The Nigeria Police Force (NPF) has, however, rejected the Army's claim, stressing that the deceased officers duly identified themselves yet they were gunned down by the soldiers.
Nobody makes a fine corpse; whether hero or villian. Consider the sad case of Inspector Mark Edaile and Sergeants Usman Danzumi and Dahiru Musa; their eyes quickened with grief as their startled spirits fled their bodies, perhaps.
The three policemen and members of the Intelligence Response Team (IRT) from the Force Headquarters in Abuja, met a gruesome end as they were hacked to death by troops of the Nigerian Army’s 93 Battalion Takum, along Ibi-Wukari Road in Taraba State.
The trio, who were on a covert mission to arrest a suspected kidnap kingpin, Alhaji Hamisu Wadume, died from gunshot wounds while other members of the team were injured in an incident that the Nigerian Army said was a case of mistaken identities.
The Nigeria Police Force (NPF) has, however, rejected the Army’s claim, stressing that the deceased officers duly identified themselves yet they were gunned down by the soldiers.
Troops of the 93 Battalion reportedly opened fire on a white bus, marked LAGOS MUS564EU, conveying the undercover policemen and suspected notorious kidnapper, Wadume. Also killed was a civilian while other policemen sustained serious injuries, Deputy Commissioner (DCP) and Force spokesperson, Frank Mba, said, in a statement on Wednesday night.
According to the statement by Mba, the affected officers led by Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP), Felix Adolije, of the IRT, reportedly came under attack in the process of moving kidnap kingpin, Wadume, to the Command Headquarters in Jalingo, the capital of Taraba.
Mba said that in the ensuing chaos following the shooting, Wadume, who had been on the police’s wanted list, escaped.
So, what really happened? That was the question on everybody’s lips on Thursday as the police and families of the slain officers reeled from the shock of their gruesome execution and Wadume’s subsequent escape.
To douse the flames of dissent ignited by the incident and insecurity in the country, President Muhammadu Buhari, on Thursday, met with security chiefs at the State House in Abuja.
At the meeting with the President were: Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) Gen. Gabriel Olonishakin; Chief of Naval Staff (CNS) Ibok-Ete Ibas; Chief of Air Staff (CAS) Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar; Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Lt.-Gen. Yusuf Buratai and the representative of Inspector-General Mohammed Adamu.
Air Marshal Abubakar, who briefed State House reporters after the meeting, said, on the killings in Taraba, “a committee will be setup under the defence headquarters to critically look into the circumstances that led to the unfortunate incident.”
As the situation degenerates into an impasse, a joint army and police committee has reportedly been inaugurated to probe the killing of the officers