Molly Kilete, Abuja
The police has challenged the Army to produce Alhaji Hamisu Bala Wadume, it allegedly rescued from his abductors.
The police also challenged the Army to tell Nigerians how a kidnap suspect in handcuffs escaped in the hands of soldiers, who were supposed to have rescued him from his abductors.
Force public relations officer, Frank Mba, who made this known in Abuja, also debunked claims by the Army that the policemen failed to identify themselves and that the police division at Ibi was not informed about the presence of the IRT personnel in the state.
Mba said that contrary to claims by the army to cover up their murderous act, the presence of the IRT personnel was well known to the Taraba State Police Command, as the operatives were officially and properly documented, not only at the state command headquarters, but also at the Wukari Area Command and the Ibi divisional headquarters.
The police spokesman said: “The attention of the Nigeria Police Force has been drawn to the press release by the Nigerian Army dated August 7, seeking to justify the unprovoked and unwarranted murder of three police officers and one civilian, and serious injury to other operatives, who were on legitimate criminal investigation activities to Taraba State, to arrest Alhaji Hamisu Bala Wadume, indicted in a series of high-profile kidnap incidents in the state. In the best tradition of esprit de corps, inter-agency harmony and national interest, the Nigeria Police Force would naturally have kept quiet, but it has become imperative to set the record straight by addressing the obvious distortion of facts inherent in the press release by the Nigerian Army.
“The most important question arising from the Nigerian Army’s press release is the whereabouts of Alhaji Wadume. Alhaji Wadume is a millionaire kidnapper arrested by the police, but paradoxically treated as a ‘‘kidnap victim’’ by the soldiers and subsequently ‘rescued’ by them.