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Police nab 114 suspected militia in Benue

By Peter Duru

MAKURDI — The Benue State Police Command has apprehended a group of over 114 suspected militia in Makurdi, in its renewed onslaught on armed groups in the state.

Vanguard gathered that the group was apprehended at the North Bank area of Makurdi town on arrival from the far north in seven buses.

According to Police sources, members of the gang had claimed that they were in town for a scheduled Peace Corps Training but the Police were not convinced as they were said to be suspected migrants from a neighbouring country who got into the country through Katsina State.

Suspected mission
The mission of the group is yet to be ascertained. However, Police sources revealed that they might have been hired for militia action in the town given the speculations that mosques in Makurdi town were to be burnt down.

Speaking on the arrest, the Benue State Police Commissioner, Alhaji Ibrahim Mohammed, said that the arrest of the group was a fall out of the security apparatus put in place by the command to forestall a spill over of the Jos crisis in the state.

Mohammed maintained that if the suspects were in Makurdi town for the Peace Corps training as they claimed, somebody would have come to identify them and get them out of detention.

The Commissioner also intimated that none of the suspects had a letter suggesting that they were actually members of the corps they had claimed.

Doubts

According to him, none of the suspects could speak English except Hausa language, which he noted cast doubt to their claim of coming into town for such training.

He disclosed that the Police has since commenced investigations into the matter while the suspects have been charged before a special court session for criminal conspiracy and attempt to cause mischief, since according to him, the industrial action by the Judicial Staff Union of Nigeria has paralysed all judicial activities.

He added that the suspects have been remanded at the Makurdi Medium Prisons pending further investiga-tions into the matter.


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