The position of the military that suspects in the Plateau State massacre would be prosecuted in Abuja and not in Jos, the state capital, has been faulted by the former Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon (retd.).
Gowon, who is the national chairman of Nigeria Prays, on Tuesday, said that “the people arrested should be investigated and prosecuted in Jos where the crime was committed” and not in Abuja as the military had proposed.
A media report last week had quoted the Commander of the Special Military Task force code named Operation Safe Haven, Maj. Gen. Anthony Atolagbe, as saying that the suspects arrested following the killings would be prosecuted in Abuja.
Atolagbe had faulted the administration of justice in Plateau State, saying that it was very weak and that keeping the suspects in the state and prosecuting them there may warrant a situation people may come to demand for their bail.
But Gowon, who was in Jos to condone with the people over the recent killings refused to agree with the position of the military.
He instead said that the people should be tried in Jos in order to avoid past scenarios where suspects arrested and taken to Abuja were “eventually released.”
He emphasised, “People arrested should be investigated and prosecuted in Jos where the crime was committed.”
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Gowon’s response on the issue came after Plateau state governor, Simon Lalong, told him during his visit to the state that “the relevant bills to try the perpetrators will soon be signed into law.”
The state Commissioner for Information and Communication, Yakubu Dati, who made this known in a WhatsApp message to newsmen, quoted Lalong as saying that “the relevant bills to try perpetrators of the recent attacks on the Plateau will soon be signed into law. We have reviewed adequate laws to prosecute the offenders in Jos. We will ensure the enthronement of sustainable peace on the Plateau.”
Recall that Fulani herdsmen had about three weeks ago killed over 200 persons in Barkin Ladi Local Government Area of Plateau State.
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