Apo Massacre: Police commence investigation, Northern groups urge probe of other killings

The doubt by the Nigerian Police Force that the eight suspected members of the dreaded militant group, Boko Haram, who were killed last Friday has prompted the police to begin independent investigations into the alleged extrajudicial killing in Apo Legislative Quarters in Abuja.
This is coming to the fore after series of outcry from concerned members of the public as well as human rights groups.
The eight people who were killed during an offensive operation by the SSS and Army operatives were said to be co-habitants of many other squatters in two uncompleted buildings in the aforementioned neighborhood.
The FCT Police Public Relations Officer, Altienne Daniel, revealed that the command had kicked off an independent investigation into the incident and the preliminary report of the  police detectives will after submission be made available in the public domain.
Besides, the northern socio-political organisations, the Arewa Consultative Forum,  and the Jama’atu Nasril Islam led by the Sultan of Sokoto , Alhaji Abubakar Sa’ad lll have called for the investigations to include other such killings which took place recently.
The other killings mentioned include;   Benisheikh, in Borno State, Wase, in Plateau State, Kafanchan in Kaduna State and also various attacks in Nasarawa and Taraba states,
The groups advised the presidency and the respective Northern state governments “to constitute a commission of inquiry over these matters.”
In an interview, the National Publicity Secretary of the ACF, Mr. Anthony Sani in Kaduna noted that an investigation was important in order to engener confidence in Nigerian’s intelligence community.
“The ACF is observing the event associated with the killings last Friday in Abuja of the suspected members of the Boko Haram sect with keen interest, especially the conflicting reports and claims and counter-claims of what actually happened.
“It is against this backdrop that ACF calls on the authorities  to thoroughly investigate the incident for the purpose of enabling Nigerians and the world to know the truth needed for inspiring confidence in the nation’s intelligence community for public good.”
Also in a statement by JNI Secretary-General, Dr. Khalid Aliyu also urged the authorities   to caution the State Security Service’s spokesperson  Marilyn Ogar over the manner  she  is handling the sensitive  security matter.
The JNI statement read in parts: “A critical overview of these repeated acts of absurdity clearly shows that the manner in which the SSS spokesperson handles reportage of security issues needs serious introspection, because the spokesperson concludes matters before investigation. The case of the Nasarawa State man found with dynamite in Radio House is still fresh in  our  memory.

“Therefore, the spokesperson should be cautioned. It is most likely as reported by the media that the Apo victims were not Boko Haram members as claimed by the spokesperson.

“It is quite unfortunate, regrettable and condemnable that,  after witnessing relative peace in some of these states in recent times, these unfortunate recurring massacres are coming up within 72 hours”, the group lamented.
Hence, due to the dissatisfaction of the police authorities with the stance of the SSS and the Nigerian army, it had begun an independent probe into the incident.
A top security source who craved anonymity revealed that that police detectives could not discover any indication of unearthed or fresh soil atto the scene, to authenticate claims by the SSS.
“The SSS disappointed the police by not informing us about such an operation in the FCT. But while we wouldn’t want to antagonise our sister agency and the Army by exposing the flaws in the operation, we will however carry out a thorough investigation and submit our findings to the government to avoid another fiasco in future”, he said.
There are indications that the probe by the police might strain the relationship with the security SSS as the police is now discovering various findings about the incident.
It was learnt that the SSS and the Army officers after the joint operations have yet to parade the weapons which were supposedly unearthed from  one of the uncompleted buildings.
In his reaction, the Director of Defence Information, Brig.Gen Ibrahim Attahiru, noted that the position of the Army on the operation was stated in a press statement issued by the Department of State Security.
“There was a press release  issued to that effect by the spokesperson of the SSS. Ogah issued a press release, you should get that release. The position of the Army and the SSS are the same.”
“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, Attahiru said.
However, the survivors are said to be responding to medical  treatments at the Asokoro District Hospital for gunshot wounds.

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