Christopher Gwabin Musa

Against the background that the Nigeria Military is not empowered constitutionally and by its own act to prosecute, arrest, and investigate Civilians, the Military on the ‘The Morning Show’ on AriseTV established dispositions that warranted it to do so in Delta state.

Newsconnect reports that the Chief of Defense Staff Christopher Gwabin Musa while making the clarification on the breakfast show on behalf of the Nigeria Military reason the Military is carrying out the constitutional functions of the Nigeria Police with regards to declaration of some persons suspected to have been connected to the killings of 17 military personnel in Okhuama said it was a major operation, it was a major response, hence, as a joint taskforce, they are mandated to arrest all acts of criminalities within the area.

Dr Reuben Abati one of the hosts on ‘The Morning Show’ asserted that civilians don’t fall under the Martial law, that the military in investigating and handling the matter is overreaching itself because both the constitution and the armed forces act do not give the military the power to arrest, investigate, prosecute the civilians.

Dr Reuben further said that even as grievous and tragic the situation was, what defence headquarters should have done is not to declare people wanted but to handover the matter to the police to see it to a logical conclusion.

In his reaction, Gwarbin Musa said;

“First and foremost let me appreciate Nigeria and Nigerians standing by the military. People have commisserated with us for the death of our colleagues, and am really really happy with the responses. I have received letter of condolences in all over the world not only in Nigeria. People tend to understand that the Military is established authority of the government, to protect Nigeria and to protect Nigerians.

“That is why we take it very seriously when criminals take laws into their hands against members of the armed forces, or any security agencies and the civilians.

“The Okhuama issue was premeditated, just because the group of criminals, cultists, militants, make a lot of money from crude oil theft believed they are above board. They did this, deliberately just because the commanding officer and his team were ensuring that any act of pipeline vandalisation, crude oil theft, illegal refineries, were completely eradicated from that region, that was part of the issues that came up.

“The LT Colonel was very very gallant. He was a gallant commanding officer. I had the privilege of being his theatre commander in the North East, he did extremely well in the North East. We brought him here to stabilise the North central, he did we brought him to the North West, he equally did the same.

“So for him to be killed just like a chicken, beheaded, disemboweled, that is unacceptable. We are happy that the commander in chief has given us the mandate to recover the arms, arrest the perpetrators.

“I know a lot of comments have been made by different kinds of people some from lack of understanding. When you have a joint task force, which includes members of the armed forces, the navy, the Airfoce, DSS, the police, the DMIA, every other security agents are part of it.

“So when we have arrest, we have joint investigation team. So it is not like the army is taking laws in their hands, because I have had comments like what were they doing and all those things.

“Once we are deployed on operations, we have the rights and the mandate to arrest all acts of criminalities within that area. They were deployed legally. They were doing legal operations. It was because the commanding officer felt that threat was not that high, that was why he went there and felt he could discuss with the individuals.

“He didn’t go armed, that gallant officer if he had gone armed, he would have erased everybody in that place. He felt these are people he knew, these are Nigerians he could talk to. When he stepped to talk with them with his team, they were rounded up and all shot.

“Not only shot, their body parts were cut. Their heart and private parts were removed. I think that is one thing that all Nigerians should stand against. I have heard the Urhobo leaders talking. Yes I have very serious respect for elders. But I also like elders to speak from position of strength.

“They can’t say they do not know what is going on there. Am sure you know since they decapitated the bodies of those guys, there is a lot of human sacrifice going on in that areas. It was showing they have strength that was why they cut the hands, disemboweled them, remove the heart, I don’t know what was that for.

“Whatever their intent is, we will remain focused and remain committed. We know that a lot of people knew what was going on and kept quiet. It makes them complicit. Like I said, if you notice our operations was highly regulated. Ideally before we would have gone and flattened all the communities in tha area.

“Like I said it was a major operation, it was a major response, we have conducted cordon and search operations, to search for our weapons and to arrest those that carried that dastardly act.

“I am happy with the traditional ruler that submitted himself, which is the best thing. I wish other ones in the picture will equally do the same. We are not animals, we are not barbaric, that will just go around killing people. If they had not touched our armed forces, nobody would have been there.

“We have lived peacefully with them, we have encouraged them. We conduct civil-military relationship with them. We provide social amenities to them just to show we are not operational army, we are the Nigerian Army, we are here for Nigerians to ensure Nigeria is peaceful .

“I just want to make that little clarification that they were legally deployed, and with their mandate they are authorised to make arrest, they are authorised to interrogates because we have a joint interrogation centre that work together as a team under the join taskforce”. He said.

By News Connect Online

News Connect Online is a grassroot advocacy news platform established to promote development and peace through efficient and effective reportage across all beats. Beat: Education, Entertainment Environment Energy Business Health, Sport, Foreign News, Advocacy, Tourism, Transportation

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