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Army says, 3 policemen killed were mistaken for kidnappers. Blames Police for the confusion

Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai, the Chief of Army Staff

The Nigerian Army has responded to the accusation by the Nigeria Police over the murder of 3 police officers on Tuesday.

According to the army, the police team was mistaken for kidnappers. The Nigerian Army further blamed communication gap for the attack.

Speaking further, the army said that soldiers attacked to 93 Battalion in Takum, Taraba State, pursued a white bus conveying 10 persons thought to be kidnappers.

The army alleged that the soldiers had responded to distress call by villagers who said that Alhaji Hamisu was kidnapped. It further blamed the police for causing the confusion.

Naija Buzz News had published a report in which the Police accused soldiers of the Nigerian Army of killing 3 high trained policemen attached to the Inspector General of Police Intelligence Response Team in Taraba State.

The police noted that a civilian was killed alongside the 3 police officers along Ibi-Wukari Road as they were taking a notorious kidnap kingpin to the Command Headquarter in Jalingo after a successful operation.

The policemen had apprehended the highly wanted criminal identified as “Alhaji Hamisu”, but the soldiers after attacking the police team released the kidnap kingpin.

Read the statement issued by Sagir Musa, the spokesman for the Nigerian Army, below (as obtained by Naija Buzz News);

“The suspected kidnappers numbering about ten (10) and driving in a white bus with Reg No LAGOS MUS 564 EU refused to stop when they were halted by troops at three consecutive check points.

“The flagrant refusal of the suspected kidnappers to stop at the three checkpoints prompted a hot pursuit of the fleeing suspects by the troops.

“It was in this process that the suspected kidnappers who were obviously armed opened fire at the troops sporadically thus prompting them to return fire.”

“In the resultant fire fight, four (4) suspects were shot and died on the spot while four (4) others sustained various degrees of gunshot wounds and 2 others reportedly missing.

“It was only after this avoidable outcome that one of the wounded suspects disclosed the fact that they were indeed policemen dispatched from Nigerian Police, Force Headquarters, Abuja for a covert assignment.

“However, following inquiries from a Police Station officer who was asked by the commander of the Army troops whether he was aware of any Nigerian Police team being dispatched to operate in the LGA, the Divisional Police Officer of Ibi Police Division responded that he was not informed about any operation by the Nigerian Police Force Headquarters thus lending credence to the distressed call from members of the community that the suspects who turned out to be Policemen on a covert mission were rather suspected kidnappers.

“This incident is indeed quite unfortunate and could have been avoided through proper coordination and liaison as the Nigerian Police Force are partners in the fight against crimes such as kidnapping amongst myriads of other internal security threats confronting our nation of which the Nigerian Police is the lead agency.”

It further noted that the Nigerian Army and the Nigeria Police Force would conduct a joint investigation into the incident. The joint investigative panel would be headed by Michael Ogbizi, a Deputy Inspector General of Police.

“Until the joint investigation panel concludes and submits its report, it will be premature to officially conclude and speak on the real circumstances that caused this unfortunate but very avoidable unfortunate incident,” Nigerian Army said.

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