***DHQ Orders Battalion to Produce Kidnap Kingpin
In a bid to unravel the mystery behind the killing of three police men by soldiers in Taraba State last week, two policemen working at Ibi Police Division were said to have been arrested by the panel set up by the Federal Government to investigate the killing.
The three policemen and a civilian who had gone to arrest a kidnap kingpin were shot on August 6 at a check point by soldiers.
The Intelligence Response Team of the police led by ASP Felix Adolije had come under attack from soldiers along the Ibi-Jalingo Road while taking a kidnap kingpin, Wadume, to the Command Headquarters in Jalingo.
Three officers –Inspector Mark Ediale, Sergeants Usman Danzumi, Dahiru Musa and a civilian –died as a result of gunshot injuries.
The Nigerian Army had claimed that the soldiers fired at the IRT team because they failed to stop at three checkpoints, but this was dismissed by the police which demanded the whereabouts of the kidnap suspect who was allegedly freed by the soldiers.
It was gathered that the two policemen were arrested for allegedly leaking information to suspected kidnap kingpin Hamisu Wadume of plans to arrest him.
The arrested police men were said to have been taken to Abuja.
The panel, it was gathered, had also ordered the arrest of five soldiers, who were on duty at Army check point.
It was further gathered that two Army checkpoints between boundary of Wukari and Ibi local government areas have been dismantled.
It was also learnt that the corpses of three police men and the civilian were moved from Jalingo to Abuja.
It was learnt that no fewer than 60 people alleged to be working for the suspected kidnap kingpin are now on the run.
Those on the run include the manager of Wadume’s transport business as well as those who benefited from his generosity.
A source in Ibi said that some of them were working as drivers of commercial vehicles and motorcycles belonging to suspected kidnap kingpin.
According to the source they disappeared two days after the killings of the officials.
The detectives, led by Deputy Police Commissioner (DCP), Abba Kyari, have sealed some houses belonging to the suspected kidnap kingpin in Ibi, the source said.
Meanwhile, the Defence Headquarters has ordered the 93 Battalion of the Nigerian Army in Takum, Taraba State, to produce the fleeing kidnap kingpin, Alhaji Wadume, as evidence that its soldiers are not culpable in his escape after three policemen and a civilian were killed at a checkpoint in Ibi, last Tuesday.
A top military source at the DHQ confided in one of our correspondents on Monday that the battalion had been issued a directive to produce the runaway kidnapper.
The top military source said: “The panel may not commence serious activities until after the Eid-el Kabir break. The Army had directed the battalion in Takum to produce the runaway kidnapper as evidence that its soldiers are not culpable.
“The military will not hesitate to dismiss and court-martial any soldier found to be involved in shady business than allow the reputation of the Army to be toyed with.”
Also, the Nigerian Army headquarters confirmed that the Captain who ordered the killing of the policemen and the civilians was being cross-examined at the 93 Battalion of the Nigerian Army, in Taraba State.
Findings by one of our correspondents on Monday however showed that the DHQ panel had yet to visit Taraba State but the IGP investigative team had been in Taraba.
The acting Director, Defence Information, Col. Onyema Nwachukwu, had said the panel was in “compliance with the directive issued by the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Nigeria and the joint committee has commenced work immediately.”