The Defence Headquarters has debunked media reports of soldiers killing four people and dumping their bodies in a pond in Jos during a clampdown on looters of private properties in the state.
Coordinator of Defence Media Operations, John Enenche who described the report as malicious and mischievous in a statement released on Saturday October 31, said the soldiers attached to the Special Task Force (STF), Operation Safe Haven (OPSH) only arrested hoodlums who attempted to loot the residence of the former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara on October 25.
“Consequently, troops of the STF, OPSH, which are saddled with the responsibility of maintaining peace and tranquillity in Plateau State and environs were immediately deployed to bring the situation under control.
“Guided by extant Rules of Engagement and Standing Operating Procedures for such situations, the highly professional troops 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.
“It is worthy to mention 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.”
He further disclosed that 41 suspected hoodlums comprising six females and 35 males were also arrested and thereafter released after profiling.
“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.
“Members of the general public are also assured of their safety and are encouraged to go about their lawful activities without any fear.
“Additionally, it is always advisable for media organisations to verify their facts before rushing to publish untrue and unverified stories.”