Nigerian Army has apologized after troops of Operation Safe Haven mistakenly shot and Killed 20-year-old University of Jos student, Rinji Peter Bala in Plateau state.
In a statement issued by the Media Officer of Operation SAFE HAVEN, Major Ibrahim Shittu on Wednesday, the Army said Bala and others were mistaken for a fleeing suspects prompting one of it personnel to open fire on them.
“Operation SAFE HAVEN regrets the unfortunate death of a civilian by name Mr Rinji Peter Bala by its personnel.
“At about 10 pm 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 7 suspects, which were immediately moved to the Headquarters Sector 1 for preliminary investigation.
“Thereafter, 5 out of the 7 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” the statement said.