The Nigerian Army on Monday said it had begin probing the killing of a vigilante member in Edo State, Few Igbinovia, on February 14, 2018.
Soldiers attached to the 4 Brigade of the Nigerian Army had allegedly shot and killed the vigilante and released suspected Fulani herdsmen who were allegedly caught robbing members of a community near Ologbo.
Howrver, spokesman for the brigade, Capt. Mohammed Maidawa, said in a statement that the soldiers killed the vigilante while responding to a distress call.
The full statement: “The attention of the Headquarters 4 Brigade Nigerian Army has been drawn to a story going round mainstream and Social Media alleging that soldiers killed a vigilante and released suspected herdsmen.
“Ordinarily, one could have dismissed without responding, but for the ethnic undertone attached to the false story. We wish to state that the story is not correct as no suspected detained herdsman was set free as being reported in the media. Therefore it is important to put the record straight.
“In the early hours of 14 February, 2018, our soldiers deployed at Ologbo for pipelines protection received a tip-off from locals of a robbery incident. Acting on the information, our troops swiftly moved to the area and sighted armed men.
“Our troops fired a warning shot and the armed men responded with gunshots, The Soldiers returned fire towards same direction of fire. However, on reaching the scene, they discovered a dead body alongside cartridges and a cutlass. The body was taken to the nearest police station and was later identified as a vigilante member.
“It was however, unclear, whether it was the vigilantes that were reported to be the armed robbers or they were called for the same purpose of checkmating the reported armed robbery activity.
“However, an investigation is ongoing to unravel the truth. While we commiserate with the family of the deceased, we call on well meaning Nigerians not to believe the story that the vigilante was deliberately killed or an imaginary herdsman released.”
. Mohammed Maidawa Captain Assistant Director Army Public Relations