Rose Ejembi, Makurdi
The Benue State Police Command has disclosed that a total of 164 persons have been prosecuted since January in connection with the state’s Anti Open Grazing Law
Commissioner of Police Fatai Owoseni, who disclosed this while addressing newsmen at the state Police Command on Tuesday, said of the number, 34 suspects were arraigned in court in the last month.
He stated that 14 armed robbery suspects were arrested, with 30 firearms (including three AK-49 and four AK-47 rifles, as well as 23 locally made pistols) recovered.
Owoseni further disclosed that 19 suspects were arrested after a bloody clash between two communities in Konshisha local government area of the state, while 19 others were arrested in connection with the cult clash in Otukpo local government area.
He said over 100 thatched houses were burnt in the communal clash in Konshisha while the Otukpo cult clash between Red Skin and Black Skin Secret Cults claimed the lives of three persons last weekend.
The Police Commissioner, who linked cases of armed robbery, abduction and kidnapping along the Zaki Biam, Katsina-Ala and Kwande axis to the criminal activities of wanted militia leader Terwase Akwaza (alias: ‘Ghana’), explained that concerted efforts are on to ensure his reign comes to an end.
He decried the activities of a group of sponsored militiamen, mainly from the Edikwu community, who have engaged in conflict with the Ugboju community in Apa local government area of the state.
“It has been discovered that the Edikwu have a large cache of arms by their sponsors to cause havoc within Apa and Agatu local government areas as well. We are making efforts to carry out a massive disarmament exercise in the two local government areas,” Owoseni said.