Okuama killings: Army not taking laws into its hands – Defence Chief

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By Emmanuel Obisue

Nigeria’s Chief of Defence Staff, General Christopher Musa has insisted that the Nigerian Army is not taking laws into its hands by declaring persons wanted over the recent killing of 17 officers in Okuama Community, Ughelli South Local Government Area of Delta State.

Musa said this in an interview on Arise Television on Wednesday monitored by Nigerian Pilot.

The explanation by the Defence Chief became necessary in the wake of Nigerians raising concerns over the safety of the declared persons, and that the Nigerian Police Force is statutorily responsible to handle investigations into the killings, and not the military.

Concerned Nigerians had berated the Police for handing over of the traditional ruler of Ewu Kingdom, Delta State, HRM Clement Ikolo who willingly turned himself in, to the Army.

Clearing the air on the allegation against the Army, Musa said, “It was premeditated just because the groups of criminals, cultists, and militants make a lot of money from crude oil theft, believing they are above board.

“They did this deliberately just because the commanding officer and his team were ensuring that any act of pipeline vandalism, crude oil theft, or illegal refineries was eradicated from that region.

“The commanding officer was a gallant officer who had done well across the North. For him to be killed in such a manner as a chicken is unacceptable. We’re happy that the Commander in Chief has given us the mandate to recover the arms from the perpetrators”, he said.

The traditional ruler is among eight other persons, including a professor of the Delta State University, Abraka, declared wanted by the Army.