Deputy Minority Leader of the Senate, Emmanuel Bwacha, has described the attack and killing of three policemen and a civilian by Nigeria Army as a “very embarrassing occurrence in the history of our country.”
The lawmaker, who represents Taraba South in the National Assembly revealed that eyewitnesses at the scene of the tragedy alleged that the bus conveying the detectives was chased by a private Sharon car and not that of the military.
He said this while calling for the setting up of an Independent Panel of Inquiry to probe the incident which happened on the Ibi-Jalingo highway in Taraba State.
Bwacha noted that this is a major allegation the panel of inquiry ought to investigate.
DAILY POST had reported that the Force Public Relations Officer, DCP Frank Mba, had earlier issued a statement that the Police Operatives, led by ASP Felix Adolije of the Intelligence Response Team (IRT) reportedly came under sudden attack by soldiers along Ibi–Jalingo Road.
In reaction, the army accepted responsibility for the killings, but, however, explained that the killings were done in error following a distress call that some suspected kidnappers who happened to be the police were on the run with their victim.
However, addressing reporters in Abuja about the ugly incident at the weekend, the lawmaker suggested that an independent body will be more effective in addressing all the issues so that nothing will escape scrutiny.
“This is a very embarrassing occurrence in the history of our country and must not be swept under the carpet. Nothing short of an independent panel of inquiry will unravel some of the mysteries surrounding this matter,” Bwacha said.
“Many questions are already being asked which only an independent body can do justice to between the police, the army and indeed the Nigerian people. And also the families of the victims who are also asking valid questions about this dastardly act.
“We are hearing that he is very influential and that he has compromised many people. An independent panel of inquiry needs to ascertain these claims. We need to know how this is so. Who has he been working with?
“Who are his backers? How did he get to the point where he can get freed by men of the nation’s armed forces? Is he supported by someone of high ranking status in or out of the military?
“A probe by an independent body must consider all these points in apprehending the situation.
“Why won’t the military use their vehicle to make the chase? If the eye witnesses account is accurate, there was no way the bus carrying the detectives would stop for a private Sharon pursuing them. This allegation by bystanders needs to be closely examined by the panel of inquiry.”