Elders and leaders of 15 communities are languishing in detention without trial for failing to provide the killers of some cattle belonging to “unnamed Fulani herdsmen” in Zango Kataf Local Government Area of Kaduna State.
The community leaders were first detained by the Kafanchan Headquarters of the Operation Safe Haven — the military task force set up to maintain peace in Kaduna — for not providing details of how some cows were allegedly killed in their territories.
“The military in charge of the operation Safe Haven kept them from March 31 till April 3. The commandant then transferred them to the Area Commandant of the Nigeria Police,” said Kasai Jesse, the lawyer representing the embattled elders.
“We followed up to see how they could be released on bail. We don’t know the owners of the cows but they said they are owned by unnamed Fulani,” he added.
According to a bail application letter addressed to the Kaduna Commissioner of Police, the detained community leaders are Dakachi Ishaya Achi, Dakachi Ayuba Dodo, Dakachi Bobai Joseph, Pius Makoh, Joseph Bitrus, Nuhu Bobai, Bitrus Adamu, Samaila Kazah, Peter Katung, Anthony Bawa, Peter Adam, David Bwayin, Chindo Magaji, Habila Nuhu and Waje La’ah.
The detention of the leaders is not unconnected to the inter-ethinic and inter-religion crisis that is overwhelming Southern Kaduna, including Zango Kataf.
When contacted, Muhmmad Jalige, the spokesman of the Kaduna State Police Command, said he was unaware of the incident. He asked the reporter to send him the names of the detained community leaders.
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