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Plateau: Military Denies Involvement In Killing Of Riyom Youths

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Nigerian Army

Troops of the military task force, Operation Safe Haven (OPSH) in Plateau State have denied complicity in the death of two youths in Riyom Local Government Area of the state.

Some sources had blamed last Sunday’s killing of two youths, Jerry Bitrus, 28, and Joseph Davou, 32 on the military task force, but the claim has been refuted by the leadership of the troop.

A statement by the OPSH Media Officer, Major Ibrahim Shittu explained that the military was only brought in to restore calm after gunmen stormed the area.

He alleged that it was some mischievous persons trying to pin the death on troops of Operation Safe Haven.

The statement reads: “The attention of the Operation SAFE HAVEN (OPSH) has been drawn to reports alleging the killing of two youths by gunmen in the Riyom Local Government Area of Plateau State.

“The report which claimed that more facts have emerged on how the gunmen killed the two young men on Sunday around 7.09pm, said some locals accused men of Operation Safe Haven of being responsible for the attack and killing of the victims.

“Having gone through this report and allegations made, we wish to dissociate our men from this act in its entirety. This allegation is not only false, mischievous and baseless but also aimed at discrediting the operation.

“To set the records straight, we wish to state that on Sunday, January 10, 2021, the Commander Sector 6 of Riyom General Area was called by the youth leader of Ghoss to inform him that two (2) persons were shot by unknown gunmen. Following the information, he swiftly mobilized his troops in conjunction with the Riyom Police Division to the scene.”

“On their arrival, they met the two victims who were incapacitated and bleeding profusely. A close examination by the team showed that one was already dead while the other one was evacuated to K Vom Christian Hospital in the company of some youths; unfortunately, he later gave up the ghost.”

The statement added that the Riyom Police Division in the area was informed of the development by the military and they moved in to evacuate the bodies.

Shittu added that the troops will continue to discharge their responsibilities in a professional manner, without allowing some people to dampen their morale.

“A member of the Plateau State House of Assembly representing Riyom Constituency, Hon Timothy Datong, who also heard of the development, called the Commander Sector 6 where the incident happened and he was briefed accordingly.

“It is however sad that some mischievous persons are accusing personnel of OPSH of the killings.

“You will recall that based on the threats to that general area during the Yuletide season, OPSH increased its deployment to serve as a deterrence to those who planned to attack.

“Troops have also continued to maintain security even after the New Year celebrations. One wonders why the same troops will kill anyone who is not a threat to the security of law-abiding citizens.

The military unit further vowed that the allegations will not deter its troops from performing their duties in the region.

“OPSH will continue to operate professionally within its mandate in Plateau State and across its Joint Operational Area.”

Meanwhile, a Court Marshal sitting in Maimalari Cantonment in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital, has sentenced four soldiers to different jail terms for torturing a civilian to death.

The erring Army officers are Sani Ishaya, Bidemi Fabiyi, Abdulrasheed Adamu, and Bala Musa. The soldiers were arraigned for manslaughter by the Nigerian Army before the 7 Division General Court Marshal, Operation Lafiya Dole.

Source: Naija News

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