Police launch investigations into killing of suspected Boko Haram members in Abuja
The Nigeria Police Force has begun an independent investigation into the killing of eight suspected members of the fundamentalist Islamic sect, Boko Haram, in Abuja on Friday.
The Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Police Public Relations Officer, Altienne Daniel, confirmed that the command had commenced an independent investigation into the incident.
He added that police detectives would soon submit a preliminary report of their findings 'which will be made public.'
It was gathered on Sunday that the police authorities did not believe the claim of the Department of State Security that the suspects, who were killed by the SSS and Army operatives in two uncompleted buildings in the Apo Legislative Quarters, were members of the sect.
The SSS Deputy Director (Public Relations), Marilyn Ogar, had claimed that the victims were gunmen who engaged the SSS operatives in a gun battle in one of the uncompleted buildings.
According to Ogar, the SSS operatives were attacked by the suspects when they went to the building on Soji Aderemi Close, off Bamanga Tukur Street, Apo Quarters, to exhume weapons buried in it by people suspected to be Boko Haram members.
The counter-terror operation, which commenced around 12.30am, rattled people living in the highbrow residential area.
The survivors are still receiving treatment at the Asokoro District Hospital for gunshot wounds. Some of them were shot in the leg and abdomen. A young boy, Murtala Abubakar, was shot in the lower back.
It was gathered in Abuja on Sunday that the SSS and the Army officers, who jointly carried out the operation, had yet to tender the weapons that were purportedly buried in one of the uncompleted buildings.
The SSS had claimed that its operatives were digging for arms buried in the building when they came under fire from the suspects.
But it was learnt that the police authorities were not satisfied with the explanation of the SSS and had therefore initiated a probe into the incident.
It was learnt that police detectives, who went to the scene, did not see any sign of upturned earth or fresh soil authenticating the SSS claim.
It was gathered that the incident might strain the relationship between the SSS and the police which had been improving in many aspects following the synergy being built by the leadership of the two agencies.
The Director of Defence Information, Brig.Gen Ibrahim Attahiru, said that the position of the Army was contained in a press statement issued by the Department of State Security on the operation.
Attahiru said, 'There was a press release issued to that effect by the spokesperson of the SSS.
'Look, this was a joint operation between the SSS and the Army. So there is no different position, the position taken by the spokesperson of the SSS is the position of the Army.
'Ogah issued a press release, you should get that release. The position of the Army and the SSS are the same', he said. - Punch.