Posted by News Express | 20 November 2013 | 4,804 times
Armed youths suspected to be members of the outlawed Ombatse militia group yesterday invaded a police post in Agyaragu village, 25 kilometres away from Lafia, the capital of Nasarawa state, and released all those who were detained there.
Some members of the group held policemen in the station hostage while others handled the task of releasing their colleagues.
Eyewitnesses quoted by Blueprint said the youths attacked the station in their hundreds after learning that their colleagues were arrested the previous night by the police and detained for riding motorcycles.
The government had recently banned the use of motorcycles in the area between the hours of 7pm and 6am following attacks on communities by mostly the members of the Ombatse which led to the death of many people and destruction of property worth billions of naira.
Blueprint quoted an eyewitness, Mr. John Caleb, as saying that the youths, on arriving at the police station, started firing their guns into the air, after which they forced their way into the detention cells and engineered the release of their colleagues. “They also took with them all motorcycles parked in the premises of the police station,” the paper quoted him as saying.
Blueprint said its investigation revealed that the detained suspects were unable to prove their ownership of the motorcycles they were riding when they were arrested, prompting the police to detain them with a view to arraigning them before the court.
“The investigation revealed that it was in the process of compiling charges against the suspects by the police that the youths attacked the station. It took the combined effort of the police and soldiers, who were drafted to the scene of the incident, to disperse the restive youths,” the paper reported.
It said that when contacted, the state’s Police Commissioner, Mr. Umar Shehu, confirmed the development and said that the police arrested some youths on motorcycles who were soon to be taken to court before some miscreants came to set them free from the custody of the police.
•Photo shows Ombatse spiritual leader, Baba Alakyo.
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