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Police arraign 7 ‘terrorists’ in Benue

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The Benue Police Command on Tuesday arraigned seven suspects in a Makurdi Upper Area Court II, over alleged criminal conspiracy and acts of terrorism.

The accused are: Godwin Aondohemba, 26; Akan Pevelga, 28; Eric Azanye, Richard Aaser, 35; Luter Pev, 22; Gwaza Ukuma, 33 and Justine Yangedu, 30.

The accused persons are all farmers of various addresses in Ukum and Katsina-Ala local government areas.

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The prosecutor, Insp. Veronica Shaagee, told the court that the accused were arrested by troops of 707 Special Force Brigade of the Nigerian Army, stationed at Zaki-Biam, Ukum Local Government Area of Benue State.

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Mrs Shaagee said that the Special Forces, sometime in late 2018, received information about the nefarious activities of a criminal gang that had been terrorising communities in the area.

The prosecutor said that men of the special force investigated the allegation and arrested Aondohemba, alias Orjondo, and members of his gang in their hideout.

Mrs Shaagee said that the gang, which had been carrying out its activities as members of Mbamena Youth Development Association, allegedly kidnapped unsuspecting members of the public and demanded ransoms.

She said the case was transferred to the Department of State Services, Makurdi, which later transferred the matter to the police for further investigation and prosecution.

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The prosecutor said the offences contravened sections 8 and 1 (2) of Terrorism Prevention (amendment) Act 2013.

The court, however, refused to take the pleas of the accused saying it lacked jurisdiction to hear the case.

The Magistrate, Rose Iyorshe, ordered the remand of the accused at the Makurdi Medium Prison and adjourned the case till Feb. 11, for further mention.

NAN

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