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CP, 11 other policemen face trial over Nasarawa massacre

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By Wisdom Patrick (Lagos) and Igoniko Oduma (Yenagoa)

Twelve police officers, including a Commissioner of Police and an Assistant Commissioner of Police, are to be prosecuted if found culpable after the on-going investigation of their role in the recent killing of 45 policemen in Nasarawa State.

Spokesman of the Nigeria Police, Frank Mbah, told our correspondent that investigation into the circumstances that led to the killings had begun.

“All I can say is that investigation into the incident is ongoing and the Nigeria Police remain irrevocably committed to finding the killers and bringing them to book in accordance with the laws of the land,” Mba said.

He, however, declined comment on how many policemen are currently facing investigation.

But checks by our correspondent revealed that a commissioner and an assistant commissioner have already been queried in line with the Force disciplinary procedure, while other ranks among them are undergoing orderly room trial at the Force Headquarters in Abuja.

Mba added that the Force was irrevocably committed to making all those who had a hand in the killing of the law enforcement agents to  face the wrath of the law.

Security operatives in Abuja penultimate Saturday started putting together pieces of background information on the alleged mole, one Corporal Enugu, and 11 others that led to the killing of the 43 policemen.

First, operatives had discovered the real name of the prime suspect (Corporal Enugu) to be Tango Atahiru, born 35 years ago in Yashi to peasant farmer parents who hail from Eggon in Nasrawa State.

A competent source at the Department of State Service (DSS) also told our correspondent in a telephone interview from Abuja that the suspect joined the Force with fake identity the second time in 2007 in Lafia, Nasarawa State.

“He first joined the Police in 2000 and was posted to Enugu State where he got involved in series of misconducts, including armed robbery, and was tried in orderly room and dismissed in 2005.

“He was to face trial for the crime but he jumped bail and returned to his home town, Eggon in Nasarawa State.”

The source added that the suspect again in 2007 used fresh identity to get recruited into the Force.

“This time he claimed to hail from Yashi in the same Nasarawa State and was recruited into the Force in 2007 as a trades-man and posted to Nasarawa State command as a driver, where he served until he was arrested in connection with the crime of sell-out of his colleagues to a cult group of which he is an active and prominent member,” the source said.

The source stated further that, while serving in Nasarawa, the controversial Corporal had several cases of discipline but always escaped punishment.

“His colleagues in the Force are either Sergeants or even Inspectors but he has remained a Corporal because of series of entries (disciplinary pronouncements) made into his file after orderly room trials.”

Meanwhile, the Bayelsa State Police Command on Monday disclosed that it had recovered 1,700 rounds of ammunition buried in the ground by suspected criminals in an abandoned building in Koluama I community in the Southern Ijaw Local Government area of the state.

Also recovered by the police were eight pump action rifles, five AK47 rifles and 19 magazines, which were similarly buried by the suspects.

Displaying the recovered items before newsmen at the command headquarters in Yenagoa, Commissioner of Police, Tonye Ebitibituwa, said ‘Operation Doo Akpo’, a security outfit of the state government, jointly carried out the operation with a team of naval ratings.

Ebitibituwa said the building was deserted when the security operatives invaded it and recovered the items on Sunday following a tip-off.

He stated that although no arrest was made, the success of the operation was an indication that most communities were not safe, as suspected criminals were using them as their hide-outs.

“These arms and ammunition were buried in the ground. The house was deserted. By digging up the ground, these arms and ammunition were found. We have eight pump action guns, five AK 47 rifles, 1,700 rounds of ammunition and 19 pump action guns,” he said.

Article Credit: Daily Independent Newspaper

Updated 6 Years ago

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