The Nigerian Police Force on Wednesday announced the killing of three officers and severe injuries on other personnel after Nigerian Soldiers opened fire on a police team who went to arrest a wanted kidnap kingpin and set the suspect free.
The incident reportedly occurred along Ibi-Jalingo Road in Taraba State. The officers were of the Intelligence Response Team (IRT).
In a statement issued by the police spokesman, Frank Mba, one Felix Adolije, an assistant police superintendent, led the officers to the state to arrest a suspected kidnap kingpin whom the police identified as ‘Alhaji Hamisu.’
The police officers “came under sudden attack and serious shooting by soldiers of the Nigerian Army,” the police spokesperson said.
The officers were taking the kidnap kingpin, Alhaji Hamisu, to the Command Headquarters in Jalingo when the soldiers opened fire on them “despite sufficient proof that they are police personnel on legitimate duty,” the police said.
A civilian was also killed alongside the inspector and two sergeants by the soldiers, while an undisclosed number of others sustained injuries.
“The soldiers thereafter released the handcuffed suspect, Alhaji Hamisu, who is now on the run,” the police said.
The police identified Mr Hamisu as a notorious kidnap kingpin who has been on the police wanted list for his alleged complicity in several high-profile kidnap cases, including the recent abduction of an oil dealer in Taraba State.
The oil dealer, who was not named in the police statement, paid N100 million to regain his freedom, police said.
An assistant inspector-general has been sent to the state to coordinate treatment of the injured police officers. The remains of the deceased have been deposited in the morgue.
Inspector-General Mohammed Adamu has ordered a full-scale investigation into “the bizarre and unfortunate incident,” Mr Mba, a deputy police commissioner, added in the statement.