PLATEAU, Nigeria – The Defence Headquarters has denied media reports that four persons were killed by soldiers and their bodies dumped in a pond in Jos during a clampdown on looters of private properties in the state.
The Coordinator, Defence Media Operations, Maj.-Gen. John Enenche, in a statement on Saturday, described such reports as malicious and mischievous.
He said that troops in an attempt to stop hoodlums from looting the residence of the former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr Yakubu Dogara on Oct. 25, only arrested suspects.
According to him, the hoodlums and vandals invaded the private property of the former speaker at Lamingo, intending to loot.
“Troop of STF, OPSH who were deployed to bring the situation under control arrived at the residence and apprehended a total number of 30 looters.
“Additionally, a total of 114 hoodlums comprising 21 females and 93 males were apprehended for looting.
“I will also like to state that the timely intervention of our troops at the residence of the former speaker ensured that the situation was nipped in the bud.
“Thus, the story is a malicious and mischievous publication against the Nigerian Military and Operation Safe Haven in particular, that has commendably fostered peace in Plateau State.
“One, therefore, wonders where there was shooting for a situation that was managed professionally to bring the situation under control.
“Consequently, the Defence Headquarters wishes to commend the highly professional troops of Operation Safe Haven for their dedication to duty.
“Also, members of the general public are assured of their safety and encouraged to go about their lawful activities without any fear.
“However, it is advisable for media organisations to ensure they verify their facts before rushing to publish untrue and unverified stories,’’ he said.