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BREAKING: Nigerian military releases report on soldiers’ killing of policemen, civilians

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The Nigerian military on Tuesday released the report of an inquiry into the killing of policemen and civilians in Taraba state in August.

The report was released to the media by Col Onyema Nwachukwu, Director of Defence Information.

Soldiers of the 93 Battalion had shot dead 3 IRT operatives – Inspector Mark Ediale, Sergeant Usman Danzumi and Sergeant Dahiru Musa.

The Army claimed they were shot after being mistaken for “suspected kidnappers”.

The report said following the directive of President Muhammadu Buhari for an immediate investigation, the Chief of Defence Staff, General AG Olonisakin constituted a Board of Inquiry (BOI) to investigate the incident.

It read: “The 7 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.

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“You will recall that on 6 August 2019, reports of the sad killing of 3 police men and 2 civilians in Ibi Local Government Area of Taraba State by troops of the NA broke out. This gave rise to serious concern by the Federal government, the military and police high command.

“The incident started from Ibi town, following an alarm alleging the kidnap of one Alhaji Hamisu Bala (aka Wadume) by some individuals in a Hummer bus. Captain Tijani Balarabe informed all military checkpoints along Ibi-Wukari Road, who sprang into action.

“The alleged Hummer bus mentioned in the distress call, however, conveyed Police personnel of the IGP-IRT who were on a legitimate duty in Taraba State.

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“Also, military checkpoints in the area were deployed by troops of Headquarters 93 Battalion, Takum, who were equally on legitimate duty to checkmate communal clashes, kidnapping and armed robbery, which were prevalent threats in Wukari – Ibi area.

“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 NA.

“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 NA and NPF 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.

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“It was also recommended that further investigation be conducted on Hamisu Bala for gunrunning and possible kidnapping, in order to prosecute the suspect.

“Additionally, the BOI recommended that the Services and other security agencies establish an Interagency Liaison D

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Don Omajemite

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