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Rinji Bala's family urges FG to punish his killer

The family of late Bala Rinji Peter a 300 level student from the Department of History and international studies, faculty of arts, University of Jos Plateau state, who was shot dead along Zaria Road on the 12th of May, by some men of the Nigeria army, who claimed he was killed by accident, are ready to press charges. The deceased family have urged the federal government of Nigeria to ensure their son's killer do not go scot-free.

How Rinji Peter Bala was killed 

According to Mr Peter Bala, Rinji's dad who narrated how his son was gunned down by men trusted with the duties to protect the lives and properties of its citizens.

The Aggrieved father said his 20 years-old son and six of his friends were chilling outside their house gisting when the vigilante group set up as alternative security to protect the lives and properties in the state, reported them to the joint Taskforce, the joint Taskforce who picked them up for violating the lockdown orders, took them to their headquarters office sector 1 Zaria Road Jos. Where they were accused of being cult members, after searching and beaten them up,  they decided to interrogate them but found nothing to pin them down to the accusations.

The boys were set free and ordered to leave, as they were leaving, the soldiers ordered them to start running, Rinji's friends zoomed-off for their lives, while Rinji was running, he paused for a car to pass before attempting to Cross, he was gunned down and died immediately.

Nigeria military Taskforce Operation 'SAFE HAVEN' in a statement made by its Media Officer Ibrahim Shittu (Major) said the Nigeria Army "regrets the unfortunate death of a civilian by name Mr Rinji Peter Bala by its personnel".

According to their account "at about 10 pm on 12 May 2020, information was received on the activities of suspected armed robbers and cultists operating around No 18th Street, Jos South LGA of Plateau State. The report revealed that the criminals took advantage of the lockdown and curfew to perpetrate crimes.

Consequently, Sector 1 patrol troops of OPSH swiftly responded and arrested 7 suspects, which were immediately moved to the Headquarters Sector 1 for preliminary investigation. Thereafter, 5 out of the 7 suspects were cleared and asked, to leave the premises. Unfortunately, as they were leaving the premises, one of the personnel on sentry duty mistook them for escaping suspects. Thus opened fire on them, which led to the death of Mr Rinji Bala. 

However, a thorough investigation is ongoing to unravel the circumstances surrounding the incident. Meanwhile the MOPOL personnel involved in the incident has been arrested and detained accordingly. Operation SAFE HAVEN has condemned the sad incident".

He also said representatives of OPSH has also visited the parents of the deceased to commiserate with them. "OPSH also assures the general public of justice".

The spokesperson of the family, Mr Sam Mbok, describes the murder of their son as " very cruel and uncalled for" he said "we, as family members, are taken aback by the cold-blooded murder of our son by people who are supposed to ensure his and our safety as citizens of this country. For the fact that Operations Safe Haven (OPSH) alias special Tasks Force (STF), has apologised to us on the murder, we expect them to identify the killers and deal with them in accordance with the law of the land".