Thursday, 18 August 2016

Benue Amnesty Coordinator’s children, cousin in protective custody ~ Police

Makama, who spoke at a conference organised by the State Security Council, said the police took the action to safeguard the security of members of the family.



The police in Benue State have arrested some family members of the former Benue State Amnesty Coordinator, Terwase Akwaza, for protective custody pending the arrest of the fleeing suspect.

The Commissioner of Police in the state, Bashir Makama, made this known when he briefed newsmen in Makurdi on Wednesday.

Makama, who spoke at a conference organised by the State Security Council, said the police took the action to safeguard the security of members of the family.

He said two of his children, including a cousin, were picked by the police and had been in protective custody at a location in Makurdi.
The commissioner said they would remain in custody until the former amnesty chief was arrested.

Makama expressed regrets that Akwaza abandoned the amnesty programme, which granted him pardon for his atrocities, and rejoined his criminal gang.

He assured the people of the State that the Joint Task Force that was inaugurated by the government to tackle insurgency and criminality in the state was working hard to bring down crime rate in the state.

He, however, appealed to people with useful information on the hideout of criminals to volunteer such information to the police to enable them arrest such suspects.

Makama said while the amnesty was ongoing with Akwaza as its helmsman, he was still involved in clandestine criminal activities such as cattle rustling, kidnapping and organised armed robbery.

Makama said during the raid on the suspect’s house at Gbishe, several exhibits, including dangerous weapons, charms and sacks of cannabis sativa, were recovered.

Also, at the briefing, the Benue State Deputy Governor, Benson Abounu, said Akwaza allowed himself to be used by politicians who were opposed to the radical reforms of the incumbent administration.

Abounu admitted that Akwaza was a creation of politicians who were opposed to the free political expressions of the electorate through the ballot system.

He particularly acknowledged that several of such politicians who depended on thuggery as a tool to win elections were not happy with the amnesty programme which mopped out illegal arms in circulation in the state.

The deputy governor promised that the government would not fold its arms to watch criminals bring down the state to a standstill.

He also promised that all lands under occupation by herdsmen would be recovered as “this administration will not cede any of its lands to herdsmen”.

Akwaza has been declared wanted by the police in the state for his alleged role in several criminal activities, including the killing of Ortom’s aide on security.

Akwaza had surrendered over 800 assorted arms and ammunition to the amnesty committee along with 700 gang members and was granted amnesty by Governor Samuel Ortom.

http://theeagleonline.com.ng/police-place-benue-amnesty-coordinators-children-cousin-in-protective-custody/



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