There are indications that some soldiers in the Nigerian Army now indulge in criminality, using their uniform, and positions to aid criminals evade justice.
Recently, revelations emerged about the evil operation of some soldiers that attacked and killed three undercover police operatives attached to the IGP’s Intelligence Response Team in Taraba State.
Though the Army authorities had claimed the attack was unintentional, emerging reports seem to suggest otherwise.
Investigations into the matter by special police tracking team, led by DCP Abba Kyari, exposed an army captain who seemingly masterminded the evil operation, with an aim of setting free, an arrested kidnap kingpin.
Meanwhile, another report has been unearthed from the archives that revealed another unprofessional act by a set of soldiers attached to the same Battalion 93, located in Takum, Taraba State.
The soldiers were alleged to have shielded a drug dealer who was about to be arrested by the police.
Punch reported that Special Forces from the battalion were said to have attacked five policemen who went on an operation to arrest a narcotics dealer in Kwesati village, Ussa Local Government Area of Taraba State, last year.
According to the report, the policemen who stormed the village to arrest one Endurance Mike for allegedly selling tramadol and other banned psychotropic drugs were beaten up by 10 soldiers attached to Operation Whirlstroke.
A police report on the incident, obtained from police archives on Monday revealed that the incident, occurred on June 30,2018.
It was also gathered that the matter almost led to a violent confrontation between policemen and soldiers of Battalion 93.
The report, with reference number CK4161/AC/TK/TRS/VOL.1/2 dated July 7, was written by the Area Commander, Takum Area Command, ACP Ayuba Dickson, to the Commissioner of Police, state headquarters, Jalingo.
It explained that when the policemen got to Mike’s shop where he also sold medicines, they met a soldier who exchanged hot words with them on learning that they wanted to arrest the shop owner.
It said, “While the police team was still inside the shop, the unnamed soldier went out and mobilised more than 10 fellow soldiers who came on motorcycles and beat up the policemen, seized the confiscated drugs and set the suspect free. One of the men also seized and chewed the search warrant and swallowed it.
“The soldiers also forcefully seized two rifles from the police team which they took them to their makeshift office.”
The report identified the injured policemen as the Divisional Crime Officer, Ussa Division, ASP Usman Madugu, Inspector Ishaku Garba, Sergeants Moses Ashoon and Punadanda Ahmadu and Cpl. Manasseh Alfred.
With this unpleasing development from men of the Nigeria Army, concerned Nigerians have begun to express fear and doubt over the conduct of Nigerian soldiers, in relation to civil matters.
There have also been reports and suggestions, that the major reason the fight against the terrorist Boko Haram sect is still ongoing, is because some members of the military have been compromised, preferring to profit from the fight, at the expense of innocent lives being wasted, and properties destroyed.
The National Chairman of Civil Liberties Organization, Comrade Kenny Bakare, while speaking with our correspondent, called on President Muhammad Buhari to consider a quick overhaul of the Nigeria army.
According to him, “This is not just happening. Several Nigerians have suffered in the hands of this power driven soldiers without anything being done. President Buhari should see into overhauling the army and flush out the bad eggs among them for sanity”.
A former senior Police officer who didn’t want his name mentioned said, “Though some police officers also misbehave sometimes, soldiers engage in criminal acts more. Most of these boys believe the police and other security agents cannot checkmate them, so they resort to misbehaviour.
“And the disappointing part of it is that the army will always defend them, shielding them from any kind of civil prosecution. But now that they are being exposed, I hope government and army authority will sit up to flush them out”.
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