EIGHT farmers from Katsina-Ala Local Government Area of Benue were on Monday remanded in prison on the orders of a Makurdi Magistrates’ Court.
They were docked on charges bordering on criminal conspiracy, armed robbery, kidnapping, the act of terrorism, aiding and abetting a criminal.
They were accused of allegedly aiding most wanted criminal in Benue, Terwase Akwaza, alias Gana, to rob and kidnap people in Katsina-Ala.
The farmers are; Sunday Umaru, Christopher Ioryuen, Joseph Ioryuen, Aondowase Ioryuen, Doomen Chizenda, John Aondover, Terngu Ubur and John Lamve.
They were docked under Sections 6(b) and 1(1)(2) of Robbery and Firearms Act, 2004 and 3(2), 4(2) of the Abduction, Hostage Taking, Kidnapping, Secret Cult and Similar Activities Prohibition Law of Benue, 2017 and 92 of Penal Code Law of Benue, 2004.
According to the prosecutor, ASP Michael Iorundu, the case was transferred from the `Operation Whirl Stroke’ Benue, via a letter dated May 20, 2019, to the state CIID, Makurdi.
“The letter stated that the Operation Whirl Stroke received credible information that Akwaza alias Gana, recruited the accused persons to be working for him in his criminal activities.
“The letter stated that based on the information gotten by the police patrol team (Whirl Stroke), Lamve and Tse-Akav villages in Katsina-Ala were raided, and the accused persons were found aiding and abetting Gana.
“The letter said that further investigation revealed that the accused persons were responsible for all the recent robberies and kidnapping within and around Katsina-Ala,’’ Iorundu said.
The prosecutor said the accused persons were arrested and they all confessed to the allegations and many of the robbed items from victims were recovered from them.
When the case was called up, the pleas of the accused persons were not taken as the court lacked the jurisdiction to entertain the matter.
The prosecutor also informed the court that investigation into the matter was still ongoing and asked for an adjournment.
The Magistrate, Mr Peter Chaha, adjourned the matter until July 17, for further mention.