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Defence Headquarters assures no reprisal attacks on Okuama, unveils names, photos of Officers killed in Delta

*The Nigerian Defence Headquarters explains the late Military Officers were killed, after a peace mission, in an ambush, in Okuama community, Ughelli South Local Government Area of Delta State recently

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

The Nigerian Defence Headquarters has published the list of 17 Military personnel killed in an attack in Delta State.

ConsumerConnect reports the affected Military officers, after a peace mission to the location, were killed Friday, March 15, 2024, in an ambush in Okuama community, in Ughelli South Local Government Area (LGA) of Delta State.

The Defence Headquarters also affirmed that 17 personnel including the Commanding Officer of 181 Amphibious Battalion, two majors, a captain, and 12 personnel of the battalion were among those killed in the ambush.

The Nigerian Army (NA) wrote on its verified X (formerly Twitter) account alongside a photo collage of the late Military personnel wrote Monday, March 18: “May The Souls of the Departed Rest In Peace.”

The country’s Defence Headquarters announced the 17 names of those killed as follows:

  1. Lt. Col. A.H. Ali, the Command Officer, 181 Amphibious Battalion, Nigerian Army.
  2. Maj. S.D. Shafa (N/13976)
  3. Maj. D.E. Obi (N/14395)
  4. Capt. U. Zakari (N/16348)
  5. S.Sgt. Yahaya Saidu (#3NA/36/2974)
  6. Cpl. Yahaya Danbaba (1ONA/65/7274)
  7. Col. Kabiru Bashir (11NA/66/9853)
  8. L. Col. Bulus Haruna (16NA/TS/5844)
  9. Lal. Sole Opeyemi (17NA/760719)
  10. L. Cpl. Bello Anas (17NA/76/290)
  11. L. Cpl. Hamman Peter (NA/T82653)
  12. L. Cpl. Ibrahim Abdullahi (18NA/77/1191)
  13. Pte. Alhaji Isah (17NA/76/6079)
  14. Pte. Clement Francis (19NA/78/0911)
  15. Pte. Abubakar Ali (19NA/78/2162)
  16. Pte. Ibrahim Adamu (19NA/78/6079)
  17. Pte. Adamu Ibrahim (21NA/80/4795).

Though in a swift reaction to the incident, the Nigerian Army has razed the Okuama community, in Ughelli South LGA, the Military authorities assured the residents of the area there are no reprisal attacks over the killings.

The NA stated: “While law-abiding citizens are assured that there will be no reprisal on the part of the troops, we enjoin all to go about their normal activities, even as ongoing efforts are scaled up to positively identify and isolate the criminals to account for their atrocious deeds.”

Earlier, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Commander-in-Chief of Nigeria’s Armed Forces, in a statement he personally signed and issued Monday, March 18, described  the gruesome as an attack on the entire country.

Tinubu, subsequently, gave marching orders to security agencies to fish out the masterminds of the attack on the Military officers.

The President also stated: “As the Commander-in-Chief, I join all well-meaning Nigerians and the men and women of our Armed Forces to mourn and express my profound grief over the needless death of our gallant soldiers.

“I extend my profound condolences to the families of these fallen soldiers, their colleagues, and their loved ones.

“The military high command is already responding to this incident. The cowardly offenders responsible for this heinous crime will not go unpunished.”

Aside from the President several levels of authorities and cross-sections of Nigerians have equally condemned the unwarranted killings of members of the Nigerian Armed Forces.

Commenting on the reported razing of the community by the Nigerian Army after the incident when featuring on a Channels TV programme Monday, Mr. Femi Falana, Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) and human rights lawyer, condemned the attack, but also faulted the razing of the Okuama community.

Falana argued: “There are innocent people in Okuama, who are as angry as the government in ensuring that the criminal elements are brought to justice.

“But when you go and set their houses on fire and attack innocent people, you have offended domestic laws because it is right in our country that there is no vicarious liability in criminality.”

The human rights lawyer also said: “Nigeria domesticated the Geneva Convention in 1960 and under Article 33 of the Geneva Convention, collective punishment is prohibited. Innocent people cannot be attacked, even in a war situation.”

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