Man remanded in custody over attempted murder of Benue commissioner

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A 32-year-old man, Justine Yongu, has been arraigned in a Makurdi Chief Magistrate Court and remanded in custody over the attempted murder of the Benue Commissioner for Power and Transport, Barr.Omale Omale.

Yongu, who resides behind Mobile Barracks, Makurdi, was charged with criminal conspiracy, assault, attempted culpable homicide and an act of terrorism.

When the case came up for mention, he did not take his plea for want of jurisdiction.

The Chief Magistrate, Kelvin Mbanongun, adjourned the case until March 27 for further mention.

The Prosecutor, Insp. Jonah Uletu, told the court that the defendant committed the offences on January 1 at Daudu, venue of the primaries for Guma 1 State Constituency’s bye-election.

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He said the State CID, Makurdi, received a distress call from the Chief Security Officer, CSO, of Government House, Makurdi, CSP Bernard Adaka, that some hoodlums armed with dangerous weapons, and led by Yongu, had invaded the venue of the primaries.

Adaka informed the police that the hoodlums mercilessly beat up Omale and inflicted various degrees of injuries on him causing him to collapse on the spot.

The prosecutor said following the information, men of Operation Zenda Joint Task Force, led by ASP Isah Yusuf, swiftly moved to the scene and arrested Yongu, while others fled into a nearby bush.

He said it was discovered during police investigation that Yongu and his gang were notorious hoodlums, armed robbers and violent political thugs terrorizing the people of Daudu and motorists on Makurdi-Lafia Road.

He said their criminal antecedents had caused untold hardships to the inhabitants of Guma, Makurdi and the state at large.

Uletu added that the offences contravened sections 97, 266, 230 of the Penal Code of Benue 2004 and Section 4(2) of the abduction, hostage taking, kidnapping, secret cult and similar activities prohibition law of Benue, 2017.

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