The National Security Council (NSC) on Thursday ordered an investigation into Tuesday’s killing of three police intelligence officers by soldiers at a checkpoint in Ibi, Taraba State on Tuesday.
The NSC presided by President Muhammadu Buhari, had set up a committee to conduct the investigation during its meeting held at the Presidential Villa, Abuja on Thursday.
The council described the incident as “unfortunate” and directed the Defence Headquarters to constitute the panel to carry out the investigation immediately.
The Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, disclosed the council’s decision to State House Correspondents after the end of a closed-door meeting.
He stated, “The council also decided that the unfortunate incident in Taraba State in Ibi, a committee will be set up under the Defence Headquarters, to critically look into the circumstances that led to the unfortunate incident.”
Speaking on other deliberations at the meeting, the Chief of Air Staff stated that the current security measures put in place in the country were assessed.
Abubakar added, “We are making substantial progress in all the areas of conflicts.”
The Nigeria Police had on Wednesday alerted the public to the killing of the three officers and one civilian by the soldiers along the Ibi-Jalingo Road. It also said many other officers were wounded.
The policemen came under attack while taking a suspected kidnapping kingpin, Alhaji Hamisu, to the state Police Command Headquarters in Jalingo.
The Force Public Relations Officer, Mr Frank Mba, a Deputy Commissioner of Police, had said in a statement in Abuja that one police inspector, two sergeants and a civilian died as a result of gunshot wounds they sustained in the attack.
Mba stated that the soldiers shot the policemen despite sufficient proof that they were on a legitimate duty. They subsequently released the suspected kidnapper, who is now on the run.
However, the Army, through its spokesman, Col. Sagir Musa, reacted that the shooting took place after the policemen were flagged down at a military checkpoint, but refused to stop.
Musa claimed they were killed in error.
But the police in a late statement, asked the Nigerian Army for the whereabouts of the alleged Taraba kidnap kingpin, Hamisu Wadume, who escaped during the incident.
The force also demanded explanations on why the suspect was released, insisting that he could not have escaped with handcuffs from his “military rescuers.”
Mba in the statement on Thursday said, “The most important question arising from the Nigerian Army statement is: Where is Alhaji Hamisu Bala Wadume? 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?
“The Force also considers it insensitive, disrespectful and unpatriotic of the army to continue to describe policemen on a lawful national assignment as ‘suspected kidnappers’ long after it had become crystal clear that these are law enforcement officers who were gruesomely murdered in the line of duty by Nigerian soldiers attached to 93 Battalion, Takum.”