NSA orders arrest, detention of gold buyers, group alleges
Says They Are Being Coerced To Implicate Zamfara Governor
Gold buyers and Jewelry Shop Owners Association has allegedly accused the National Security Adviser (NSA) Maj. Gen Babagana Monguno of ordering the arrest and detention of some of its members, with the intent of intimidating and coercing them into implicating Zamfara State Governor, Bello Mattawalle of buying gold from them in exchange for arms for bandits.
The group said three of its members in Zaria and Minna have been arrested and are being tortured on the NSA’s order to get them to admit that Mattawalle was buying gold from them, which he allegedly exchanged for arms with bandits.
The Association, in a statement signed yesterday in Abuja by its Chairman, Anwalu Musa, said their members: Musa Mustapha and Ibrahim Sani were arrested in Zaria, while Abdullahi Mohammed was arrested in Minna on the orders of the NSA, who is trying to frame them up to maliciously implicate Mattawalle of buying gold from them in exchange for arms to armed bandits, in his desperate bid to blackmail and mischievously pull him down.
Musa noted that Monguno’s desperation to continue to sabotage the peace initiative of Mattawalle’s administration at all cost had also resulted in the concoction of lies that an airplane was being used to take out gold from Zamfara and bring in arms for bandits in the state.
The group added that the allegation, among several others, has led to the imposition of a no-fly zone and the banning of all mining activities in Zamfara by the Federal Government.
The statement partly read: “After the failed attempts to link Governor Mattawalle with the said alleged aircraft supplying of arms to bandits in exchange for gold in Zamfara State, it has now changed to another dimension of witch-hunting and intimidation of gold buyers to implicate the Governor.
“The arrested gold buyers have reliably confirmed to an investigative journalist that they are currently undergoing serious torture, harassment, a threat to life and intimidation, all aimed at coercing them to implicate Governor Mattawalle of buying gold from them, an allegation they have denied and that they have never had any business transactions with the Governor. But they are still under duress to confess to having dealings with the Governor.”
It would be recalled that a non-governmental organisation, the Centre for Sustainable Peace and Development had declared that allegations that Governor Mattawalle was using aircraft to take out gold from the state and bring in arms and ammunitions for bandits are a hoax and lie from the pit of hell.
The group also faulted allegations by the NSA that the Federal Government had uncovered plots by some individuals to sabotage the implementation of the presidential directive banning gold exploration and the no-fly zone order in Zamfara State, noting that the state has no airport or airstrip.
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