By Joseph Edeh
A retired Commissioner of Police, Mr Lawrence Alobi, says those involved in the killing of three policemen and a civilian in Ibi, Taraba should be prosecuted in line with the recommendations of the police investigation team.
News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that three policemen and a civilian were killed on Aug. 6 in Ibi, Taraba, after the arrest of a suspected kidnap kingpin, Hamisu Wadume by police operatives.
NAN also reports that a joint investigative panel set up by the Defence Headquarters at the instance of President Muhammadu Buhari to probe the killing had recommended sanctions for five soldiers and two police officers.
Alobi told NAN on Sunday in Abuja that if the culprits were prosecuted, it would serve as a deterrent to other security personnel.
“Those who are implicated in the case should be prosecuted in line with the law,” he said.
He faulted the composition of the joint investigation panel by the Defence Headquarters, adding that it was the duty of the police to investigate the matter.
“The constitution of the investigative panel is lopsided with just one police officer, he is a lone voice when it comes to voting on an issue,” he said.
Alobi said that what the panel did was just administrative fact finding process, adding that the case would test the integrity of the government and that of the military.
“They are not trained to investigate; the panel was made up of the Army, Navy, NAF and DSS and NPF.
“Whatever findings or facts gathered by the panel cannot be tendered as evidence in the court of law ,” he said.
The former commissioner said since the Inspector-General of Police had constituted a panel that investigated the case and submitted its report, it was needless to constitute another panel.
“The police had done its investigation and that is what the law recognises in the case of murder. The government should allow the police to do its work in line with the law,” he said.
Alobi blamed lack of synergy among security agencies in the country on the military’s ego.
He said that the military and the police have different mandates as security agencies, adding that the military is not superior to the police.
“The military should re-orientate their officers and men to put away these negative ego of superiority, we are serving same government and serving Nigerian citizens.
“The police are trained to prevent, detect, investigate, interrogate, prosecute, resolve and manage conflicts, which required intelligence while the military is trained to identify the enemy and kill.
He said that the military’s incursion into internal security was a threat to democracy and internal security.
According to him, the police are not expected to inform the army before carrying out investigation or its operation; this it is not part of operational rules of engagement.
“What is required from the police is just a letter informing the Commissioner of police in charge of the the command where the operation was being carried out,” he said.
Alobi appealed to President Buhari to appoint men of integrity into the board of the Nigeria Police Trust Fund for effective management.
He said that politicians, who would see their appointments into the board as reward for their partisanship should not be part of the board.