The remains of three police officers and two civilians killed during the arrest of a kidnap kingpin, Hamisu Bala (Wadume), in Taraba State are still in the morgue following delay in court martialling of soldiers suspected to be culpable in the murders, Daily Trust reports. Inspector Mark Ediale, Sergeants Usman Danzumi and Dahiru Musa and two civilians including Bashir Faruk, were killed during a confrontation with soldiers along Ibi-Jalingo Road in Taraba State on Tuesday, August 6, 2019.
Sixty four days after the five were killed their bodies are still in the morgue in Abuja, their relatives said yesterday, and have urged President Muhammadu Buhari to intervene.
This is just as a joint panel of inquiry set up to investigate the matter has uncovered that both the police and military are to share blame for the incident.
The families of the slain officers and the civilian told Daily Trust that the bodies of their loved ones were being held because of delay in the completion of the investigation of the matter. Faruk’s uncle, Ahmed Sajo Abubakar, lamented the delay in the release of the corpse of his nephew for burial in line with Islamic rites. Abubakar, who is a staff of Taraba state Ministry of Commerce and Industry, said, “We are feeling very bad that my nephew has not been buried two months after his death. As a Muslim, it is very unusual because the investigation has not been completed. We are still waiting for the release of his corpse. “We want government to hasten the investigation, look at the report and take action on the killing of my nephew. We have not been contacted by the army. It is the police that have been contacting us. “We are feeling very bad but we understand the nature of the work of my nephew; if it had been natural death it wouldn’t have been like this. We reason with the police authorities but not that we are happy about the situation.” Also, wife of late Insp. Ediale, Olubumi, urged President Buhari to fast track the investigation on the killing of her husband. In a telephone interview, Mrs. Ediale said, “It has not been easy because I’m a full housewife. He was the breadwinner of the family. We want justice; the killing of my husband and his colleagues should not be swept under the carpet. “The family members say they will not bury him until they are told the cause of his death. We are calling on Mr. President to swiftly act on the matter and let justice prevail. We have not heard anything on the outcome of the investigation of the soldiers. We are feeling that nothing has been done on the killing of my husband.” For his part, Sgt. Musa’s brother, Mr. Ahmed Audu, said the suspects should be severely punished to serve as deterrence to “bad eggs” in the system. Mr. Audu said, “Our worry is that the corpse of our brother should be released to us. Government should act swiftly on the matter because this is a sensitive security matter. The killer soldiers must be severely punished to forestall future occurrence.” Daily Trust gathered that the suspected soldiers have not been court martialled by the military authorities. A security source familiar with the matter said, “We were told that they are still in military detention but they have not been court martialled, otherwise the affected police would have been invited by the military court.” The source further said five AK-47 rifles, three pistols and other arms belonging to the police officers had not been released. Another security source corroborated that, “The guns and other valuables of the police officers who participated in the operation to arrest Wadume have not been released by the military authorities.”