A senior military officer allegedly benefitting from Taraba kidnapper Hamisu Wadume’s largesse, has been accused of ordering the hit on the policemen killed by soldiers.
Recall that the Nigerian Police and Army engaged in a trade of blames last week over the whereabouts of the Taraba kidnap kingpin and murder of the policemen transporting him for interrogation after his arrest.
New Telegraph reported that prior to his arrest,, Wadume was generous to soldiers in Ibi and even paid a N1.5 million ransom when a military officer was kidnapped few months ago. The newspaper reported that the killed policemen met the soldiers at the three checkpoints while on their way to arrest the kidnap kingpin, introduced themselves and also revealed what they came for.
One of the sources reportedly said: “They even chatted, joked and exchanged pleasantries. The arrest was made within 20 minutes and while they were returning, soldiers at the first and second checkpoints 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.”
The policemen lost control of the vehicle which somersaulted upon being shot at by the soldiers.
The source said: “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, Jalingo, to trace and arrest Alhaji Hamisu Wadume, who is wanted because he is linked to several kidnappings in Taraba State, including a recent kidnapping in which N100 million was collected as ransom.
“After arresting Wadume, the operatives were heading to police headquarters at Jalingo, when gang members of Wadume, who are close to an army captain serving in Ibi town, called the army and told 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.”
Though Nigerian army’s spokesperson Sagir Musa did not react to the allegation, however it should be recalled that a seven-man panel was set up by the Defence headquarters to probe the killings following President’s Muhammadu Buhari’s directive.