Nigerian Army Admits Killing 20-year Old Bala Rinji In Jos
The media officer of OPSH (Operation Safe Haven) in Plateau State, Major Ibrahim Shittu, on behalf of the Nigerian Army has admitted that the Army mistakenly killed the 20-year old Bala Rinji, a student at the University of Jos after he was mistaken for a member of a robbery gang.
On Wednesday, May 13, the Army put out a statement that reads:
"Operation Safe Haven regrets the unfortunate death of a civilian by name Mr Rinji Peter Bala by its personnel.
At about 10pm on 12 May 2020, information was received on the activities of suspected armed robbers and cultists operating around No 18th Street, Jos South LGA of Plateau State.
The report revealed that the criminals took advantage of the lockdown and curfew to perpetrate crimes. Consequently, Sector 1 patrol troops of OPSH swiftly responded and arrested seven suspects, which were immediately moved to the Headquarters Sector 1 for preliminary investigation.
Thereafter, five out of the seven suspects were cleared and asked to leave the premises. Unfortunately, as they were leaving the premises, one of the personnel on sentry duty mistook them for escaping suspects, thus opened fire on them, which led to the death of Mr Rinji Bala.
However, a thorough investigation is ongoing to unravel the circumstances surrounding the incident. Meanwhile, the MOPOL personnel involved in the incident has been arrested and detained accordingly.
Operation SAFE HAVEN has condemned the sad incident. A representative of OPSH has also visited the parents of the deceased to commiserate with them. OPSH also assures the general public of justice."
Friends of the deceased had reported that Bala and his friends were arrested on Tuesday while walking on the street. They were suspected as being members of a robbery gang. They were however released the following day but the friends said Bala was shot dead afterwards.
Nigerians on social media have been demanding justice for Bala (#JusticeForRinji)
By Emdee David
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