By Our Reporter
The wife of a former legislative aide in the National Assembly, Mrs. Esther Nkim, has petitioned the Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIG), Zone 6 accusing the ‘Operation Skolombo’: an anti-crime outfit comprising personnel of the Army, Navy, Police, Airforce and NSCDC of deliberate killing of her husband, Mr. Emmanuel Nkim.
The petition dated July 18 and titled ‘Gruesome Murder of My Husband by Men of Operation Skolombo in Calabar’ and copied to the National Human Right Commission (NHRC), Cross River House of Assembly, Amnesty International among others, is seeking for justice.
She alleged that after attending a program at Winners Chapel headquarters on July 12, 2017 around 8p.m., her husband dropped off his uncle, Mr. Nsan Njar Nsan driving his Toyota Avensis car at Lemna junction by the Murtala Mohammed Highway but on his way home, he was accosted by a four-man gang, who abducted him. “A cyclist who witnessed what transpired rushed to where the Operation Skolombo patrol vehicles were and informed them.
“The police gave a hot pursuit and the assailants abandoned the vehicle and fled into the bush at Tinapa road, but instead of the operatives rescuing the victim, they elected to shoot the victim dead, who was the only one in the car, tagging him ‘an armed robber.’
“They took his body to the State Criminal Investigation Department (SCID), Calabar, where they handed it over to their colleagues in Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS). The SARS in turn took the body to the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital mortuary where it was deposited and embalmed on their instructions.”
Mrs. Nkim, herself a Deputy Route Commander of the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC), further said the Operation Skolombo operatives did not follow rules of engagement by deliberately ignoring “Basic Principles on Use of Force and Firearms (BPUFF) and Force Order on Firearms under Proportionality, Legality, Accountability and Necessity (PLAN).”
Hence, her appeal to the AIG to “cause proper and discreet investigation to be carried out into the matter and culprits brought to book.” However, the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) in charge of Cross River command, ASP Irene Ugbo, said: “It is not SARS or Skolombo that killed him. He was already dead in the vehicle when the officials arrived the scene. So they would not know who he was, whether an armed robber or a suspect. Two guns were recovered from the vehicle and if it was you what will you think? Their own happiness was that they have killed an armed robber not knowing that it was the victim.
“During the hot chase, the criminals were driving into the bush and also shooting at the police. The police retaliated not knowing that a victim was in the car because what informants around told the police was that armed robbers just snatched one man’s car and they went ahead and pursued the vehicle. So you can see that it was not police or SARS, maybe the suspects might have killed him before the police got there because as we were told, he was beaten seriously before they drove him away.”
Culled from Guardian Newspapers
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