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Army nabs 9 Fulani ‘mercenaries’ over Benue Bloodbath

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Army nabs 9 Fulani ‘mercenaries’ over Benue Bloodbath

MAKURDI—After weeks of bloody conflict between Fulani herdsmen and Benue farmers, nine of the suspected Fulani mercenaries have been arrested and arraigned before a Makurdi Chief Magistrate Court.

The suspects, who were apprehended at Gbajimba in Guma Local Government Area of Benue State by officers of the Special Forces Squad of the 72 Battalion, Makurdi, were arraigned yesterday and charged with culpable homicide and causing mischief by fire.

Parading the suspects before the court, Police Prosecutor, Sgt. Patrick Sunday, told the court that the accused persons were arrested in Gbajimba on May 6 by the military personnel, who handed them over to the police.

According to him, the army officers told the police that they received reports that some Fulani mercenaries had attacked some villagers in Guma council, killing and burning the houses of their victims.

He explained that following the report, the army officers rushed to the area where they arrested the accused and also recovered three locally-made pistols and four live ammunition in their possession.

The army officers, the prosecutor further stated discovered four yet-to-be identified corpses of their victims at the scene of the attack.

At the hearing, the accused persons told the court that they came to Benue State from neighbouring Bassa in Nasarawa State.

However, no plea was taken for want of jurisdiction, while Police prosecutor asked for an adjournment of the case pending the completion of Police investigations into the matter.

In her ruling, presiding Chief Magistrate, Mrs. Cecilia Tsumba, ordered that the accused be remanded at the Makurdi prison and adjourned the case to the  11th June for further mention.

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