…Says: Benue massacre caused by communal crisis
By Johnbosco Agbakwuru & Peter Duru, Makurdi
THE Inspector General of Police, IGP, Ibrahim Idris, yesterday said that communal crisis was responsible for the gruesome murder of over 30 persons in Guma and Logo local government areas of Benue State.
IGP Idris said that he has directed a Deputy Inspector General, DIG, the Assistant Inspector General of Police AIG, in-charge of Zone Four, Makurdi and the Benue State Commissioner of Police to get to the root of the crisis. However, the directive has led to the arrest of six herdsmen. They were arraigned yesterday before a Makurdi Magistrate Court for alleged complicity in the New Year’s day massacre in Guma local government area of the state.
Another was also arraigned for grazing on the rice farm of Governor Samuel Ortom along Naka road, in the outskirts of Makurdi town
The accused persons who were charged with criminal conspiracy, mischief by fire, open grazing, causing grievous harm with dangerous weapons and culpable homicide included, Ibrahim Saleh, Jubrin Adamu, Magaji Yau, Ibrahim Abubakar, Sabiu Yau and Hoseni Bala.
According to the First Information Report, FIR, filed before the court by the prosecutor, Assistant Superintendent of Police, (ASP ) Imoh Edward, “one Menga Mgande of Akor village in Guma local government area came to the police in Gbajimba and reported that a group of Fulani herdsmen attacked their village, shooting sporadically and in the process killed 19 persons.
“During Police investigation the suspects were arrested and further investigation into the matter revealed that the suspects had destroyed houses, crops and burnt down many buildings valued yet to be estimated.
At the hearing, the prosecutor informed the court that investigation into the cases were still ongoing and asked for another date to enable the police conclude its investigation.
Counsel to the accused persons, Mr. Al/Mustapha Elegu who did not oppose the oral application said he would make a formal application for the bail of the accused persons.
In his ruling, the Magistrate, Justice Isaac Ajim adjourned further hearing to March 5, 2018.
Earlier, the Police boss in one-hour meeting with President Buhari yesterday disclosed to State House correspondents that it was a communal clash, adding that herdsmen were part of the community.
He said he was at the State House to meet with the President on how to have effective policing in the country even as he said that the allegation that there was breakdown of law and order in the country was not true, rather enthusing that Nigeria is secured.
“You know any time we meet Mr. President, you know the area of discussion is how to have effective security of the Nation.”