UNIJOS student was mistakenly shot by soldier – Nigerian army

The gruesome killing of Rinji Bala, a 20-year-old 300-level student of University of Jos has been confirmed by Nigerian Army Special Task Force, Operation Safe Heaven (OPSH).

Ibrahim Shittu, Media Officer of OPSH said the sad incident occurred when personnel of the task force responded to a distress call on activities of cultists and armed robbers at No. 18th Street axis, opposite Hwolshe community on Tuesday May 12.

He described the incident as unfortunate and further disclosed that some suspects were arrested.

Shittu further revealed that the family of the deceased has been visited by a delegation from OPSH, and investigation is ongoing to ensure that justice is served.

Shittu said;

“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. Representative of OPSH has also visited the parents of the deceased to commiserate with them. OPSH also assures the general public of justice.”

Governor Simon Lalong who also reacted to the incident, said he has directed that thorough investigation be carried out to unravel the circumstances surrounding the killing of the young man.

He appealed for calm and  also commiserated with the family of late Rinji Bala.

Lalong tweeted;

I am shocked and saddened by the death of Mr. Rinji Peter Bala, who was said to have been shot by security personnel along Zaria Road, Jos on 12th May 2020.

I have directed that thorough investigation be carried out to unravel the circumstances surrounding the killing of the young man.

Those found culpable will face the law of the land. I appeal for calm and commiserate with the family of late Rinji Bala. I’ll ensure we get #JusticeForRinji


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