Nigerian army captain allegedly ordered the attack on policemen in Taraba state.
Three policemen conveying kidnap suspect, Hamisu Wadume, were shot dead by soldiers on a road block in the state.
The army captain had been in touch with the suspected kidnap kingpin.
The captain was said to have had 191 phone conversations with the suspect being held when the policemen were killed.
Police authorities are said to also believe he was on the suspect’s payroll.
Vanguard reported that “telephone conversations between Wadume and the army captain were about 191 within the space of one month between July 9, 2019 and August 6, 2019.”
A source was quoted as saying it is believed the army officer now in custody “might have been providing cover for the kidnapper” who the police authorities have been hunting for years.
The captain is said to be undergoing interrogation at the defence headquarters alongside the five army personnel said to have opened fire on the policemen.
The newspaper reported: “The arrested solders confessed that they received orders to attack the policemen from the captain, whom they said informed them that Wadume had been kidnapped and was being transported in a silver-coloured Toyota Hiace Bus.
“A source at the Defence Headquarters, Abuja, told Vanguard that the soldiers claimed that they acted squarely on the orders of the captain, being their superior officer.
“But Police sources at Force Headquarters Abuja, disclosed that the police authorities have established strong links between the army captain and the notorious kidnapper, alleging that the army captain was on the kidnapper’s payroll.”
The police had while condemning the incident, accused the army of lying over its claim that the killing was a mistake.
However, the army said the police were making “inciting and inflammatory” comments over the incident warning its men against possible escalation of the crisis.