A 20 year old resident of Plateau state and 300 Level student of History and International Studies, University of Jos Rinji Peter Bala, has allegedly been shot dead by a personnel of the Nigerian army after he was arrested, tortured and freed.
According to a statement recounted on twitter by Mattew Tegha, a blogger who visited the family house,
Seven youths were apprehended by vigilantes after they were caught flaunting lockdown order around 7pm at hwolshe area. The defaulters were handed over to the soldiers around 18th street Lounge and later transferred to the Army Sector 1 at the new Zaria Road stadium.
Recounting his ordeal, one of the boys who was apprehended stated that after thorough investigation and torture they were found innocent and told to run away. He said as they ran out of the Army Sector 1 as been instructed they were shot at, the deceased was shot dead and they all had to keep running after which they noticed the absence of Rinji.
The father who later got reports of the arrests went on to the Army sector only to be told that the boys had already been released.
as they were not criminals but on getting home, he was told by the other boys that his son fell after he was shot at, the father then had to go back. The father later saw the boy lying lifeless on the road close to the Army sector at Zaria Road.
In a statement released by Major Ibrahim Shittu, the Media Officer, Operation Safe Haven explained that those apprehended were suspected to be robbers and a personnel had mistook them for escaping suspects and opened fire after they had undergone preliminary investigation and were freed to go
In his words
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 7 suspects, which were immediately moved to the Headquarters Sector 1 for preliminary investigation.
Thereafter, 5 out of the 7 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.
However, a thorough investigation is ongoing to unravel the circumstances surrounding the incident. Meanwhile the MOPOL personnel involved in the incident has been arrested and detained accordingly.
Operation SAFE HAVEN (OPSH) has condemned the sad incident and the Representative of OPSH has also visited the parents of the deceased to commiserate with them. OPSH also assures the general public of justice.
The state governor has also expressed his shock and directed that the culprit be brought to book after investigation. This was reported in a statement released on 13th May 2020 by Dr. Makut Simon Macham, ANIPR. the Director of Press and Public Affairs to the Governor of Plateau State.
In his words:
Governor Simon Lalong expresses shock and sadness over the death of Mr. Rinji Peter Bala, who was said to have been shot by security personnel along Zaria Road, Jos on 12th May 2020.
Consequently, the Governor has directed that thorough investigation be carried out to unravel the circumstances surrounding the killing of the young man. He assures that those found culpable will face the law of the land.
Already, a security personel alleged to have been involved in the incident has been taken into custody for further investigation and the Governor appeals for calm and commiserates with the family of the late Rinji Bala.
Enraged Nigerians have taken to social media to demand justice for Rinji with the hash tag #JusticeforRinji. Do join your voice to the struggle for a safer Nigeria.
May his gentle soul rest in peace. Amen.
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