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CSOs Condemn Taraba Killings, call for Accountability and Prosecution of Culprits

The Rule of Law & Accountability Advocacy Center (RULAAC) has criticized the murder of 3 Policemen and 1 civilian by some Military officers in Taraba State.
The Group is calling for transparent investigation of the killings and prosecution of the culprits.

They noted that three police officers attached to the Intelligence Response Team (IRT) and one civilian were killed in cold blood on Tuesday 6th August 2019 along Ibi-Wukari road in Taraba State by some soldiers.

The Executive Director, RULAAC, Mr. Okechukwu Nwanguma while speaking at a media round table on inter-agency rivalry and conflict “Focusing on the Killing of IGP- IRT Operatives by army officers in Taraba State” in Abuja, hinted that the recent killings in Taraba state highlights one of the negative impacts of the longstanding mutual hostility and inter-agency rivalry particularly between the Nigeria Police Force and the Military.
Mr. Nwanguma called on the police hierarchy to partner with the Attorney-General of Taraba State in ensuring the prosecution of the culprits.

Similiarly, he noted that the National Human Rights Commission, which has a quasi-judicial and independent status, as well as the National Assembly, should set up investigative committees into the killings.
” In view of the fact that the Police and the Army, are parties to the dispute, they cannot be neutral arbiters investigating the killings.”

Also speaking at the event, Senior Advocate of Nigeria Mr. Femi Falana disclosed that the Chief of Defense Staff, General Abayomi Olonisakin has usurped the official powers meant absolutely for the governor of the state by creating a panel of enquiry to unravel what led to the unlawful killing of the four people.

“With respect, by setting up the Panel to investigate the tragic event that occurred in Taraba State the Chief of General Staff has usurped the powers exclusively conferred on the Governor of the State by virtue of the Commission of Enquiry Law of Taraba State”.

“The setting up of the Panel is diversionary, illegal and ultra vires the office of the Chief of Defence Staff. Since the slain civilian and policemen were not subject to service law the military authorities lack the vires to cause an investigation to be conducted into a murder case covered by section 4 of the Police Act. “

Falana then urged the federal government on the need to clearly state the rules of engagement for military personnels.

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