Twist As Families Of Slain Alleged BH Members In Borno Accuse Military Of Extra Judicial Killings
SAN FRANCISCO, January 31, (THEWILL) – The families of eleven youths killed last week by the military in Borno State have accused the military Joint task Force (JTF) of extra-judicial killings saying, the youths were taken from their homes alive and murdered by soldiers without any provocation whatsoever.
The slain youths, which security forces labeled as members of the terrorist group Boko Haram, were between 16 and 22 years old according to their families.
They gave their names as Baba Kaka Dala, Ali Dala, Mamman Mustapha, Mamman Rosi, Hassan Mohammed, Mohammed Wakil Bala, Babangida Adamu, Baba Kaka Goni and Adam Konto.
Recall that the Fields Operations Officer of the JTF, Colonel Victor Ebhaleme told journalists last weekend that eleven (11) members of the terrorist group were killed in a gun fight which lasted for several hours during a stop and search operation, along an undisclosed road in Maiduguri. Ebhaleme said one of the sect members that survived the battle with gun wounds was taken into custody and is being treated at the main hospital in the city.
Borno State is being militarized following the declaration of a state of emergency in December by the President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan-led Federal Government of Nigeria.
But the families of the slain men in a press conference addressed today in Maiduguri called on the federal and state governments to commission a probe into the incident.
One parent who said he lost three (3) sons in the killings narrated how soldiers stormed their home in the wee hours of Saturday and ordered everyone outside. “We were then told to lay face down,” Abatcha Dala said, adding, “Then they told us the parents to go inside without our children but when we demanded for explanation they said they just wanted to go and interrogate them that they will come back to us.” The kids never returned to their home.
'' In the morning I and my other neighbours that their children were also picked up went to Giwa Barrack but were not able to see the commander of the JTF because it was weekend. Then when I got home I heard it on BBC that eleven Boko Haram members were killed by JTF on the road during an encounter. When we went to the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital we saw nine dead bodies of our sons out of the eleven of them taken away.
“My sons are not members of the Boko Haram; one of them is even a member of the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP).
''Two of them just finished secondary school and one of them is helping someone to sell wares at Monday market. I do not allow my children to come out after Ishai prayer,'' Abatcha added.
All the families that spoke shared similar stories.
''All we want is for the government to identify the killers of our innocent children and bring them to justice,'' Hassan Bukar, who lost a son, said.
THEWILL sought a reaction from Ebhaleme but his phone went unanswered when we put a call through.