The 3rd Armoured Division of the Nigerian Army, Maxwell Khobe Cantonment, Rukuba Barracks, Jos, has disclosed that it had uncovered a shallow grave where the corpse of the missing Army officer, Major General Idris Alkali (rtd), was initially buried.
The General Officer Commanding 3 Armoured Division, Maj. Gen. Benson Akinroluyo, made this disclosure yesterday during a press conference held at the 3 Division Conference Room at the Rukuba Barracks, near Jos, the Plateau State capital.
According to him, the shallow grave where the late general was buried was a ‘no man’s land’ identified by four different suspects at different times of arrest.
According to Akinroluyo, the suspects took troops on the search and rescue operation to the spot where the alleged corpse of the missing officer was exhumed before it was reburied in a yet-to-be-identified place.
He said, “On 29 September, 2018, when the general’s black Toyota Corolla car was recovered from the abandoned mining pit, those involved and those not involved in the killing of the senior officer held a meeting to relocate his corpse away from the community. This is because of the inherent danger it would attract to the community.
“Consequently, a 10-man team was constituted to relocate his corpse earlier buried in a shallow grave within the community to elsewhere.
“A specialist in preservation of corpse was contracted. The specialist assisted in exhuming his corpse from the shallow grave to elsewhere. Only few trusted members of the community knew where his corpse was relocated to. The specialist is currently in our custody. “
The GOC pointed out this was an attempt to cover up the heinous crime committed by the community.
“There exist other evidence and indicators that pointed to the fact that those who were involved in the killing of the senior officer are being supported and backed by community leaders within the Dura-Du District,” the GOC said.
General Akinroluyo added: “Please note that four different sources not known to each other at various times took us to the opened shallow grave where the senior officer was earlier buried, but subsequently removed.
“Furthermore, sniffer dogs that have been cultured with the personal effects of the senior officer led us to the same opened shallow grave. That was the only grave we were led to by different people and sniffer dogs. We did not go to any other grave as the operation was carried out based on credible intelligence.”
The general affirmed that the cordon and search operation was intelligence-driven and conducted in line with international best practices and respect for human rights, which explains why the troops did not clamp down on the entire community but targeted only the suspects.
He further revealed that the perpetrators of the act shared the belongings of the missing officer after he was whisked away.
“The senior officer was assaulted and killed, thereafter, his belongings such as clothing, cash, phones and laptop were shared by those who killed him. His body was dragged before being moved to somewhere else and his car was driven and pushed into the abandoned mining pit filled with water. The irate youths who followed his car to the abandoned mining pit filled with water on many tricycles popularly known as “Keke NAPEP” jubilated for reasons best known to them or for mission accomplished,” he stated.
The Garrison Commander, who doubles as the commander of the Search and Rescue Operation for the missing senior army officer, Brig. Gen Umar Muhammed, took journalists to the place where the body of the missing officer was earlier buried.
According to him, “the sniffer dogs were trained with the personal wears of the missing officer, and when we reached this area called ‘No Man’s Land’, they only hovered on this spot. The specialist in our custody said he helped in packaging the body here and handed it over to the community which alone knows who they entrusted with to go and rebury the it.
“Leaders of this community called for a meeting and during the meeting, it was agreed that since the vehicle had been discovered, the body should not be discovered. So in the meeting it was agreed that the body should be exhumed and buried elsewhere.
“There was a 10-man committee set up and the committee contracted the specialist in our custody. The specialist told us everything and he is in our custody,” Brig. Gen Muhammed stated.
Meanwhile, one of the eight persons declared wanted in the case of the missing general, Da Yakubu Rap, a district head, yesterday reported to the Plateau State Police Command headquarters, Jos, where he is undergoing interrogation.
According to a statement by the command’s spokesman, Mathias Tena, the decision to declare some people wanted in respect to the case of the mysterious disappearance of Major General Alkali (rtd) has started yielding results.
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