SECURITY operatives have arrested 25 people in connection with the recent murder of three policemen in Taraba State who were shot by soldiers while they were taking notorious kidnapper Hamisu Wadume into custody.
In one of the biggest breaches of security ever known, the three policemen were shot dead by troops of the Nigerian Army who are suspected of being on the payroll of the kidnapper. After shooting the Intelligence Response Team (IRT) policemen in cold blood, the soldiers then set Mr Wadume free and he remains at large up until now.
Enraged by the incident, the Nigeria Police Force claim that the soldiers were in cahoots with the kidnappers and it has emerged that the army captains who ordered the shooting spoke with Mr Wadume on the phone 191 times. According to one source, Mr Wadume maintained and oiled a machinery of security operatives, including police and military personnel from across Taraba State, who fed him with information on movements and location of victims for kidnapping.
They were also said to have fed the kidnap kingpin with dossiers of those capable of paying good ransom fees as well as possible hideouts and escape routes. Through tracking and interception facilities, investigators were able to discover conversations which unravelled the roles of both the police and military personnel who were on the kidnappers’ payroll.
One source said: “I can tell you that over 20 military and police personnel have been arrested since this investigation started. They gave the kingpin coverage all these years the police have been looking for him, which is the reason it has taken this long to get him.”
The killing of the IRT members, including Assistant Superintendent of Police Felix Adolije, Inspector Mark Ediale, Sergeants Usman Danzumi and Dahiru Musa as well as civilian Olajide Owolabi, sparked off national outrage, with family members, individuals and groups calling on the federal government to ensure justice was done on the matter. The joint investigation panel is headed by Rear Admiral Olaiya and has a representative each from the army, navy, air force, police, Department of State Service and the Defence Intelligence Agency.