Fred Itua, Abuja
Deputy minority leader of the Senate and lawmaker representing Taraba South in the National Assembly, Emmanuel Bwacha, has called for the setting up of an Independent Panel of Inquiry to probe the killing of three detectives and a civilian by soldiers on the Ibi-Jalingo highway in Taraba State. The area falls within Senator Bwacha’s district.
The shocking incidence has generated many reactions on whether justice would be done on the matter. The military had said it will set up a committee to look into the atrocity.
However, speaking at the weekend in Abuja, Bwacha said an independent body will be more effective in addressing all the issues so that nothing will escape scrutiny.
“This is a very embarrassing occurrence in the history of our country and must not be swept under the carpet. Nothing short of an independent panel of inquiry will unravel some of the mysteries sorrounding this matter,” Bwacha said.
“Many questions are already being asked which only an independent body can do justice to between the police, the army and indeed the Nigerian people. And also the families of the victims who are also asking valid questions about this dastardly act.”
According to the senator, there are talks that the kingpin kidnapper, Alhaji Hamisu, who got away is very influential.
“We are hearing that he is very influential and that he has compromised many people. An independent panel of inquiry needs to ascertain these claims. We need to know how this is so. Who has he been working with? Who are his backers? How did he get to the point where he can get freed by men of the nation’s armed forces? Is he supported by someone of high ranking status in or out of the military? A probe by an independent body must consider all these points in apprehending the situation,” he said.
The senator further noted that eye witnesses at the scene of the tragedy alleged that the bus conveying the detectives was chased by a private Sharon car and not that of the military.
He noted that this is a major allegation the panel of inquiry ought to investigate.
According to him, “Why won’t the military use their vehicle to make the chase? If the eye witnesses account is accurate, there was no way the bus carrying the detectives would stop for a private Sharon pursuing them. This allegation by bystanders needs to be closely examined by the panel of inquiry.”