By ALBERT AKPOR
LAGOS — THE Officer Commanding 242 Recce Battalion, Ibereko Barracks, Badagry, Colonel Nabasa, has been arrested in connection with Tuesday’s bloody clash between his soldiers and policemen attached to Badagry Division.
The clash led to the death of the DPO, DCO, and eight other policemen.
Vanguard gathered from impeccable sources that the OC was arrested, Tuesday night, by military policemen and handcuffed on the order of the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Ihejirika. He is presently being detained at the Force Headquarters, Abuja.
But as early as 9 a.m. yesterday, another group of armed soldiers were reported to have stormed the premises of a second generation bank where two mobile police men were on guard duty, overran and shot them dead.
Sources said the group later drove towards Okokomaiko bus stop where they mounted a roadblock and scrutinized vehicles in search of uniformed policemen. Police formations in and around Okokomaiko were reported to have alerted their men and officers with an instruction to be battle ready moments after news of the advancement of the group of soldiers filtered in.
Security beefed up
Meanwhile, security has been beefed up in and around army barracks across the state following speculations that mobile units of the state police command were making arrangements to avenge the dastardly killing of their superior officers.
From the Ojo Military Cantonment to the Signal Barracks at Mile 2, the 9th Brigade to 81 Division, fierce looking armed soldiers were spotted at the entrance and exit of the respective barracks battle- ready. Though some of them who spoke on condition of anonymity condemned the actions of their colleagues at the Ibereko barracks, they blamed the commanding officer for his inability to have firm control of his boys.
A senior police officer who equally condemned Sunday’s killing of the soldier at the Ibereko roundabout told Vanguard that the killing of the DPO, his DCO and other police men was premeditated.
He said when the incident took place, he and other senior police officers, on the instruction of the AIG Zone 2, Onikan Lagos raced to the scene where Colonel Nabasa briefed them what transpired between the late soldier and a team of RRS men.
The officer said: “When I got wind of the killing of the soldier, I and my officers raced to the scene where we met the Commanding Officer who was very calm in approach.
He showed sense of responsiveness. He took us to the spot where the soldier was shot and the blood stain on the ground. “He equally told us that the DPO, a native of Mokwa town in Niger State and the only child of a Catholic parent, in conjunction with his men were able to arrest the erring policemen and they were being detained in his cell.
“I made frantic efforts to get my men in his custody released to me to face in house disciplinary action but he bluntly refused saying that if the boys got to know that the police men had been released to me, they would protest. I reasoned with him and promised to come back for my men. That he later called the DPO two days after the incident showed that he had some sinister motives. I believe he has no grip of the his boys.”
Eyewitness account of how the DPO was killed
An eyewitness who narrated the incidence to Vanguard said: “At about 9.00 a.m, Tuesday, the Commanding Officer of 242 Recce Battalion, Ibereko Badagry Colonel Nabasa called the Divisional Police Officer, DPO, Badagry for a meeting. Moments after, the DPO, his DCO, operations officers, his orderly and driver set off for the barracks on the strength of the invitation.
“At the gate of the barracks, about ten armed soldiers accosted the van that was conveying the police officers and ordered them to stop while the occupants were asked to alight. The DPO was the first to alight, approached the unfriendly and gun-wielding soldiers to say that they were there on the invitation of the superior officer.
See photos of those killed here
“He was asked to lie face down while others were dragged out of the van. At that point the DPO attempted to flee, but the soldiers gave him a hot chase and brought him down. In the mean time, the DCO had been shot dead, the driver and the orderly took to their heels while the soldiers fired at them, but they made good their escape.
“Back to the DPO, the soldiers started firing at him but bullets could not pierce him. He was said to have managed to get up and started running but he was pursued again and brought down where the soldiers used heavy metal and cutlasses on his skull. He started bleeding from his nose, mouth and later gave up the ghost. The soldiers stripped him naked and collected his uniforms and service pistol. The van in which they were travelling to the barracks was equally set ablaze.”