Taraba Killings: Leaked memo deepens rift between Army, Police

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A leaked memo from the Chief of Army Staff Lt Gen Tukur Buratai directing soldiers to henceforth be circumspect in their dealings with the police over the Taraba incident might have deepened disaffection within the military and security forces, The Nation has learnt.

Buratai, in a memo signed on his behalf by Brig. Gen. Felix Omoigui, directed all troops on IS (Internal Security) duty as well as personnel travelling in and out of uniform to be circumspect in their conduct to avoid escalation of the problem.

“Consequently, formations and unit commanders are to educate troops to be cautious in their dealings with members of the NP in view of this development. Troops travelling on pass are to endeavour to do so in mufti,” the memo dated 9th August which was reportedly dispatched to different army formations across the country stated.

But a source confirmed the said memo was leaked to the media by the Police to create tension within the security circles and continue to put the army on the defensive over the matter.

The source said unless the Presidency steps up efforts to douse tension and acrimony created by the Taraba incident, the two security institutions would henceforth be working at cross purposes, a development that would render the works of the investigative panels “as dead on arrival”.

Already the Defence Headquarters have set up a joint investigative panel headed by Rear Admiral I T Olaiya and has a representative each from the Nigerian Army, Navy, Air Force, the Nigerian Police, the Department of State Security (DSS) and Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA).

Read Also: Police arrest ‘killer’ of tricyclist in Lagos
The Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu also set up a probe Panel headed by an Assistant Inspector General of Police to unravel the circumstances surrounding the killings of the three police detectives by troops of 93 Battalion, Takum.

Even though the Nigerian Army, through its spokesman, Col. Sagir Musa, said the killings were in error, a response from the police spokesman, Frank Mba raising fresh posers for the Army on circumstances surrounding the incident and the escape of a suspected kidnapper, Alhaji Hamisu Bala Wadume, immediately put the Army on the defensive.

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