Video evidence detailing how soldiers murdered three policemen in Taraba State have emerged despite denials by the Nigerian Army about events leading to the killings of the police officers who were from the Inspector General of Police Intelligence Team dispatched to effect the arrest of a billionaire kidnap kingpin in the state, Alhaji Hamisu Bala Wadume.
In the video, a police officer subjected to utter pain was seen begging for his life but his request was declined as he was killed by the soldiers.
The video begins with one of the slain officers in a red attire and alone beside their bus which was turned over apparently through an accident that must have occurred from the hot chase that ensued after the team was ambushed by the soldiers.
Just a few seconds later, the video moves to the other side as the three bloodied police officers and a civilian lay dead while one, in a striped white and green Polo shirt, is on the floor, crying in the behest of agonizing pain.
A man in a yellow shirt hands the ignition key of the white Toyota bus with number plate: Lagos MUS 564 EU, to a man not visible in the video.
“Here is the key of the vehicle,” the man said in Hausa language.
Continuing, he said:
“We will deal with you, you unlucky ones. They showed us ID cards that they were from the IG (Inspector General of Police).”
As this goes on, a booming voice from the crowd of mostly soldiers, many of them not in uniforms, commended the mob and said:
“Well done guys, you did well.”
“Let’s set them ablaze with the vehicle,” another man suggested, but a voice responded:
“No! Do not burn them.”
As the police officer battling to stay alive turns as he continues to wriggle in pain, another person in a white fez cap, as if alarmed, shouted:
“He is not dead! He is not dead,” as he moves and released a number of slaps on the groaning officer who fell back in a sleeping position. Calling on others’ attention, another asked:
“Where is their service pistol?”
“They have been collected and taken away,” a voice answered.
Meanwhile, a bulky frame in a yellow top with white fez cap is seen recording a video of the slain policemen as they made to cross check whether they were all dead.
“He is dead! He is dead!” A man shouted like he had just won a battle.
Thereafter the video captures two of the killed policemen, one in a red shirt covered in his pool of blood and the other with a white striped shirt lying face down as the people surrounding them and started plucking and dropping leaves and shrubs on them, a typical practice for accident victims in Nigeria.
One of the dead officers is seen being lifted by two men while a soldier with a riffle walks past the bodies, shouting:
“He is defecating. Do not touch the faeces.”
As the voices rise further, a voice is heard in the background saying:
“They showed us ID cards that they were from the IG (Inspector General of Police). They met us at the check point. If they had escaped here, they would definitely not have escaped the road block at Wukari.”
However, fresh information has emerged on what actually went down between the policemen and soldiers along Ibi-Jalingo Road, leading to the death of three policemen and a civilian.
It was gathered that the order to attack the policemen who were on lawful duty to apprehend Alhaji Wadume was given by an army captain, who is a friend of the suspect.
The unnamed army captain, it was learnt, is not just a friend, but allegedly also on Wadume’s pay roll. According to sources, the operatives, while heading to Ibi village to make the arrest, encountered military men at three check-points. They introduced themselves, chatted with the soldiers and exchanged pleasantries.
But when returning with the suspect, the same soldiers seen earlier at one of the check points pulled the triggers that ended the lives of three of the policemen.
The source said:
“The road to Ibi village is very narrow and only that road leads to the village. You have to pass through it to enter or leave the small village. That was why when the policemen encountered the soldiers at the three checkpoints, they introduced themselves and stated what they came for. They chatted, joked and exchanged pleasantries.
The arrest was made within 20 minutes and while they were returning, soldiers at the first and second check points asked them if they were already through. The soldiers and operatives know one another, but the phone call from a top military personnel changed everything.”
According to aledeh.com, the policemen were attacked at the second military check-point in the village. It was further learnt that the policemen were taken unawares as the soldiers allegedly opened fire on the bus conveying the operatives, with the shocked driver losing control of his wheel, leading the bus to somersault under the barrage of gun fire.
Two of the recovered corpses had bullet holes in their stomach while the other one had bullet holes in his.
It was also learnt that the incident attracted members of the community who trooped to the scene to know the cause of the gun fire. They were told by the soldiers that the police officers were kidnappers which led the people to go wild with jubilation.
The arrival of the people to the scene actually saved the lives of two policemen who had earlier crawled to hide. It was gathered that they would have been shot dead too but for the crowd and they were taken to a part of the army base where deliberations were held regarding whether to kill them or not.
One of the soldiers reportedly told his colleagues that killing them would be too risky because most of the villagers already captured them alive on their smart phones. Upon telling them the videos would give them away, the soldiers reluctantly took them to a hospital.
A security source said:
“The three IRT operatives were brutally murdered while on investigation duty in Taraba State by personnel of the Nigerian Army. It is believed that these soldiers and their boss are working for the kidnapper, Wadume, who was later released. The operatives, who were on a follow-up in an ongoing kidnapping investigation, led by an Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP), Felix Adolije, went to Taraba State with a letter detailing their investigation and mission.
They were ambushed by the soldiers. Preliminary investigation showed that the kidnap kingpin, who is presently on the run, has many security personnel in Ibi, Taraba State, on his pay roll. When the operatives got to the police headquarters in Jalingo, they perfected their papers as professionals.
Then they proceeded to Ibi Town in their operational Toyota Hummer Bus. When the operatives got to Ibi town, they booked their arrival at the police station and proceeded with assistance from a policeman attached to them in the state headquarters to trace and arrest Alhaji Hamisu Wadume who is wanted because he is linked to several high profile kidnappings in the state, including a recent kidnapping in which N100 million was collected as ransom.
After arresting Wadume, the operatives were heading to the police headquarters at Jalingo when gang members of Wadume who are close to an army captain serving in Ibi town, called the him and informed him that his friend had been kidnapped.
Without any verification or inquiries, the army captain ordered his men along the highway to ambush the policemen.
Thus, as the team was moving along Ibi-Jalingo Road, they came under the hail of bullets from soldiers. The soldiers came from behind with another vehicle, and as a result, the policemen’s bus somersaulted.
Thereafter, two policemen and one civilian agent were shot to death by the soldiers at close range. The policemen were shot despite presenting their police identification cards. These policemen also wore police jackets.
All the policemen were alive when their vehicles somersaulted. Two operatives, Inspector Mark Idiale and Inspector Abah Mathias, were seriously injured with bullets. They are now receiving treatment at the General Hospital Wukari in Taraba State.
Policemen from Ibi Area Command responded to calls and took the injured and dead officers to the hospital. Wadume, who was rescued and released by the soldiers, is presently on the run.
It is believed that Wadume and other members of his gang escaped with him to a location outside Ibi Town. One AK47 rifle and two pistols belonging to the late police officers were carted away by the gang members of Wadume who came to the scene with the soldiers while two of the police AK47 rifles are with the soldiers as admitted by one of their personnel at the scene.”
Following the murder of the policemen, the military high command issued a press release attempting to exonerate its men and this forced the Nigeria Police Force to issue a stiff counter statement, raising posers and demanding answers to several puzzles in the case, one of which was the demand for the military to present Wadume.
Watch the video here: