10 serving policemen have reportedly been arrested and detained in connection with last week’s massacre of 100 security men by members of the Ombatse cult in Alakyo, Nasarawa State.
The arrested policemen were said to have given out information that aided the cultists in slaughtering the security men, most of them policemen.
Vanguard quoted a source as saying, “Many arrests have been made in connection with the mass killings in Alakyo. The first one was arrested on Friday. The arrest of the first policeman led to the revealing of the identities of those who aided and abetted the cultists to ambush and slaughter the security men.
“As we speak, there are 10 of such moles already in the police custody. As at Monday, one policeman, who is believed to have been part of the conspiracy to kill his colleagues was arrested in Lafia and taken to the police headquarters in Abuja”.
The first two police rats, Haruna Joseph and Corporal Enugu, alleged to be members of the cult group, were picked up last week and paraded before the public at Government House Lafia. One of them was said to be in coma after he passed out during questioning.
A senior police officer who spoke on condition of anonymity confirmed the detention of some police officers by the Force Headquarters in connection with the Nasarawa massacre. He however declined to give further details.
“It is true that some policemen, who were arrested on suspicion of aiding and abetting the killing of other security personnel in Alakyo last Tuesday, are in the custody of the Force Headquarters for investigation.
“I can tell you that what happened that day was entirely due to many factors, among them leakage of information, external membership, negligence and improper conduct bordering on lack of bravery,” the source said.
Meanwhile, the Nasrawa State Government yesterday pleaded with widows and family members of the slained security operatives to vacate the Akwanga-Lafia Highway, which they had been occupying in protest since the unfortunate incident.
The government in a statement by the State Information Commissioner, Hamza Elayo Mohammed, regretted that the blockade of the highway linking the North with the South had disrupted the free flow of human and vehicular traffic.
“The Government of Nasarawa State is greatly concerned with the persistent blockage of the Akwanga Lafia highway, for three days running, by widows of mobile policemen who were slain at Alakyo village of the state recently.
“While government notes that the widows have a right to express their grief over the killing of their spouses and relations in the dastardly act, it is however concerned that the blockade is not the best option for expressing feelings or drawing attention to their plight.
“It is to be noted that there are peaceful and constitutional means of expressing feelings, as the blocking of this major highway between the northern and southern parts of the country is causing motorists and other Nigerians grave hardship. This act is a gross violation of the rights of other Nigerians to move freely in the pursuit of their daily businesses.
“It is also regrettable that while these widows who are genuinely grieved express their resentment to the killings, hoodlums and miscreants have taken advantage of the situation to unleash violence on innocent motorists.
“Government wishes to assure the affected widows that it is doing everything possible to bring culprits of this act to book. It also assures that the cries of these families will not go unnoticed as their predicaments in losing their loved ones will be addressed.
“Government also hastens to warn that anyone involved in unleashing mayhem on motorists will be dealt with as no responsible leadership will sit by and watch the rights of its citizens being trampled upon with impunity,” the statement said.