More revelations have again come to light about the activities of soldiers attached to Battalion 93, Takum, in Taraba State and how they allegedly protected a drug dealer who was about to be arrested by the police.
Special Forces from the battalion reportedly attacked five policemen who went on an operation to arrest a narcotics dealer in Kwesati village, Ussa Local Government Area of Taraba State, last year.
The policemen who stormed the village to arrest one Endurance Mike for allegedly selling tramadol and other banned psychotropic drugs were allegedly beaten up by 10 soldiers attached to ‘Operation Whirlstroke.’
A police report on the incident obtained from police archives on Monday by The Punch in Abuja, stated that the incident which occurred on June 30, 2018, almost led to a violent confrontation between policemen and soldiers of Battalion 93.
The report with reference number CK4161/AC/TK/TRS/VOL.1/2 dated July 7 was written by the Area Commander, Takum Area Command, ACP Ayuba Dickson, to the Commissioner of Police, state headquarters, Jalingo.
It explained that when the policemen got to Mike’s shop where he also sold patent medicines, they met a soldier who exchanged hot words with them on learning that they wanted to arrest the shop owner.
“While the police team was still inside the shop, the unnamed soldier went out and mobilized more than 10 fellow soldiers who came on motorcycles and beat up the policemen, seized the confiscated drugs and set the suspect free. One of the men also seized and chewed the search warrant and swallowed it.
“Some of the illicit drugs include tramadol injections, HIV test kits, and many expired, unregistered and banned drugs. The soldiers also forcefully seized two rifles from the police team and took them to their makeshift office.”
The report identified the injured policemen as the Divisional Crime Officer, Ussa Division, ASP Usman Madugu, Insp. Ishaku Garba, Sgts. Moses Ashoon, Punadanda Ahmadu and Cpl. Manasseh Alfred.
The police stated that the men sustained varying degrees of injuries, adding that the Commanding Officer in charge of the errant soldiers, Capt. Mohammed later pleaded for the matter to be resolved amicably, promising to pay the N15,000 medical bill incurred by the wounded cops.
The report added,
“On July 2, I (Area Commander), the Commanding Officer, and the military intelligence officer attached to the Special Forces went to Ussa police division to meet with the DPO and the injured policemen.
“During the meeting, the CO and the military intelligence officer pleaded for forgiveness and promised to settle the medical bills and also pay for the beret of one of the policemen. After a lengthy and tempestuous deliberation, we agree to accept the plea and the offer to settle the medical bill which amounted to N15,000.”
The Area Commander said further attempts to arrest the drug dealer failed as the villagers forcefully rescued him from the police.
He accused the SF of aiding and abetting illegal drugs dealers in the state, adding that:
“the SF Officer is yet to fulfill his promise of paying the medical bill incurred by the injured policemen as of the time of writing this report.”