The Nigerian Army on Tuesday disclosed that it has begun a manhunt on the rogue soldier who shot and killed a water melon seller two days ago in Sokoto State.
The hapless trader was shot dead for demanding payment from the ‘unknown soldier; after he bought some water melons from the victim.
The incident prompted backlash from a mob that chased the soldier into a hotel along Gusau-Sokoto Road.
When he could not be fished out of the hotel, the irate mob cordoned the Gusau–Sokoto bye pass and set an army operational vehicle ablaze.
A statement by the Director of Army Public Relations, Brigadier General Mohammed Yerima on Tuesday, however, reassured the public that top military brass are investigation the unfortunate event.
In the statement titled, ‘RE: Soldier Kill Trader for Demanding Payment for Goods Bought’, Yerima stated that the army will never condone any act of misconduct by the troops against the very people they are deployed to protect.
Once identified, the army vowed that the suspect would face the full wrath of the law.
Yerima, however, debunked the report that some angry youths set a military operational vehicle was set ablaze.
“The NA wishes to state that the sad incident is quite regrettable and condole with the family of the deceased. It is worthy of note that the General Officer Commanding 8 Division Major General Usman Yusuf has since commissioned an investigation to unravel the circumstances that led to the altercations which eventually claimed one life as efforts are ongoing to arrest the the yet to be identified perpetrator. Additionally, it is important to state that no military operational vehicle was set ablaze as claimed in the report.
“The NA remains professional and will never condone any act of misconduct by troops against the very people they are deployed to protect. The Army wish to state clearly that, the alleged perpetrator once identified will be subjected to a thorough investigation and if found wanting, will be made to face the full wrath of the law in accordance with extant provisions.
“Furthermore, the NA wish to assure the good people of Zamfara state that normalcy has been restored in the general area and the Army remains committed in the discharge of its constitutional responsibilities. The Army is also working to put in place measures to ensure that such incident never occur never occur again,” the statement partly read.