Noah Ebije, Kaduna
Children of nine Adara leaders remanded in Kaduna prison on charges of alleged culpable homicide, in the wake of Kajuru killings this year, have called on the state government to release their fathers without further delay.
Following incessant communal clashes between Fulani herdsmen and Adara natives in Kajuru Local Government Area of Kaduna State, nine Adara elders were arrested, charged to court and remained in prison custody having been denied bail.
Representative of the children of the embattled elders, Bege Bawa Magaji, in a statement said the detention of their fathers is a violation of their fundamental human rights.
The statement also noted that the detainees are advanced in age with fragile health conditions, insisting that they deserve quick release from detention to attend to their health.
Those in detention include the acting paramount chief, Bawa Magaji Kufana (who had previously served as a Commissioner of Agriculture and also as Commissioner of Chieftaincy Affairs during Governor Ahmed Makarfi’s tenure); the President of the Adara Development Union, Awemi Dio Maisamari; Sani Magaji, a retired Commissioner of Police and Joseph Abdallah, National Treasurer, Adara Development Association.
Others are Tanko Maisamari, Village Head of Maro; Hosea Danladi, Village Head of Ungwan Gamo; Joseph Ayuba, Village Head of Kutura, Tanko Wada; Village Head of Aguba, and Ulu Maitumbi, an Ungwan Barde elder.
The statement said: “Since February 16, 2019, our fathers have been in detention having been denied bail. Their continuous detention without bail or trial is a violation of their fundamental human rights.
“We are traumatised that Kaduna State government can quickly arraign our parents over alleged killing of 66 or 130 Fulanis, an allegation that is still not proved, but cannot arraign those responsible for the killing of almost 200 Adara natives.
“Our fathers are locked up in a convict prison with murderers and thieves and rapists even when they have outstandingly served this country in various capacities. They are retirees and advanced in age and manage different form of life-threatening ailments, yet they are confined to situations that aggravate their fragile health. What have they done to deserve this? What have we done that the country should match on in the face of this broad day travesty?
“While our parents are being detained, our communities have been fields of the most heinous and mind-blowing murders. By day or at night, our communities are attacked again and again. We are being beaten and not allowed to cry. What have we done to be treated this way? Are we no longer citizens of Kaduna State and nationals of Nigeria?
“This is a cry to all men and women of conscience and the international community to help us mount pressure on all tiers of government to free our fathers. It is 80 days since our parents have been unjustly held in prison and arraigned before a magistrate court that has no jurisdiction to try the allegations levelled against them. They have been denied bail.
“We the children of the elders and leaders of Adara request that the rule of law should take precedence so that our aged parents, many who have been away from our homes now for 80 days can be released back to us.”