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10 gunmen raid Benue courts, cart away documents, money

ABOUT 10 gunmen invaded three courts in Makurdi, the Benue State capital, with sophisticated guns, carting away case files and other items.

Metro learnt that the gunmen invaded the premises which houses High Court 9, Magistrates Court and Upper Area Court situated  about 500 metres away from state police headquarters  around 8.00 a.m.  and shot sporadically in the air, scaring people away from executing  their mission.

Ironically, at the High Court, wife of deputy governor, Justice Mary Abounu was presiding when the gunmen stormed her court and held both the judge and lawyers hostage.

Narrating the ordeal to the state Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr Michael Gusa while conducting him round the court premises, the Magistrate in charge of Chief Magistrates’ Court 1, Isaac Ajim, said the criminals  stormed the court, broke the padlock of the court room and the chambers, and carted away one of the computers, one printer, a generator and window curtains, as well as files for already disposed and indisposed cases.

Mr Ajim said after the criminals were done with his court, proceeded to High Court 9, presided over by wife of the deputy governor, Justice Mary Abounu and carted away a refrigerator, three stabilizers, set of computer, window blinds and left behind empty bottles of drinks.

At the Upper Area Court, the registrar, Mrs Sarah Gboji told the Justice Commissioner that the thieves made away with N280,000.  It was also revealed that the criminals, after they completed their mission, brought their own padlock and locked up the court entrance.

It was, however, gathered from anonymous source from one of the invaded courts, that the invasion had a political undertone to frustrate some of the high profile but culpable homicide cases being handled by the invaded courts.

Confirming the invasion, the Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Michael Gusa who condemned the act, however, appealed to the youths to always engage themselves in meaningful ventures rather than indulge in criminality.

Gusa, who called on youths to embrace the amnesty programme of the state governor instead of engaging in criminal activities, however, assured that the perpetrators of the act would be fished out and punished appropriately.

Confirming the incident, state Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Moses Yamu, said three security guards had already been invited for interrogation.

He assured that the culprits would surely be arrested and made to face the full weight of the law.