Police, Army’s rift deepens as two panels probe killings
Army hierarchy has arrested the captain who allegedly ordered the killing of three operatives of the Inspector-General of Police Special Intelligence Response Team (IRT) at Ibi, Taraba State.
A source, who disclosed this, said the captain was arrested on Saturday by the Army, but was yet to be handed over to the police for interrogation and possible prosecution.
Bodies of the slain IRT officers killed in Taraba have arrived Abuja. Their bodies arrived in the early hours of Sunday morning and have been deposited in the mortuary at the Garki General Hospital.
There have been no love lost since the tragic incident, as the Police insisted that the killing may have been premeditated.
Signs that all may not be well between the two security agencies emerged at the weekend, when a high-powered investigative team ordered by the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Mr. Mohammed Adamu, arrived Jalingo.
The panel, which is headed by the Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG) in charge of Force Criminal Intelligence and Investigative Department (FCIID), Mr. Mike Ogbizi, commenced work despite the inauguration of a seven-man panel by the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), General Gabriel Olonisakin.
In the wake of the Taraba killing, President Muhammadu Buhari had directed the Defence Headquarters to constitute a panel of investigation, to unravel the circumstances surrounding the incident
A statement last Friday by the Acting Director of Defence Information, Col. Onyema Nwachukwu, said the inauguration of the panel was in compliance with the presidential directive.
According to Nwachukwu, the Joint Investigation Panel, which had membership drawn from the Army, Nigerian Navy, Nigerian Air Force, Police, the Department of State Services (DSS), as well as the Defence Intelligence Agency, had commenced work.
It is headed by Rear Admiral IT Olaiya.
A highly-placed source, who spoke in confidence with New Telegraph, said the arrival of DIG Ogbizi-led team in a day the DHQ issued a statement about the constitution of a panel “speaks volumes of the anger over the killing of the highly-trained IRT operatives.”
According to him, “the Police want to get to the root of the murder of their officers and possibly the re-arrest of the fleeing kidnap suspect.”
He asked in a rhetorical tone: “Does the labelling of the slain policemen as ‘suspected kidnappers’ by the Army not worry well-meaning people?”
In his reaction, however, the Acting DDI said he was not aware of any parallel panel investigating the killing, other than the one constituted by the DHQ.
“The Joint Investigation Panel convened by the Chief of Defence Staff is in compliance with the directive of the President and the Commander-in-Chief.
“I am not aware of any parallel investigative body. The Nigeria Police and other relevant services are adequately represented in the Joint Investigation Panel,” Nwachukwu said.
Several calls put to the Force Public Relations Officer (FPRO), DCP Frank Mba, for comments were not answered.
Also, text messages sent to them had yet to be responded to as at the time of filing this report.