Nasarawa: 61 riot policemen from Squadron 38 missing

Nasarawa: 61 riot policemen from Squadron 38 missing

No member of the 61 Mobile Police Force Squadron 38, in Akwanga Nasarawa State, dispatched to dislodge the Ombatse militia group, survived the raid.

This came as the police search and rescue team deployed in Alakyo forest in the state recovered the corpse of an Assistant Commissioner of Police, Mohammed Momoh, who led the operation.

The team recovered Momoh’s mutilated corpse alongside those of many slain security operatives.

The police and the State Security Service had put the number of their dead or missing officials involved in the last week attack at 56. They comprised 46 police officers and 10 SSS operatives.

Also read: Nasarawa Massacre: Police Detain 10 Suspected Officers

However, a source told on Wednesday that no member of the PMF 38 Squadron known as ‘Tiger Squadron’ mobilised for the operation survived the militia’s attack.

“Apart from the 61 MOPOL officers that were deployed from Akwanga, we have yet to see many others mobilised from the MOPOL base in Lafia, including the men of the State CID. So the claim that only 56 policemen died cannot be true,” an officer confided in our correspondent.

It was learnt that the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar, had summoned the officer in charge of the base to the Force Headquarters.

The Police High Command was also said to have begun an investigation into allegation that the Nasarawa State Government paid a huge amount of money to the state Police Command to influence the massive deployment of its officers for the ill-fated operation against the militia group.

Findings indicated that the 2015 race for governorship position in the state informed the operation against the militia group.

Meanwhile, a new Commissioner of Police, Umar Shehu, has taken over from Abayomi Akeremale, who is retiring from the force.

Shehu resumed at the command on Tuesday.

In a related development, the Plateau State Government has confirmed that three indigenes of the state, who were State Security Service operatives, died in the Ombatse attack.

Commissioner for Information, Mr. Yiljap Abraham at the end of State Security Council meeting in Jos on Wednesday, said the remains of one of the victims had been identified.

The identified cop, he said, was buried on Wednesday.

Abraham added, “The council condemns the attack on security agencies and we think it is disastrous to the nation if all we have to do is to target security agencies. Council also condoled with families of the victims and urged the civil populace to work with security agents for the sustenance of peace and security in the country.”

The commissioner noted that the council meeting, chaired by the Deputy Governor, Ignatius Longjan, also reviewed the security situation in Plateau State and expressed delight that the state was not among the states involved in the emergency rule.

The commissioner said, “There are crisis merchants who will want the state included in state of emergency. So residents should remain in the highest state of alert.

“We are trying to sustain the peace we have and the media is critical to this. There are people who are not happy that Plateau is not included and will want such reportage that will tend to inflame tempers in order to justify the need for inclusion of the state in the emergency rule.”

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