*Want constitution of independent panel
By Joseph Erunke
Slain Police Officers– THE Families of the three operatives of the IGP Intelligence Response Team, IRT, and a civilian allegedly killed by soldiers in Taraba State, have tasked the federal government to ensure justice was done in the issue.
They also called on the international community and an independent body to be involved in any panel set up to look into the gruesome killings, allegedly by soldiers.
The officers killed on Tuesday, August 6, by soldiers of the 93 Battalion in Taraba State, according to the police, were Inspector Mark Ediale, Sergeant Usman Danzumi, and Sergeant Dahiru Musa, as well as a civilian, Mr Olajide Owolabi
Addressing the media, Wednesday, in Abuja, head of the family and elder brother of the deceased Inspector, Mr. Andrew Ediale, called on the international community and Independent bodies, to undertake independent enquiries, with a view to ensuring justice was done to the deceased and their bereaved families.
Mr Ediale said: “the blood of the” slain men will hound the nation unless justice was not only said to have been done in the final analysis but manifestly seen to have been done.
Ediale insisted that “an independent enquiry by local and international bodies were necessary to unravel the death of the officer who has served the nation variously for 16 years.
He said the family of Inspector Ediale would particularly view the killing of their son as conspiracy if the federal government fails to carry out a thorough investigation to bring the perpetrators to justice.
According to him, “We come before all well-meaning Nigerians and the international community at large to voice out our displeasure over the gruesome murder and inglorious killing of our brother who went on official duty for his beloved country that he has served for over 16years,” Andrew Edaile said.
“We vehemently speak against the perpetrators of this heinous act by the Nigerian Army and we demand a very thorough investigation by national, international community and as well independent body so that justice will be truly served.”
Edaile, who was flanked by the wife of the victim, Olubunmi Edaile and other members of his family blamed the army for the death of the inspector.
“The same Army that is charged with protecting the citizens of the country happens to be the perpetrators at the helm of this heinous and barbaric act.
“Our question is, who are these soldiers working for? Whose side are they on? And whose payroll are these military personnel on? This and many more questions we demand answers to. We also demand to know the kidnapper was released by the army.”
He noted that the action has called to question the integrity of the law of Nigeria while adding that it also causes grief to the families of the late police officer.
Edaile explained that the family have been shattered since the news of the murder of their late brother broke.
“Nothing should be swept under the carpet and we demand justice, we also want the perpetrators to be brought to book.
Also speaking, Mrs Joy Danlami, aunt to Olajide Owolabi, civilian killed with IRT team in Taraba, said the family was still grieving because “we lost a hope.”
“We are not happy the way they treated them before they even killed them, they were rolling them on the ground.
“Until now the family is not happy because we have lost a hope,” she said.
Asked whether he has been communicating with the police, she said “no”.
She said: “Jide Owolabi has been working with the SARS team for almost three years, he has been working with them to make arrest.
“I don’t know in what capacity, but he has been working with them. The death took us unaware, we want the government to do something, justice must prevail, and those people should be punished. He is just 24 years old and unmarried,” she added.