By Laleye Dipo in Minna
A month after the communal clash between Gaba and Amfani communities in the Lavun Local Government of Niger State, which claimed no fewer than lives, leaving several others injured, the police have said that they have now arrested 16 suspects in connection with the incident.
The Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Muhammad Abubakar, who confirmed this in a statement in Minna at the weekend, said the arrests followed weeks of investigation by crack detectives deployed in the two communities.
Abubakar gave the names of the suspects as Mohammed Mohammed, Mohammed Baba Shaba,Mohammed Umaru, Ndagi Ndaghitsu, Mohammed Isa Mohammedu Sheshi, Aliyu Mohammed, Abubakar B. Saliu, and Mohammed Liman.
Others are Adamu Mohammed BabaMinin, Aliyu Buhari, Abdulmalik Abdullahi, Ibrahim Mohammed, Ali Baisa, Adamu Baba Abdullahi, and Adamu Mohammed.
The statement said all the suspects are from Amfani village in the local government.
Abubakar, who said investigation into the crime was still in progress, warned members of the public against taking laws into their hands.
“The Police Command hereby warns all Nigerlites to refrain from taking laws into their hands as the command will not relent to arrest and prosecute any person or group of persons aiding, abetting or committing any act of violence capable of causing breach of public peace in the state.
“The command will continue to solicit for relevant information from Nigerlites as it remains committed and determined in improving the security of lives and property in the state, please,” Abubakar declared.
A month ago, some Gaba villagers including a surveyor from the Ministry of Lands, were allegedly ambushed by some people believed to be from Amfani village and killed in cold blood.
The villagers were said to be going to a disputed land to give effect to an earlier court judgment which gave a disputed parcel of land to the Gaba community.
The dispute, according to a reliable source, arose almost 50 years after the the Gaba community gave the parcel of land to their Amfani counterpart and the request for the land to be returned was resisted by the Amfani community making the case to go to court.
The state government after the crisis raised a seven-man committee to “investigate the immediate and remote causes of the crisis”.
The committee has not submitted its report.