is: Where is Alhaji Hamisu Bala Wadume? Alhaji Hamisu Bala Wadume is a millionaire kidnapper arrested by the Police but paradoxically treated as a ‘‘kidnap victim’’ by the soldiers and subsequently ‘rescued’ by them. Where is he? Where is the rescued kidnapper?

“Secondly, the press release was silent on the source of the alleged distress report or identity of the complainant, on the strength of whose report, the army claimed had informed their decision to engage in the purported chase and rescue operation.

“Needless to state that in the true spirit of transparency and accountability, the Nigerian Army ought to have arrested the purported distress caller, if any, for obviously and deliberately furnishing them with false and misleading information. Besides, such arrest should in fact be made public!

“Thirdly, it is not true that the policemen failed to identify themselves as alleged in the press release. The video on the incident, now viral, wherein the voice of one of the soldiers was heard loudly proclaiming that the policemen were from the Force Headquarters, Abuja speaks volume.”

He said, “The Force also considers insensitive, disrespectful and unpatriotic for the press release by the Army to continue to describe Policemen on lawful National Assignment as ‘suspected kidnappers’ long after it had become crystal clear to the army that these are law enforcement officers who unfortunately were gruesomely murdered in the line of duty by Nigerian soldiers attached to 93 Battalion, Takum.”

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