Benue Killings: 124 Suspects Charged To Court As Buhari Goes Tough On Herdsmen
No less than 145 suspects have been arrested by men of the Nigerian Police Force, with 124 of these suspects charged to court over the killings in Benue State, while the rest are under investigation.
In the same vein, sixteen suspects have been arrested in connection to the gruesome murder of seven persons believed to be Fulani in Gboko by some Tiv youths on January 31.
These disclosures were contained in the fact-sheet made available to the Senate Joint Committee, drawn from Police Affairs and Intelligence committees, by the Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Ibrahim Idris on Friday.
It was learnt that intelligence reports have linked the killings to the heinous activities of herdsmen; Shittile militias of Katsina-Ala, livestock guards of Ukum Local Government Area, and activities of vigilance and Civilian Joint Task Force (JTF).
Part of the report said: “From the beginning of the crisis on 30th December to date, a total of 145 suspects were arrested. Out of which 124 suspects were charged to court while 21 suspects are under investigations and waiting to be charged to court.
“Apart from being in constant touch with the governors of Benue and Nasarawa states, the Police Force has intensified deployments with five more units of PMF personnel bringing the total to 10 PMF Units, a unit of Police Special Force, Counter Terrorist Unit (CTU), Explosive Ordinance Department (EOD) to Benue State and five additional units of PMF to Nasarawa State respectively, while aerial surveillance has been intensified in the two states.”
The report traced many attacks to herdsmen militia from January 1, 2018 to January 24 in places like Tomatar in Sangev district ward of Guma Local Government Area; Bokin Kwalta; Yogbo village under Sumo Local Government Area; Tse-Urende village in Logo Local Government; Tse-Mbakgihir village in Logo Government; Tse-Akombo village in Mbaniage district of Logo Local Government; Ukyongu village Guma LGA; and Angbayre (2)Toregena and (3) Anguri all in Benue State but near Kadarko in Nasarawa State among others
The report added: “On 25/01/2018 at 1200hrs, two visiting PMF units from 20 and 32 led by their respective unit commanders while on patrol at Sati village Gama LGA were ambushed by a group suspected to be pastoralists, in the process Insp. Abdullahi Isiaka was shot and wounded on the leg, he is being treated at Gbajimba General hospital.
“While Sgt. Solomon Dung was reported missing. Search for him has been intensified. However, on 25/01/2018 Police team from Awe axis of Nasarawa State Command arrested the following suspects: namely (1) Haruna Koligi (2) Isah Mallam all Fulani herdsmen in connection with the above attack. Equally arrested were Pastor Kudun Clifford, Umar Mahamud and Yahaya Mohammed Doso for gun running while six Plateau indigenes namely Danalami Audu, Mark Fidelix, Danjuma Basuk, James Tabir, Bitrus Dashi, Nyamge Elias and Tanko David for culpable homicide. All the suspects were charged to court for their respective offences mentioned above.”
President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday said his administration would not tolerate further attacks by suspected herdsmen and other bandits.
While urging all Nigerians to refrain from attacks, he said security agencies have standing instructions to arrest and prosecute anybody found with illegal arms.
Buhari said, “I also want to assure the people of the north central and, indeed, allNigerians, that Federal Government is working day and night to ensure that peace and stability return.
“We have deployed additional resources to all affected areas to maintain law and order. The attacks by suspected herdsmen and other bandits will not be tolerated.
“I appeal to all Nigerian to refrain from attacks. The security agencies have standing instructions to arrest and prosecute any and all persons found with illegal arms.”
The President again commiserated with victims of the attacks, which he described as “barbaric.”