The People’s Alternative Front, a civil society organization in Nigeria, has tasked the National Human Rights Commission to commence an investigation into the killing of three policemen by troops of the Nigerian Army in Taraba State.
The cops had arrested a kidnap kingpin in Taraba and were moving him to Abuja when troops of 93 Battalion Nigerian Army, Takum, engaged them in a gun battle resulting in the death of the three while the soldiers freed the kingpin.
PAF in a letter addressed to NHRC condemned the attack while tasking the human rights commission to immediately commence an investigation to unravel what led to the killing.
Eze Alloysius, Secretary of PAF, said, “Having regards to the facts and circumstances of this incident we are compelled to request you to use your good offices to investigate the violent infringement of the fundamental right of the four deceased persons to life.
“This request is made pursuant to section 5(b) of the National Human Rights Commission (Amendment) Act, 2010 which has empowered the Commission to monitor and investigate all alleged cases of human rights violations in Nigeria and make appropriate recommendations to the federal government for the prosecution and such other action as it may deem expedient in each circumstance.”
Alloysius posited that the panel set up by the Nigerian Army comprising the Nigerian Army, Nigerian Navy, Nigerian Air Force, Nigeria Police Force, Department of State Services and Defence Intelligence Agency, headed by Rear Admiral I.T Olaiya could not be trusted.
Noting that the Chief of Army Staff has no power under the Armed Forces Act or the Commission of Enquiry Law of Taraba State or under any other law to constitute a panel of inquiry to investigate the allegation of the murder of citizens by soldiers, Alloysius said previous panels set up to probe killings by soldiers were not effective.
He said, “Although the panel has commenced the investigation it is pertinent to point out that the. More so, that the reports of similar panels into killings by soldiers in the recent past never saw the light of day. We call on the Chief of Defence Staff to disband the illegal Panel forthwith.”
Alloysius urged the NHRC to use its good offices to investigate the violent infringement of the fundamental right of the four deceased persons to life in line with section 5(b) of the National Human Rights Commission (Amendment) Act, 2010.
He said, "In view of the foregoing and the urgency required in the circumstances, we urge you to ensure that the investigation is conducted speedily so that the murder suspects can be fished out and prosecuted without any delay.
“Furthermore, your recommendations should include the payment of monetary damages to the families of the deceased by the Nigerian Army which is vicariously liable for the unlawful activities of the murder suspects.”