A mobile police officer attached to the Special Task Force in Plateau State has shot and killed a 20-year-old student identified as Mr Rinji Bala.
It was gathered that Bala, who was a 300-level student at the University of Jos, was shot dead within the premises of Operation Safe Haven Headquarters, Sector 1, in Jos by one of the security operatives shortly after the victim and some of his friends who were earlier arrested, were released.
Bala’s uncle, Mr Nyam Abok, who confirmed the incident on Wednesday, said Bala and six of his friends were taking an evening walk around Hwolshe/ Tudun Wadda Road around 7/8pm when the military van suddenly stopped and the soldiers who alighted from the vehicle arrested them.
“But the soldiers searched them and found nothing on them and yet, they hand-cuffed them and took them to their base around Zaria road.”
“After punishing them, they released them and asked them to run home. It was while they were running that one of the security personnel shot at Bala and he died on the spot.”
Spokesman for Operation Safe Haven, Major Ibrahim Shittu, who also confirmed the incident, described the killing of the young man by one of the task force personnel as regrettable.
Explaining the circumstances that led to the shooting of the victim, the STF spokesman said, “At about 10pm on 12 May 2020, information was received on the activities of suspected armed robbers and cultists operating around No 18th Street, Jos South LGA of Plateau State.”
“The report revealed that the criminals took advantage of the lockdown and curfew to perpetrate crimes. Consequently, Sector 1 patrol troops of OPSH swiftly responded and arrested seven suspects, who were immediately moved to the Headquarters Sector 1 for preliminary investigation.”
“Thereafter, five out of the seven suspects were cleared and asked to leave the premises. Unfortunately as they were leaving the premises, one of the personnel on sentry duty mistook them for escaping suspects, thus opened fire on them, which led to the death of Mr Rinji Bala.”
“Meanwhile the MOPOL personnel involved in the incident has been arrested and detained accordingly.”
Meanwhile, the military task force, Operation Safe Haven which is under the Defence Headquarters, Abuja, has detained one of its personnel who was said to have opened fire on Bala.
According to the operation’s spokesperson, Major Ibrahim Shittu, the personnel involved had been arrested and detained while investigation was ongoing into the incident.