Adams Abonu in Lafia
Several residents of Lafia and Keffi in Nasarawa State have expressed concern over the whereabouts of 56 armed herdsmen arrested by the Guards Brigade of the Nigerian Army last month with massive firearms.
The army had arrested 96 armed herdsmen at a checkpoint in Keffi last Thursday and handed them over to the police.
The Public Relations Officer of the Nasarawa State Police Command, Ismail Numan, confirmed receiving the armed herdsmen from the army and disclosed that they had been charged to court for “unlawful possession of fire-arms and criminal conspiracy.”
It was gathered that out of the 96 arrested, 36 were arraigned. However, investigation by THISDAY revealed that the 36 arraigned later appealed their case by filing a motion for their bail.
It was gathered that with the ruling expected today, there are indications that pressures were being mounted from above for the release the herdsmen.
As a result of this, palpable anxiety has enveloped the state yesterday as many expressed dismay over what they termed “plot” over the issue since the court remanded them in prison custody.
There are also anxiety over the whereabouts of others arrested alongside other.
Rumours making the rounds in the state are that the remanded armed men might have been released without the full arms of the law taking its course.
“There is no mention of the case again since the last time the police claimed to have charged them to court. There is a lot of cause for suspicion considering that the FCT Police refuted the claims of the Army that 56 armed herdsmen were handed over to Kuje Police Division.
“Even in the police charge book, the case seem to be needing further due attention and one may ask the interests playing behind the scene,” a police source told THISDAY in Lafia.
While there has been a rise in skirmishes allegedly perpetrated by armed herdsmen in recent times, Nasarawa State has been at a receiving end as several communities have been attacked in the circles of attacks and reprisals.
till the period of her search lasted.