Wadume: Panel Blames Killing Of Policemen On Poor Communication

The killing of the three Policemen and two civilians by troops of the Nigerian Army along Ibi-Wukari Road in Taraba State has been attributed to poor communication between the late Policemen and the soldiers.

The Board of Inquiry (BOI) constituted by the Chief of Defence Staff General Gabriel Olonisakin to investigate the killing of the Policemen who were on undercover in Taraba State to arrest notorious kidnapper Hamisu Wadume in line with President Muhammadu Buhari’s directive, in its report submitted Tuesday also blamed the incident on non-adherence to Standard Operating Procedure by both parties.

The 7-man Panel led by Rear Admiral Ibikunle Taiwo Olaiya also gave recommendations to forestall future occurrence and to bring anyone culpable to book in accordance with extant laws.

It recommended that the Nigerian Army and the Nigerian Police Force should further investigate Captain Tijani Balarabe, Sergeant Ibrahim Mohammed, Corporal Bartholomew Obanye, DCO Ibi Police Division, Assistant Superintendent of Police Aondona Iorbee, and Inspector Aliyu Dadje for complacency and necessary disciplinary measures.

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

According to a statement signed by Acting Director Defence Information, Colonel Onyema Nwachukwu , “following the directive of the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, President Muhammadu Buhari for an immediate investigation into the unfortunate incident that led to the killing of 3 Nigerian Police Force (NPF) personnel and 2 civilians by troops of the Nigerian Army (NA) along Ibi-Wukari Road in Taraba State, the Chief of Defence Staff General AG Olonisakin constituted a Board of Inquiry (BOI) to investigate the incident.

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“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 Aondona Iorbee, and Inspector Aliyu Dadje for complacency and necessary disciplinary measures. It was also recommended that further investigation be conducted on Hamisu Bala for gunrunning and possibly kidnapping, in order to prosecute the suspect.

It added that “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. 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.

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“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.

“Additionally, the BOI recommended that the Services and other security agencies establish an Interagency Liaison Desk to include senior officers for timely resolution of future misdemeanor.

“The Defence Headquarters once again assures the public that the Armed Forces of Nigeria and other security agencies are working in synergy to tackle contemporary security challenges be-deviling the nation”.

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