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Community Disputes STF’s Claim On Casualty Figures

| June 30, 2013 More

Local Chief Wants Emergency Rule In Bauchi

THE people of Magama community of Langtang South Local Government Council of Plateau State have questioned claim by the Special Task Force (STF) that it killed about 20 persons who invaded the community on Thursday, June 27.

Spokesman for the STF, Captain Salisu Ibrahim Mustapha, in a statement on Friday, June 28, had said the gunmen engaged the STF in a gun duel for several hours. And in the process, “about 20 of the assailants were killed while some who sustained gunshot wounds were arrested. Some motorcycles, weapons and ammunition were also recovered. Consequently, the attackers withdrew towards Yamini, Yelwa Shendam and Agikamai villages of Shendam council.”

Speaking with The Guardian Saturday, leader of Magama community, Bonko Bintim, said that all they know was that 42 people from the Magama village were killed in the attack.

On the claim by the STF that they succeeded in killing 20 of the invaders, he said, “we are not sure whether that happened because we have not seen the corpses of those killed by the STF. But we only know that 42 of our people were killed on that fateful Thursday. They were given a mass burial on Friday including my father who was also killed. We are yet to see the corpses of those 20 invaders the STF claimed to have killed.”

Confronted with this denial, Captain Mustapha told The Guardian Saturday that the bodies of the 20 attackers could not have been given to the community because they are foreigners who do not belong to the community.

“The bodies should not have been given to the community because they do not belong to them. They are foreign bodies,” Mustapha stated. But he could not account for the bodies whether they have been given mass burial or not.

Meanwhile, the Secretary General of Sayawa Chiefdom of Tafawa Balewa Local Government Council of Bauchi State, Rev. Isaac Istifanus, has called on the Federal Government to declare a state of emergency in Bauchi State.

He stated this yesterday while addressing journalists at the NUJ Press Centre.

Istifanus said many communities of Ningi and Misau Local Government had come under serious attacks by unknown gunmen leading to the loss of life and property.

He said: “Like other parts of the Northern states in the country. Tafawa Balewa Local Government has been embroiled in crisis, which bother on religious intolerance and Fulani Invasion.

“A lot of people from Tafawa Balewa Local Government have lost their lives, as a result of the crisis that has bedeviled the area.

Captain Mustapha also talked about cases handed over to the Nigeria Police for investigation and prosecution by the STF from January 1, 2013 to date saying, from the period under review, 21 arrests were made.

The statement reads, “Sequel to claims by members of the society on lack of prosecution of suspects arrested by the Special Task Force (STF), the STF wishes to use this opportunity to update the general public, particularly the good people of the Plateau, on the outcome of some cases handed over to the Nigeria Police for investigation and prosecution.

“From 1st January 2013 to date, a total number of about 21 arrests were recorded by the STF involving about 69 persons. Two cases are undergoing investigation while the remaining cases have been prosecuted and charged to court. Sixteen cases are being remanded in prison custody for hearing while 11 suspects involved in two different cases have been released on bail. Also, four suspects have been convicted and sentenced to 3-year imprisonment and another two sentenced to 1-year imprisonment each.

“Most of the offences have to do with unlawful possession of fire arms and attacks. Others include, cattle rustling, armed robbery, criminal conspiracy, receiving of stolen property, theft and concealment of stolen property, among others.”

Category: Bauchi State News

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