When the news story broke last week that soldiers shot and killed one civilian and three police officers who had arrested a wanted kidnap kingpin, Alhaji Hamisu Wadume, in Taraba State, I took it as one of the bizarre stories that happen in Nigeria. But I gave the Nigerian Army the benefit of the doubt by saying that it could be a case of mistaken identity. I made a Facebook/Twitter post that said:
This story is not surprising but is bizarre. However, there is also a possibility that criminals wore army uniform to execute this rescue of their boss.” Hours later, I was shocked to read a news story that said the Nigerian Army had confirmed that its officers actually shot the police officers and the civilian mistakenly without saying what happened to the handcuffed kidnap suspect in the bus. Did he mistakenly escape too in spite of the manacles on him?
The Nigerian Army press release said that troops of the 93 Battalion in Taraba received a distress call that someone was kidnapped. They suspected the vehicle used by the police as that of the kidnappers because it refused to stop when flagged down. Consequently, they pursued it and exchanged fire with the occupants. Indeed, the Nigeria Police Force responded to the press release from the Nigerian Army, asking the same basic questions that anyone would ask: If indeed the Nigerian Army received a distress call that someone had been kidnapped and it suspected that the vehicle conveying the police officers was the vehicle used by the suspected kidnappers, why did it release the suspected kidnap victim after shooting and killing his supposed abductors? Or did the handcuffed man run away or disappear into thin air when the soldiers were shooting at the police vehicle?…….