Wadume: Capt Tijani ordered troops to open fire on Policemen (Full Report)

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The panel of inquiry set up by the Chief of Defence Staff, General Abayomi Olonisakin, on the directive of President Muhammadu Buhari to investigate the killing of 3 Police operatives of IRT by soldiers in Taraba state and release of kidnap kingpin, Hamisu Wadume has said that the Army Captain, Tijani Balarabe who orders the shooting of the bus conveying the suspected kidnapper, did so because there was an alarm stating the Kidnappers have abducted Alhaji Hamish Bala Wadume in a white Hummer bus.

The panel also said there was a need for the said Army Captain, some soldiers of 93 battalions, the Divisional Crime Officer of Wukari Police Station and some Policemen to be further investigated over alleged complicity in the unfortunate incident.

This is contained in a statement titled ‘Report of Board of Inquiry to Investigate the Circumstances Surrounding the Killing of Three Nigeria Police Personnel and Two Civilians by Troops of Nigerian Army in Taraba State’ signed by Col Onyema Nwachukwu, Acting Director, Defence Information.

This is contained in a statement titled ‘Report of Board of Inquiry to Investigate the Circumstances Surrounding the Killing of Three Nigeria Police Personnel and Two Civilians by Troops of Nigerian Army in Taraba State’ signed by Col Onyema Nwachukwu, Acting Director, Defence Information.

It reads, “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.

“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.

“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.

“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.

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

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

“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 bedevilling the nation.”

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  1. Thank God that the report has finally seen the light of the day following it release.
    However, an observation as earlier raised considering the composition of the panel has played itself with the rather loopsided recommendation of the board.
    Some persons had opined that with the board having the military in the composition (Chairman,Rep. NA, NN, NAF) a total of four and just one from the police, invariably means no representation. Because the vote of the majority will always carry the day particularly in circumstance of interest involving the parties. The presence of the DSS and NIA is to make it appear balance but we all know that their voice will also be inconsequential and of course with the perceived frosty relationship within the security architecture in the country, the outcome is better imagine.
    Back to the report and considering the fact that is on ground, I will want to question the panel indictment of the conduct of the police from the perspective that it is biased. The position that there were infraction in the cause of the duty by both services from which angle I ask. Because the operatives perfected everything as expected of them and even recorded success in the operation until this was thwarted brazenly by callous role of an overzealous officer. It had not been the practice of the police to enlist the assistance of the army in Operations that can be done tacitly by the force and this could not have been an exception. The panel, yes can indict the officers attached to Ibi division for the ignoble role they play in conjunction with the captain and should bear the brunt and not the operatives of IRT. It is apt to pronounce such against the entire police; an indication that the job was not thorough with due apologies.

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