Group wants open investigation into Jos undergraduate’s killing


A Jos-based NGO, Youth Initiative Against Violence & Human Rights Abuse (YIAVHA), has called on the Plateau government and Nigeria Army, to conduct a transparent investigation into the killing of Rinji Bala, a 300 level student of University of Jos.

Bala was allegedly gunned down by military personnel attached to the Special Task Force, Operation Safe Haven (OPSH), in Jos.

Executive Director of the Organisation, Mr Jacob Pwakim, made the call in a statement on Friday in Jos, insisting that an open investigation on the incident would restore confidence of the people on the military.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), recalls that the 20-year old student, a resident of Hwolshe community in Jos South Local Government Area (LGA), of the state, was reportedly killed by a member of the task force on Tuesday.

Bala was arrested that night alongside six others by the task force personnel, who were on patrol, but was later released after interrogation, and having been found innocent.

The deceased was shot a few metres away from the gate of the sector by one of the members of the task force, where he and others were reportedly interrogated.

NAN also reports that the task force, through its Media Officer, Maj. Ibrahim Shittu, admitted and confirmed the incident, adding that the personnel involved in the act had been arrested and detained.

Pwakim, who described the incident as “unfortunate”, said a thorough and open probe and prosecution of those involved in the act, would go a long way in pacifying the people.

“It is unfortunate that we lost Rinji Bala, a promising Plateau youth, by the negligence of those who are paid to safeguard our lives and properties.

“This sad incident is one too many of reported cases of unprofessional conducts and engagements by security personnel, who have been tasked to ensure lasting peace in the state.

“We call on the commissioner of police, army authorities in Operation Safe Haven, and the Plateau State Government, to investigate this act.

“We also call on the authorities to show solidarity with the family of the deceased and administer a transparent process of investigation, and most likely prosecution that restores public confidence in the government and security agencies.

“Especially at this moment that everyone needs to be on board to prevent the spread of COVID 19,” Pwakim stated.

The director, however, urged members of the public, particularly the youths, to be law-abiding and observe safety measures outlined by government and health professionals. (NAN)

– May 15, 2020 @ 16:55 GMT |

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