Benue govt trained, armed militia group, Nigerian Army says quoting suspects

The Nigeria Army in Takum, Taraba said on Wednesday that it has arrested nine members of a Civilian Joint Task Force over alleged possession of five AK 47 rifles.

The Spokesperson of the 13 Brigade, Capt. Kayode Owolabi, in a statement in Calabar, said the suspects were arrested by troops of 93 Battalion deployed to Arufu, a border town between Taraba and Benue.

He said: “Troops from the 93 Battalion on Monday, January 8 disarmed and arrested nine members of an armed militia known as civilian JTF in Taraba with five AK 47 rifles.

“Before their arrest, reinforcement of Civilian JTF came to prevent the troops from arresting and transporting the suspects to 93 Battalion Headquarters.

“During preliminary investigation, the suspects claimed that the weapons were issued to them by the Benue State Government. They also confirmed that they were 60 in number in their camp located in Pegie.

“Additionally, they revealed that the Benue State Government pay them the sum of N60,000 monthly. They further revealed that they were trained by ex-servicemen and they were brought together from all the localities in Benue State.

Owolabi said that the suspects were now helping the Army in its investigation before they would be handed over to the police for prosecution.

He said that the Brigade Commander, Brig.-Gen. Ismaila Isa, had warned that no criminal under any guise would be spared.


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