The police have accused soldiers of killing three of their personnel while freeing a kidnap suspect in Taraba state.
In a statement on Wednesday, Frank Mba, police spokesman, said the soldiers opened fire on the police officers along Ibi-Jalingo road in the state.
He said a civilian was also killed in the attack while the officers who died from gunshot injuries included one inspector and two sergeants.
Mba said other officers were able to escape with various degrees of injuries.
He said the operatives were in Taraba to arrest one Hamisu, an alhaji “indicted in a series of high-profile kidnap incidents in the state.”
According to Mba, ”the soldiers thereafter released the handcuffed suspect, Alhaji Hamisu, who is now on the run.”
“The Police Operatives, led by ASP Felix Adolije of the Intelligence Response Team (IRT) reportedly came under sudden attack and serious shooting by soldiers of the Nigerian Army, along Ibi-Jalingo Road, Taraba State,” he said.
“The Operatives, who were taking the arrested suspect, Alhaji Hamisu to the Command Headquarters in Jalingo, were shot at severally by the soldiers despite sufficient proof that they are Police personnel on legitimate duty.
“Three Policemen (comprising one Inspector and two Sergeants) and one civilian died as a result of gunshot injuries sustained in the attack while others sustained serious gunshot wounds.”
The police spokesman described the suspect as a “notorious” kidnap kingpin who “has been on the Police wanted list for his complicity in several high-profile kidnap cases including the recent abduction of an Oil-Mogul in Taraba State wherein a ransom of about One Hundred Million Naira (N100,000,000) was paid.”
He said the police have commenced full investigation into the “bizarre and unfortunate incident.”
Sagir Musa, army spokesman, did not immediately respond to inquiries on the incident.