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Eight suspects arrested over Kaduna killings

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• Security agents recover dangerous weapons, motorcycles
• UN urged to set up panel, ensure peace

Security operatives have arrested eight suspected members of the gangs terrorising the southern part of Kaduna State. Commander, Operation Safe Haven (OPSH), Maj-Gen. Chukwuemeka Okonkwo, told newsmen yesterday that the suspects were arrested at different locations during an operation by the task force.

Some of the suspects identified as Umar Dikko, Mohammed Ibrahim, Abubakar Ali, Bawa Idi, William Barnabas, Garba Damons, Ali Ahmadu and Adamu Joseph were reportedly apprehended in a southern Kaduna bush, with guns and other dangerous weapons.

Represented by the Sector Commander of the OPSH, Col. David Nwakonobi, the commander disclosed that one of the militiamen involved in the last attack in one of the communities was killed in a shootout and his corpse discovered in Kibori village during a rescue operation by the troops.

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His words: “In a bid to curb the recent attacks and isolated killings in southern Kaduna, our troops have continued to intensify efforts curtail the menace and ensure peace in the general area.

“On August 5, our troops, acting on credible intelligence, apprehended six suspected militia men at Lere. One locally-fabricated pump action gun, two locally-made pistols, one 9mm ammunition, four machetes and two motorcycles were found in their possession.”

BUT Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has called on the United Nations Human Rights Council to establish a commission of inquiry, or similar mechanism, for the North Central region.

Also, president of Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN), Dr. Felix Omobude, called on the world body to send peace ambassadors to Kaduna, particularly the southern part.

SERAP, in a Twitter post signed by its deputy director, Kolawole Oluwadare, hinged the call on fresh attacks on Apiashyim, Kibori, Atakmawei, Apyiako and Magamiya villages in southern Kaduna.

According to reports, armed herdsmen reportedly killed over 184 persons this year alone, while over 76 persons were kidnapped and more than 9,000 displaced.

The federal and state governments, the rights group said, had apparently been unwilling or unable to prevent crimes against humanity in the state.

It, therefore, urged all members of the UN Human Rights Council, including members of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), Southern African Development Community (SADC), African Union (AU) and European Union (EU) to support the establishment of a commission of inquiry for southern Kaduna as a matter of urgency.

According to SERAP, lack of record on the killings in Kaduna has continued to embolden the perpetrators, who commit atrocities with impunity.

“The proposed commission should document violations and abuses, identify those suspected to be responsible, preserve evidence for use in future criminal proceedings, including before the International Criminal Court (ICC), and publicly report on the human rights situation in southern Kaduna,” the group added.

On his part, Omobude, who, in a chat with newsmen in Benin City yesterday, condemned the attacks and killings in Kaduna, described the situation as worrisome and of concern to the Christian community.

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