More details are emerging of the police casualty in Tuesday’s crisis in Nasarawa as the police have confirmed the death of 30 of its officials.
The Nasarawa State Governor had told reporters at the State House Abuja on Wednesday that 20 policemen were killed by members of a sect in the state known as the “Ombatse” militia group at Assakio Village, about 10 kilometres from Lafia, the state capital.
Mr. Al-Makura said the policemen were on lawful duty to dislodge the militia when they were killed.
The Police Commissioner in Nasarawa, Abayomi Akeremale, on Thursday told journalists that the casualty figure has increased to 30.
Mr. Akeremale said the bodies of the 30 officers have been recovered. He said nine police patrol vehicles were also burnt, while some officers on the patrol team were yet to be found.
The police boss said that investigation was still ongoing to ascertain the whereabouts of other officers, who went on a rescue operation and were ambushed by the militia.
He said that no arrests had been made, adding, “But efforts are being made to bring the perpetrators of this dastardly act to book”.
“We believe that members of the group are still in the bush around the area, and we would do all we can to smoke them out,” the commissioner of police told the News Agency of Nigeria.
PREMIUM TIMES learnt that among the casualty is an Assistant Commissioner of Police, ACP, in State, identified as ACP Mohammed Momoh.
The Nasarawa police spokesperson, Michael Ada, could not confirm Mr. Momoh’s death but said he was missing.
“We cannot say for now that he is dead, we are still searching, the rescue operation is still on; and we cannot actually confirm he is dead, we can only say he is missing for now,” Mr. Ada said.
The Directorate of State Security also said it has deployed a search and rescue team to determine fatalities of its operatives involved in the operation.
Sympathisers and relatives of the slain policemen thronged the Dalhatu Araf Specialist Hospital, Lafia, on Thursday in search of the bodies of their missing relatives at the hospital morgue. Most of the bodies brought into the hospital in 10 ambulances were burnt beyond recognition.