Taraba killings: Family of slain officer, civilian seeks independent investigation

The family of one of the Operatives from the IGP Intelligence Response Team, Inspector Mark Ediale that was killed by soldiers in Taraba State has called for an independent investigation of the murder.

The family who described the late Ediale as the breadwinner of the family said his death has shattered the hope of his entire family.

Also, the identity of the civilian who was also killed when the policemen came under attack has been revealed.

The Civilian who was identified as Olajide Owolabi is said to have worked with the operatives from the IRT for about two years.

Speaking at a press briefing in Abuja on Wednesday, the representative of Ediale family, Mr. Andrew Ediale said that anything short of getting justice amounts to conspiracy on the part of the Nigerian Army who carried out the act.

He said: “If the laws fail to do the needful, we will resolve that it is an act of conspiracy. That must not happen. We, the family of the deceased, demand justice to the full extent of the law. Anything short of this is a mockery of our democracy and the law of the land.”

On why the family was addressing the press, he said: “The family of Inspector Mark Philips Ediale called this press conference so that we can call all well-meaning Nigerians and the community at large to voice out our displeasure as to the gruesome murder; the inglorious killing of our brother in Taraba State while he was on official duty for this beloved country that he had served in the past sixteen years or more.

“We vehemently speak against the perpetrators of this heinous act, the operatives which are the Nigerian Army and we demand a very thorough investigation not only by the Nigerian community but the international and an independent body as well so that justice should be truly served.

“The reason we called this conference is for justice to be served, there is no other reason, there is no other purpose. The same Army that is charged with the responsibility of protecting the citizens of this country, happens to be the same perpetrators at the helm of this heinous and barbaric act.

“Our question is: who are the soldiers working for? Whose side are they on? And on whose pay roll are these military personnel? These and many more questions we demand answers to.”

He continued: “Why was the kingpin kidnapper released? They had done their job of apprehending the kidnapper and were on their way back to Abuja when Army operatives unleashed barrages of gunshots and it was the gunshots that cut down all these gallant police officers. We demand to know why and why the kidnapper was released.

“And the effort of the gallant police officers were not only compromised, their lives were equally cut short. This is an outrage and we demand justice.

“The action has not only undermined the integrity of the law of the land but has brought grief to the family members of the deceased officers. They were on active duty and inspector Ediale, my younger brother and others swore to protect this country. His wife is now a widow. His daughter has been rendered fatherless and the family is grieving, shattered by this inglorious act.

“This is an outrage, it must no longer go under. We, therefore, demand that the culprits be brought to justice as the international body is watching. We demand this; again, this is the reason why this press briefing is being called. Nothing will be swept under the carpet. We demand justice; whoever the perpetrators may be, we want them to be brought to the full extent of the law of the land.

“If the laws fail to do the needful, we will resolve that it is an act of conspiracy. That must not happen. We, the family of the deceased demand justice to the full extent of the law anything short of this is a mockery of our democracy and the law of the land.

“The blood of these innocent officers, whose lives were aborted by the bullets of same Nigerian Army that have sworn to protect the country and its citizens, cry for justice. And if no justice is served, their blood would cry against the nation.

“The record of successful operations accomplished by Inspector Ediale and his fellow officers is not only commendable but enviable. So, we ask that to deter further occurrence of this nefarious act, all hands must be on deck as to demand an expedited resolution on this matter. The whole world is watching.In spite of what they are doing, we want an independent investigation, it is not about compensation, we want justice to be done.”

Also speaking, the aunt of the deceased civilian, Mrs. Joy Danlami said Owolabi always follow the IRT operatives to wherever they went though she could not ascertain the nature of job he does for them.

Mrs. Danlami who spoke briefly at the press conference said: “The civilian that was killed is my younger sister’s son, Olajide Owolabi. He was working with them and he always moves around with them for the last two years now. We are also demanding justice.”

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