– The army captain who ordered the killing of three police officers transporting a kidnap suspect in Taraba state have since been arrested
– The captain was arrested by the army on Sunday, August 11, after he was invited by the panel set up to investigate the incident for questioning
– Investigation has revealed that the captain had 191 phone chats with the wanted kidnapper
A report by Vanguard indicates that the Nigerian army captain who allegedly ordered soldiers on security check-point along the Ibi-Jalingo expressway in Taraba state, to attack and kill police operatives attached to the Inspector General of Police Special Intelligence Response Team, IRT, has been identified.
According to the report, police investigation carried out so far has revealed that telephone conversations between the kidnap kingpin, Alhaji Hamisu Balla, alias Wadume and the captain, were about 191 within the space of one month between July 9 and August 6.
A source quoted in the report, explained that the police authorities believed that the army captain might have been providing cover for the kidnapper, who is said to have received hundreds of millions as ransom from his victims.
The army captain, who is currently undergoing interrogation at the Defence Headquarters Abuja, was arrested alongside five other army personnel, who were alleged to have taken part in the horrific killing of the three policemen and their two civilian agents.
The arrested solders had confessed that they received orders to attack the policemen from the captain, whom they said informed them that Wadume had been kidnapped and was being transported in a silver-coloured Toyota Hiace Bus.
The soldiers claimed that they acted squarely on the orders of the captain, being their superior officer, but police sources at Force Headquarters Abuja, disclosed that the police authorities have established strong links between the army captain and the notorious kidnapper, alleging that the army captain was on the kidnapper’s payroll.
Investigations have also revealed that the army captain, who was not present in Ibi town at the time the IRT operatives arrested Wadume, might have ordered his men to attack and kill the IRT operatives as well as rescue his friend, the kidnapper.
Meanwhile, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Governors Forum has condemned the killing of the three policemen and some civilians by men of the Nigerian army in Taraba.
Chairman of the forum and governor of Bayelsa, Seriake Dickson, in a statement he issued on Monday, August 12 in Abuja, described the killings as “unfortunate, sad, tragic, wicked, malicious, unprofessional and totally unacceptable” to the people of the country.