Court remands 5 over alleged acts of terrorism in Benue

Court gavel
Court gavel

An Upper Area Court in Makurdi, Benue, on Monday, remanded in custody five men facing trial for offences  including criminal conspiracy, inciting disturbances, mischief, and acts of terrorism.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the defendants are Vanen Bunde, Wase Tikor, Shie Jacob, Abur Stephen, and Ortyom Lav.

When the case came up for mention, the Magistrate, Mrs Verhsima Hwande, did not take the pleas of the defendant for want of jurisdiction.

Following the prosecution’s application for the remand of the defendants in custody pending completion of investigation, Hwande remanded all the defendants at the Federal Maximum Correctional Centre Makurdi.

She subsequently adjourned the case to  July 18 for further mention

Earlier, the Police Prosecutor Insp Rachel Mchieve told the court that the case was transferred from ‘E’ Division, Makurdi to State Criminal Investigation Department, Makurdi, via a letter No. AR:3100/BNS/MKE/VOL.6/786 dated June 2.

She said that on the May 30, one Asemave Boston, the Chairman of Peace Tricycle Association of Nigeria, Benue State chapter, reported the case at ‘E’ Division Police Station Makurdi.

The prosecutor said that on the same date one Stephen Vambe,  an expelled member of the Association, led a team of hoodlums in their large number and attacked the Peace Tricycle office at Wurukum, Makurdi.

She said that Vambe, a supporter of the APC also incited some youths to forcefully take over the  management of the association, on the grounds that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) government that put in place the management had been ousted.

“When the members of the association’s management attempted to resist, the said Stephen Vambe ordered his men, who were with dangerous weapons, to take over the premises of the Association by force.”

Mchieve  said that the executive council members of the Association were attacked and beaten up, while all the tricycles parked within the premises were damaged.

She said during Police investigation Vanen Bunde,  Wase Tikor, Shie Jacob, Abur Stephen, and Ortyom Lav, all of various addresses, were arrested for committing the crime while Stephen Vambe and others were still at large.

Mchieve said that the offences committed contravened Sections 97, 329, 316, 266 and 329 of the Penal Code Law of Benue State 2004 and Section 4 (2) of the Abduction, Hostage Taking, Kidnapping, Secret Cult and Similar Activities Provision Law of Benue State 2017.

She said that investigation into the matter was still ongoing and requested for additional time to complete it. (NAN)

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