BENUE state commissioner of police, Fatai Owoseni has said that one hundred and eighty-eight 188 persons are presently facing trial in the court over the anti-open grazing law in the state.
Owoseni who spoke to newsmen in the conference hall of the command in Makurdi yesterday added that another 61 armed bandits associated with herdsmen killings are also been prosecuted.
The police communities said that there was a rise in cult-related activities in the state citing last Sunday rival cult groups leading to the death of some people in Otukpo.
He explained that 30 suspects have so far been arrested in connection with cult-related activities across the state within the last one month.
The police boss also declared increase cases of communal clashes in Konshisha, Apa and Agatu local government areas of the state with youths in the affected council areas.
Owoseni explained that over 100 thatched houses were burnt in Konshisha last week during a communal clash between Ugamba and Mbamar villages in the council area.
The commissioner, however, said that nineteen people have been arrested in connection with the communal clash in Konshisha.
In the case of armed robbery, Owoseni said that fourteen (14) suspects were arrested in the last one month with thirteen (13) different types of prohibited firearms comprise of four AK47 rifles, 23 locally made rifles were recovered from them.
He added that the locally made rifles manufactured in the state were fabricated in such a way that they use AK47 ammunitions.
The commissioner said, ‘aside of the herdsmen attacks, there are noticeable crimes within the state, for instance, there are rising cases of cultism, communal clash and robbery.
He added that in Sankara axis, 17 armed robbery suspects were arrested, which he said was attributable to Terwase Akwaza popularly known as ‘Gana’ who has been dominating crime in the area.
“In summary, thirty suspects have been arrested in connection with cult-related cases, in this month alone, 34 suspects have been arranged for violating anti-open grazing law and if we add this to the previous one, we have 188 suspects who have been arraigned for anti-open grazing law since January.
“Also, 61 suspects are facing trial in cases for culpable homicide occasioned by armed insurgents associated with herdsmen,” Owoseni said.
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