Court rules March 29 on bail application of suspects in attacks on Benue communities

A Makurdi Chief Magistrate’s Court, presided over by Isaac Ajim, has fixed the 29th of this month for ruling on the bail application for the herdsmen arrested in connection with the New Year Day attacks on Guma and Logo council areas of Benue State.

The incidents led to the death of 73 persons.

The accused persons, Ibrahim Saleh, Jibrin Adamu, Magaji Yau, Ibrahim Abubakar, Useni Bala and Sabin Yau, were first arraigned on January 5, 2018 before being ordered yesterday by the court to remain on remand at the Medium Prison Makurdi till the adjourned date for the consideration of their bail request.

The suspects are standing trial for culpable homicide, criminal conspiracy, mischief by fire, grievous hurt and violation of the state’s Prohibition and Ranches Establishment Law 2017.

They are also arraigned for openly rearing their cows within farmlands at Akor village in Guma Local Council, thus contravening Sections 97, 329, 333 and 222 of the Penal Code Law of Benue and Section 19(2)(3) of the state’s anti-open grazing law.

When the case came up for mention yesterday, no plea was taken for want of jurisdiction, as the principal state counsel, M.N. Abenga from the Ministry of Justice, formally applied to take over the matter from the prosecution counsel, ASP Edward Imoh.

He also brought another application urging the court not to grant bail to the accused persons pending the determination of the substantive suit and sought an adjournment to enable the ministry put in effective representation.

Counsel to the defendants, Al Mustapha Elegu, did not oppose the application.

Consequently, Chief Magistrate Ajim granted Abenga’s prayer, saying it was known to law.

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