Nigerian Critic Queries Non-Arrest, Prosecution Of Killer Herdsmen

A Nigerian critic and public commentator, Wednesday, queried the rationale behind the purported immunity granted the killer herdsmen in the country after allegedly committing crimes which could have resulted in their arrest, trial and sentence.

This criticism came on the heels of some suspected herdsmen killing of more than 200 persons from Plateau State as a retaliatory measure over alleged rustling of their cows by some criminals.

Reno Omokri, a Special Assistant to the then President Goodluck Jonathan posed a question “How possible is it that herdsmen will kill thousands of Nigerians under Buhari and no one can be arrested, tried and sentenced for it?”

Before now, some security agents had arrested hundreds of herdsmen with AK-47 rifle, yet they were not prosecuted while others had been arrested in the killing fields, yet they were let off the hook.

After the gruesome killings, Danladi Ciroma, the chairman of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MAGBAN) in charge of North-Central zone, was quoted to have disclosed that the Berom youths in Plateau State had been stealing their cows and the attacks by herdsmen were in retaliation of their rustled 300 cows in the last few weeks.

This story was corroborated by Mallam Garba Shehu, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Monday in a statement, admitting that the attack might have erupted as a result of allegation over 100 cows rustled by some criminals in the affected communities and killing of some herdsmen in Plateau State.

Omokri in his Twitter handle Wednesday queried “I thought it was only President /Governors and their deputies that had constitutional inmmunity. I never know the immunity extended to herdsmen!”

However, Section 308 sub-section 3 of 1999 Nigerian Constitution (as amended in 2011) states that “This section applies to a person holding the Office of President or Vice President, Governor or Deputy Governor; and the reference in this section to “period of office” to the reference of a period during which a person holding such office…”

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Based on this, every Nigerian is liable to prosecution and subsequent imprisonment  if found guilty of the offence- a case of no sacred cow.

Meanwhile, Ibrahim Idris, the Inspector General of Police, Wednesday, reversed the re-deployment of Plateau Police Commissioner, Undie Adie, Plateau State Commissioner of Police with immediate effect.

Adie was replaced Tuesday by Yobe state-born Bala Ciroma, who was until his new position the Deputy Commissioner of Police, Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department.

But in another statement Wednesday the IGP has reinstated Adie as the Plateau State Commisisoner.