Seven Fulani herdsmen who were arrested in connection with the New Year attack on five communities of Guma and Logo local government areas of Benue State have been remanded in prison by a Makurdi Chief Magistrate Court.
Six of the accused persons were arraigned on charges bordering on criminal conspiracy, mischief by fire, anti open grazing, causing crevices hurt with dangerous weapons and culpable homicide.
The six (6) persons include, Ibrahim Sale, Jubril Adamu, Ibrahim Abubakar, Magaji Yau, Useni Bala, Sabi Yau while Ibrahim Mallam was arraigned for grazing on Governor Samuel Ortom’s rice farm located on Naka road, Makurdi. Two others were said to be at large.
The accused persons are being charged for culpable homicide, criminal conspiracy, mischief by fire, grievous hurt and violation of the prohibition and Ranches Establishment Law 2017.
The accused were also arraigned for openly rearing their cows within farmlands at Akor village in Guma Local Government Area thus contravening section 97, 329, 333 and 222 of the penal code law of Benue State and section 19(2)(3) of the open grazing prohibition and ranches establishment law of Benue State 2017.
According to First Information Report, FIR six (6) of the Fulani herdsmen were accused of killing over 16 persons and injuring several others as well as destroying houses, crops and burning down many houses that are yet to be valued in monetary terms.
“On 2nd January, 2017 at about 05.00 hours, one Mganda came to police station in Garibaldi, Guma Local government area and reported that on the same day, a group of herdsmen who were rearing their cows in Akor village, attacked the area shooting sporadically and in the process killed over 16 persons,” the FIR stated.
When the case was mention, no plea was taken for want of jurisdiction, the prosecution counsel, ASP Edward Imoh just asked for adjournment to another date for further investigation to be carried out.
Counsel to the defendants, Al Mustapha Elegu did not oppose the application.
The presiding, Chief Magistrate Isaac Ajim who told the accused that the offense committed by them was grievous, ordered that they be remanded at the Federal Medium Prisons and adjourned the case to 5th March, 2018.