Senator Iroegbu in Abuja
A new lead has emerged over the possible abductors and killers of late Colonel Smaila Inusa, whose lifeless body was discovered Tuesday, three days after he was kidnapped by unknown assailants.
THISDAY was informed by a military intelligence source that the authorities are exploring a new possible lead to the death of Inusa, who was earlier thought to have been kidnapped for ransom.
The source noted that the shocking discovery that the senior officer was killed by his abductors has created suspicion that it might have been an insider job.
According to the military insiders, the abduction and murder of an army officer would have been too risky a mission without an insider collaboration.
Also, the fact that the killers did not ask for ransom has rankled the authorities, compelling them to start expanding their scope and consider a possible inside connection.
“The colonel was finally confirmed murdered on the day he was abducted. Apparently, the killers are not after ransom, the murderers must have other reasons for their action. The public are kindly requested on this unfortunate incidence with any information that can assist in tracking them,” a message noted.
The Nigerian army had announced that late Colonel Inusa who was kidnapped on March 26, 2016, was found dead last Tuesday.
The Director of Army Public Relations (DAPR), Col. Sani Usman who confirmed the development said preliminary investigation revealed that most likely the late senior officer was killed same day he was kidnapped.
“This is because the body was found already decomposing around Ajyaita village off Eastern Bypass Kaduna, Kaduna State.
“We wish to state in unmistakeable terms that whoever is behind his abduction and murder would be fished out to face the full wrath of the law,” Usman assured the public.
The army authorities have not offered any explanation to the possible killers apart from the earlier lead of military intelligence quoting that the presidency had expressed concern that the kidnap might be a revenge mission by the Shiites Islamic sect against the army over the clash in Zaria last year.
The source had said: “The situation is getting complicated. A very reliable source from the presidency just confirmed that there was an ‘Interim Report’ since last week that the El-Zakzaky group vowed to kidnap military officers to negotiate as ransom for the release of their leader purported to be in military custody. The source further confirmed that the military is aware of the report since last week. Everyone needs to be extra careful especially those in Kaduna and Abuja metropolis.”
However, further investigation since the officer was confirmed dead revealed that he was recently redeployed from Operation Lafiya Dole in the North-east where he allegedly had monetary issues with soldiers.
According to the source, Inusa who was Commanding Officer of a battalion, had issues with some of his troops who felt aggrieved that their entitlements were compromised by him.
“As soon as he came back, he bought a car and the least of it cost N9million. You know he just returned from the Operation Lafiya Dole where he commanded a battalion and possibly there are allegations that he might have tampered with the boys’ money. This was known because some of the boys have been threatening him to give them their money and he refused claiming that he has handed over and no longer in charge.
“So the suspicion is that either they did it directly or they contacted somebody because if you look at it, the car is equally missing. They might likely have trailed him and put surveillance on him and while he was enjoying in the vehicle that was when they went after him. You know how some of those boys could be aggrieved if they were given N500 and you now gave them N100,” the source noted.
Meanwhile, some officers and personnel of the Nigerian Armed Forces have expressed concern over the safety of their lives and those of their family members.
The concerned officers noted that the military are unconsciously making enemies with their increasing involvement with the asymmetric conflicts across the country.
They noted that despite the fact that they were trained for battle and pay the ultimate supreme sacrifice, they are vulnerable against isolated attacks, adding that their lives must not be cheapened.
The officers also asked that more measures be put in place to ensure that they are adequately protected against repeat of recent scenario that took the life of late Col Inusa.
“The death of Col. Samaila Inusa has troubled me so much because the military has been boxed to a corner in our time.
“I have had threat sms and calls that I would be killed. Even though I hav put my faith in God, I have reported it to the authorities but so far nothing has been achieved. We must all be vigilant at this time as the military has made more enemies than friends in the current dispensation.
“Even though we are trained to pay the supreme price we should not be prized cheap. Let us all start sentising our leaders on the need for officers to get protection because every officer is actually on his own even in the face of terrorism,” the concerned source noted.
Late Colonel Inusa was until his death a serving with Nigeria Army School of Infantry, Jaji, Kaduna State.