Army lacks power to probe Taraba killings, says Falana SAN

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ACTIVIST-LAWYER Femi Falana (SAN) on Wednesday said the Army had no authority to set up a panel of enquiry on soldiers’ killing of policemen on outskirt of Taraba State on August 7.
At a Civil Society media roundtable on inter-agency conflict in Abuja, he said the investigative panel was diversionary and illegal.
He called for its immediate disbandment.
Falana said: “As a result of the violent attack, three policemen and a civilian were killed in cold blood while other policemen were seriously injured. After the brutal killing, the soldiers proceeded to free the alleged notorious suspect.
“In a bid to cover up the unlawful killing of the four people, the authorities of the Nigerian Army claimed that it was a case of mistaken identity.
“Notwithstanding the spurious claim, the Chief of Defence Staff-General Abayomi Olonisakin, was reported to have set up a panel of enquiry to unravel what led to the unlawful killing of the four people.
“The setting up of the panel is diversionary, illegal and ultra vires.
“Since the slain civilian and policemen were not subject to service law, the military authorities lack the vires to cause an investigation to be conducted into a murder case covered by Section 4 of the Police Act.”
Falana said although the panel had commenced investigation, it had no legal basis.
According to him, the Chief of Defence Staff had no power under the Armed Forces Act, the Commission of Enquiry Law of Taraba State or any other law to institute the panel.
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