Group protests killing of police officer by soldier with anti-aircraft rifle in Borno
• Army, Police Keep Mum
A corporal in the Nigerian Army has allegedly killed a mobile Police officer with an Anti-Aircraft Rifle (AAF), following an altercation at Makara Area of Gwoza Council of Borno State.
The unnamed Army corporal extra-judicially killed Sergeant Rowland Tafida, who was among the MOPOL Special Forces Team deployed to Gwoza last August on counter-insurgency operations.
The Guardian gathered that the late Police officer was to complete his six months anti-terrorism operation today.
It was also learnt that Rowland, a father of two young girls, had already planned to depart Borno State today before being killed by the unidentified soldier.
Chairman of Gindiri Old Students Association, 2000 Set (GOSA), Saleh Elisha Usman, and Secretary of the association, Jonathan Nanman Lar, in a statement made available to The Guardian, however, urged the Nigerian Army, Nigeria Police Force (NPF), National Assembly and Presidency to ensure justice for the late sergeant.
The Guardian gathered that both the Army and Police had constituted a joint fact-finding committee to unravel the circumstances surrounding the ugly incident, just as the committee was said to have apprehended the culprit and taken him to Maimalari Barracks in Maiduguri.
The military was also said to have taken responsibility for the damaged facilities at the Police camp.
The statement read in part: “We, the above mentioned group, wish to draw the attention of the Nigerian Army, Nigeria Police Force, Senate, House of Representatives, Presidency, and all conscientious Nigerians to the brutal and unprovoked killing of one of our own, Sergeant Rowland Tafida, of the Mobile Police Force Lagos (Mopol 20), by a personnel of the Nigerian Army on February 2, this year at his duty post in Makara in Maiduguri.”
“The gallant officer was cut down in his prime due to an altercation between a Mopol officer and an Army officer at his duty post, which was said to be side by side with the Army camp. The issue was later resolved by superior officers involved in both camps.
“Roland and a course mate left the camp to pick up their phones from a charging point. On their way back to the camp, the soldiers took the law into their hands, resulting to the gunning down of Rowland with the use of Anti-Aircraft (AA-Rifle) at a close range that was mounted in front of the Mopol camp by Army officers to prevent entry or exit out of the Mopol camp.
“The soldier on the AA Rifle also prevented immediate assistance to Roland, which might have saved his life, despite the initial aggression.”
It continued: “On this premise, we call on well meaning Nigerians and authorities concerned to seek justice for the slain officer, who left behind a wife and two children. He was Pyem by tribe and an indigene of Mangu Council of Plateau state.
“Since the incident happened, there has not been any communication from the Nigerian Police Force or Nigerian Army on why a young man who left the comfort of his home to serve his motherland was murdered in cold blood by another officer of the law.
“We, as an association, demand explanations, we demand justice and we demand prompt action by all concerned. By this, we resist any attempt to sweep the matter under the carpet. Every human life counts and that of Rowland counts a lot to us.”
Efforts by The Guardian to get reactions from both spokespersons of the Nigerian Army and the Police, Col. Sagir Musa, and Frank Mba, a Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP), proved abortive, as their mobile lines could not be reached, while text messages sent were not replied.
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