Lawyer and rights activist, Abdul Mahmud, popularly known as the Great Oracle has condemned the killing of three police on duty by personnel of the Nigerian Army.
Three members of the Inspector General of Police Intelligence Response Team (IRT), Sargent Usman Danzuma, Inspector Mark Ediale, Sargent Dahiru Musa, were gun down at close range by soldiers of the Nigerian Army when transporting an arrested Kidnap Kingpin, Alhaji Hamisu Bala Wadume.
Mahmud in a series of tweets on his official twitter handle, also faulted the operational strategies of the Inspector General of Police Intelligence Response Team (IRT).
See his tweet below…
I empathize with @policeng over the killing of its officers by soldiers. Gruesome as the killing is, it raises many salient questions over policing and law enforcement, combat engagement, human rights, investigations, etc. 》》》
— Revolutionary Oracle (@AbdulMahmud01) August 9, 2019
I empathize with the Nigerian Police over the killing of its officers by soldiers. Gruesome as the killing is, it raises many salient questions over-policing and law enforcement, combat engagement, human rights, investigations, etc.”
Questions must be asked and they are legitimate questions that must elicit answers: 1) why are officers of the IGP Response Team not properly attired during operations? Why are they all always dressed like Bakassi Boys?
2) Why does the IGP Response Team conduct its operations in nondescript cars and buses? (3) How are the IGP Response Team officers identified in a combat area? (4) What are their rules of engagement? Do they drive in a single-car, without backup cover and protection?
Folks will claim that the IGP Response Team is an undercover team, my response is that it is not. An undercover team does not expose itself to cameras the way it does each time it busts big-time crooks.
Early this year the officers posed before the cameras as they marched through forests on Kaduna-Abuja expressway. And only recently they were captured marching into Daura with that town’s traditional ruler freed from kidnappers.
There’s something flawed in the operations of the so-called elite squad. A serious country doesn’t place its elite officers in a reckless and dangerous harm’s way the IGP Response Team is placed.
“If” is a conjunction that gives clearer meaning to hindsight. We only deal with “if” after an event, but it is useful for understanding outcomes. If those slain officers were properly dressed in their operational attire, driven in a marked police car with protective cover.
Would the army make the claim it is making today? This, of course, doesn’t excuse the dastardly act of officers of the Nigeria Army. It doesn’t, but our institutions must be held to standard best practice. We have been screaming on these streets for ages.
If you have watched the video of the slain officers, you’ll appreciate the human rights issues implicated in it. How could officers be shot at a close range? How could soldiers supervise the killing of another officer who clearly survived the initial shooting?
The IGP Response Team is a victim of its anti-human rights operations. Last year the National Human Rights Commission accused the IGP Response Team of extra-judicial killings. NHRC specifically alleged that the IGP Response Team led by DCP Abba Kyari murdered Citizen Ezenwa And his brother when they were stopped on Aba-PH expressway. The Commission also alleged that the IGP Response Team leader Abba Kyari personally confiscated and converted the property of the deceased Ezenwa into his personal use.
Ezenwa it must be stated was alleged by the IGP Response Team to be a kidnapper. There have been calls by CSO groups on Nigerian Police to open the IGP Response Team up to independent investigation. Calls have fallen on deaf ears.
This is one incident that should Nigerians around a single call: demand that an independent public inquiry headed by a retired judge be instituted by the federal government to unravel the circumstances leading to the killing of the officers.
Police and Army are implicated by their anti-human rights’ operations that their joint investigation will invariably result in a cover-up. The implications of the killing are far-reaching. We must speak with one voice: we need an independent public inquiry NOW