The Adamawa state Muslim Council has asked on security agencies to conduct an in-depth investigation without fear or favour into the recent communal clash in Tingno community of Lamurde Local Government Area of the state.
The council alleged that local police have taken a side in the arrest of suspected perpetrators of violent attack, the allegations denied by the police.
It recalls that the state commissioner of police Olubenga Adeyanju on Monday said that 18 persons all male, were arrested for alleged criminal conspiracy, instigating communal clashes and culpable homicide by fire in Tingno.
Though names spurred reactions however the police list includes:
1.Shafiu Garba ,20 years
2.Aminu Mohammad 18 years
3.Rabiu Danjuma 22 years
4.Tasiu Yusuf 18 years
5.Bashir Hamza 18 years
6.Abdulwahab Garba 25 years
7.Danjuma Garba 25 years
8.Hasimu Haruna 30 years
9.Aminu Abdulkadir 22 years
10.Suleiman Yusuf 14 years
11.Mubarak Garba 18 years
12.Jibrin Garba. 25 years
13.Abdullahi Garba 38 years
14 Yau Garba. 22 years
15.Hamza Garba 29 years
16.Alh. Garba Tala 70 years
17.Lauwali Ali 30 years
18. Yushau Mohammed 20 years
According to the police commissioner, “exhibits recovered from the suspects include one LAR assault rifle with seven rounds of ammunition, one locally-made revolver pistol with ammunition and some quantity of charms.”
But in a swift reaction, the state Muslim Council expressed doubt and sincerity in the arrest as those arrested were only from one side of the affected communities.
In a press conference in Yola, Malam Gambo Jika, the state Chairman of the council, said, ” it is so disheartening to observe that the purported 14 alleged suspects paraded by the police are all the same family, same tribe and the same religion.
He noted that it was with utmost disbelief to find out that all the 18 people arrested and paraded by the police are Muslims and mostly members of the same “Garba” family adding that such glaring injustice must be addressed with dispatch.
“How can a community which came under heavy attack be blamed for causing the crisis that claimed about 50 lives of its members, displaced close to 1000 people while 60 members suffered serious gun injuries and tremendous destruction of properties and livelihoods?
” The most surprising thing about the arrest was the ascription that the attackers were bearing only two guns. No just man will accept that people carrying only two guns can wreak such monumental havoc to a community that harbours thousands of people.
“To worsen matters, up till now we don’t have any statistics on the number of deaths or even casualties on the other side of the divide. This will invariably tell you that something fundamental is amiss. One cannot in all logic justify this arrest.
” We are calling on the commissioner of police who is newly posted to the state to investigate this anomaly and do what is necessary and ensure that the real culprits are not only arrested but brought to justice in the spirit and interest of peace,” he said.
While calling on Muslims not to take laws into their hands however called on governor Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri to ensure that justice is done in line with his unbiased posture.
“We must thank governor Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri who in unequivocal language shows that he is a leader for all because of the proactive measures he took in nipping the violent attack in the bud.
“The governor’s love for peace made him to personally visit the scene of the attack will the violence was on the course to prevent further destruction of lives and properties. Since then, we never had any resurgence of violence in the areas.
” More importantly, the governor has foot the medical bills of the victims as well as providing food for them as their stay in hospital lasted,” Jika added.
Jika said that as a community of people who want all manner of people to be treated justly, it became inherent to raise the complaint so that the perceived injustice can be redressed.
” If a thorough and comprehensive investigation is carried and the real culprits are found, we will not hesitate to ensure that they are brought to justice even if they are Muslim. Our motive is to ensure that justice is done to all manner of people,” he added.
Similarly, Jika commended the governor for his prompt constitution of a panel of inquiry to investigate the immediate and remote causes of the crisis urging the committee to do a thorough and unbiased job in the interest of peace and unity.
Reacting to the position of the Muslim council, police spokesman in the state , DSP Sulaiman Nguroje said everybody has the liberty to make complaints on issues noting that the truth is the police is not looking at the case from a religious point of view but from a criminal point of view.
” Everybody has the right to make complaints and in our own case we are not seeing the arrest from the aspect of religion, rather we are seeing it from the criminal aspect.
‘’Every case is always viewed from the angle in which it appears. Among those that were apprehended and now paraded, an assault rifle which is not supposed to be in the hands of any was found with one.
” And the person volunteered the confessional statement that he has taken part in the fight that led to the death of many. So in this situation, an investigation has to be conducted and that is why the commissioner of police directed that investigation should be conducted.
‘’And on the other hand, the government has equally set up a committee to investigate but as far as the police are concerned, we are not seeing the arrest from the aspect of religion, rather we are seeing it from the aspect of criminality.
“And somebody who is apprehended with a weapon has a case to answer, and he has not denied having it in his possession,” he said.