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Herdsmen killings: Plateau approves bill to prosecute suspects in Jos

Herdsmen killings: Plateau approves bill to prosecute suspects in Jos

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Friday Olokor, Jos

The Plateau State government has given approval for a bill to ensure that suspects arrested in connection with the recent killing of over 200 persons be prosecuted in Jos.

The killing, which followed spontaneous attacks on about 15 communities in Barkin Ladi Local Government and Riyom Local Government Areas, was traced to suspected Fulani herdsmen and led to reprisals in some parts of Jos South LGA.

The Plateau State Commissioner for Information and Communication, Yakubu Dati, in a statement on Tuesday, said the approval was given by the Plateau State Executive Council during its meeting chaired by Governor Simon Lalong.

He said, “A bill to ensure those arrested in the wake of the Plateau attacks be tried in Jos has been approved by the Plateau State Executive Council at its meeting of July 31, 2018,  presided over by Simon Lalong, the Governor of Plateau State.

“The bill, which also empowers women to stand as sureties, will be sent to the Plateau State House of Assembly for passage into law. The bill to establish a law to provide for the Administration of Criminal Justice in Plateau State will revolutionise the criminal justice system in Plateau State.”

The PUNCH reported that a former Head of State and National Chairman of Nigeria Prays, Gen. Yakubu Gowon, had advised that “the people arrested should be investigated and prosecuted in Jos, where the crime was committed.”

The immediate-past Commander of the Special Military Taskforce codenamed Operation Safe Haven, Maj. Gen. Anthony Atolagbe, had also told our correspondent that the persons arrested in connection with the killings would be prosecuted in Abuja because the administration of justice in Plateau State was very weak.

He had said, “We are moving them straight to Abuja because we don’t even have the capacity to keep them. If we keep them here in Jos, we usually encounter the problem of people saying they want to see their relatives and take their bail.

“Moreover, the apparatus and administration of justice in Plateau State are not very strong to convict these people.”

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