The Operatives of the intelligence response team (IRT), over the weekend, arrested 11 other suspects who are believed to be members of the gang of suspected kidnapper Hamisu Bala Wadume.
The agents also recovered 18 AK47 rifles in the operation that covered Taraba and neighboring states, according to The Nation reported on Sunday.
Saturday’s arrest brought 19 members of the Wadume gang detained by the police since his new arrest.
It was deduced that the suspects were also making useful statements and providing clues about the three kidnapping syndicates allegedly managed by the boss.
However, the Joint Investigation Panel’s report on the murder of three incognito policemen by soldiers in the state of Taraba was not ready, its president, rear admiral Ibikunle Olaiya, said yesterday.
He spoke in response to questions from the nation about the panel findings by telephone.
A newspaper (not The Nation) reported that the panel’s report was presented to the Chief of Defense Staff (CDS), General Abayomi Olonisakin.
In discrediting the report, Rear Admiral Olaiya said: “I can categorically tell you as president that nothing like this has happened. I already told you when the panel will be ready with your report, the public will know. ”
Three policemen and a civilian were killed when a squad of soldiers joined the 93 Takum battalion by opening fire on a bus carrying them.
The killed officers were part of the Intelligence Response Team (IRT), which went to Ibi to arrest the then kidnapped boss, Bala (aka Wadume).
They were going to the headquarters of the police command in Jalingo when they were attacked.
The incident that created a gap between the police and the army, in particular the alleged release of Wadume by the soldiers by order of an army captain yet to be unmasked, led President Muhammadu Buhari to prevail in the DHQ for investigate the matter.
When the group of seven men went into action, the police again arrested Wadume in the state of Kano and introduced him to them where he would provide horrible details of the accident.
But since Wadume’s new arrest, the panel, the DHQ, the army and the police authorities have maintained a deafening silence on the issue, leaving the Nigerians in the dark.
There was no information on the deadline for submitting the panel report.
Several efforts to obtain up-to-date information on the issue by the interim Director of Defense Information (DDI), Onyema Nwachukwu, a colonel failed because he did not answer calls on his mobile phone.
However, a DHQ source told our reporter that the panel had not yet completed its work, adding that the report could be delayed because panel members were determined to do a complete job.
As for whether Wadume was with the army, the source said the suspect was in police custody.
When asked if the panel continued to call witnesses, the source said he would continue to check and adjust his final copy of the report.