60 arraigned over military/civilians clash in Niger

SIXTY suspects, who were said to have attacked  some military men in Kpaidna, Lagbe and Kopa communities in Bosso Local Government Area of Niger State, were on Friday, arraigned  before a Minna Chief Magistrates’ Court One.

Twenty-eight of the villagers were brought to the court from the General Hospital, Minna as a result of injuries  they sustained  during the clash with some officers from the 31st Artillery Brigade Command of the Nigerian Army in Minna recently.

They were brought into the court premises with two buses marked NG65GH and NG67GH.

The accused persons were arraigned on seven- count charge bordering on criminal conspiracy, culpable homicide, mischief, failure to give notice of information to public servants, being in unlawful possession of dangerous weapons  and unlawful possession of fire arms.

According to the police report made available  in court and obtained by Sunday Tribune on Friday, the offences are punishable under  sections 97, 22, 327, 238, and 107 of the Penal Code Law and sections 27(1)  (A)(I) Firearms act, capF28, LFL 2004.

When the charges were read to the accused persons by the presiding Chief Magistrate, who doubles as the Deputy Chief Registrar (DCR) in the Niger State Judiciary, Alhaji Hammed Bimah, they pleaded not guilty.

The villagers were represented by 25 lawyers on human rights grounds led by Barrister Usman Isiaku, the Secretary, Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) Minna branch.  He requested  the court to consider the health and physical conditions in which the accused persons were brought to  court.