Killing Of Troop: Ex-DSS Chief Urges Independent Probe

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An independent probe into the murder of 17 soldiers and officers in Okuama, Ughelli South Local Government Area of Delta State was on Thursday called for by a former director of the Department of State Services (DSS), Mike Ejiofor.

The security expert who spoke during an interview with Channels TV, added that an objective inquiry would indict some very important personalities.

Appearing as a guest on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily programme, Ejiofor wondered why a lieutenant colonel, two majors, one captain and 13 other military personnel would be deployed to settle a land dispute.

Maintained he: “The Federal or State Government should set up this or harmonise: the State Government brings representatives, the Federal Government brings representatives to form a very high-powered, independent investigation that will come up with an objective report of what happened, because as it is now, people are scampering, some people that might be indicted in this investigation, because a lieutenant colonel, two majors cannot on their own just move out on a peace-keeping mission in a community. There is so much to this incident that must be found out”.

He said the Nigerian Army was an interested party in the matter and should not probe the grievous incident in the oil-rich South-South state on Thursday, March 14, 2024.

Ejiofor urged the Federal Government and the Delta State government to set up a “high-powered, independent investigation” to unravel the circumstances behind the deployment of 17 military personnel including the Commanding Officer of the 181 Amphibious Battalion on a peace-keeping mission to warring Bomadi and Okuoma communities engaged in a land dispute.

Noted he: “The military is a party interested; they cannot undertake such an investigation. By now, the Federal Government or the state government must have set up an investigative panel to look into this matter because time is running, we need to get to the root of this matter to know what really happened”.

Ejiofor, who in clear terms condemned the killing of the soldiers and lamented that the country had “lost our values as human beings, no respect for lives anymore a very tragic incident for me, I can’t comprehend it anymore”.

Said he: “The gruesome murder of those military personnel, looking at their mutilated bodies, we’ve lost our values as a people. I still can’t come to terms with that but the military too out of emotions has taken a pound of flesh on them by razing down the community, even though they said they didn’t.

“Despite the denial by the military, it’s usual with them for such reprisal attacks. They will continue to say they did not but then, who razed the community? Nobody knows the number of casualties but we can see from videos, we can see the place burning up to the extent that the governor had no access to the place, nobody had access to the community. That’s going too far.

“We sympathised with the military; Nigerians are mourning that our military men were killed but two wrongs don’t make a right”.

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