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Tudun Biri bombing: Relatives demand justice as military indicts 2 officers

The military high command says it has concluded its long-awaited investigations on the error bombing of people in Tudun Biri village of Igabi LGA of…

The military high command says it has concluded its long-awaited investigations on the error bombing of people in Tudun Biri village of Igabi LGA of Kaduna State.

It also said two officers of the Nigerian Army, who were found culpable about the incident, would face court-martial, adding that the operation shouldn’t have happened in the first place.

The Director, Defence Media Operations, Edward Buba, a major-general, disclosed this during a press briefing at the Defence Headquarters, Abuja on Thursday.

He said, “I want to speak briefly about the incident in Tudun Biri village in Kaduna State, as the investigation has been concluded.

“The military conducted a painstaking investigation into the accidental drone strike and has initiated disciplinary actions against troops that were indicted.

“Accordingly, the affected personnel are to face a court-martial for acts of omission or commission with respect to the incident.”

Daily Trust had reported how the drone bombing mistake, which occurred on Sunday, December 3, 2023, resulted in dozens of casualties and injuries to residents.

The residents hailed from three communities – Tudun Biri, Ugara and Sabon Gida – when they converged at Tudun Biri to celebrate the Maulud.

The Nigerian Army, which claimed responsibility for the deaths, attributed the incident to a mistake.

Giving an update at the briefing, the senior military officer said the report of the investigation had been submitted to the appropriate quarters.

“I am, however, constrained to speak much about the incident, as it would be adjudged as prejudicial being a case before a court-martial.

“However, it must be made clear that the incident was a mistake, as the victims of the strike were mistaken for terrorists.

“It is hoped that there would be no repeat of strikes on non-combatants in ongoing operations. The military will take extra precautions in the future to ensure that non-combatants are safe,” he added.

 Relations seek justice, compensation

 In the meantime, residents of Tudun Biri yesterday reacted to the military committee report that implicated two soldiers in the drone attack of December 3, 2023.

During interviews with various individuals, including religious leaders and some affected parents, there was a unanimous call for justice for the victims.

Imam Aliyu Nyass, a religious leader in the area, urged the implementation of the report’s findings, which indicted the soldiers.

He emphasised that both the global community and the Muslim ummah would be pleased if those found guilty faced the full force of the law.

“If they truly implement the report’s recommendations by punishing those responsible for the attack, it will bring satisfaction, especially to us, the Tijjaniya followers, and the entire Muslim ummah.

“The punishment will serve as a deterrent, especially for those in uniform, as it signifies that wrongdoing cannot go unpunished.”

Malam Bello Tudun Biri,  another resident whose daughter was injured in the attack, also expressed his satisfaction that some soldiers were implicated in the report.

Like Imam Nyass, Bello advocated justice for the victims, stressing that anyone found guilty should face the consequences of their crimes, which would deter others from similar actions.

He further appealed to the federal government to fulfil all promises made to the victims’ families, noting that pledges of housing and hospital facilities in the community had yet to be fulfilled.

 “They pledged to construct houses and hospitals for us, but we have not seen any progress on those fronts. However, they have initiated road improvements and a skills acquisition centre, but the promised houses and hospitals are still pending. We are using this platform to urge the federal government to fulfil its commitments to us,” he urged.

Another affected father, Auwal Ugara, whose son was killed in the attack, also called for justice for his son.

According to him, since the incident, they have yet to be compensated, saying his son was in secondary school before his death.

 “We are happy with the development regarding the indicted soldiers, even though I’m just hearing about it from you. But I hope justice will be done for us because my son was killed in the attack on that fateful day.

“But I would also like the government to fulfil their promises to us because we have not heard anything since the incident, and they promised us a lot but we have not heard anything from them,” he said.

 

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