6 in court over alleged cattle rustling
The suspects were charged with criminal conspiracy, being in possession of property suspected to be stolen, and mischief by killing animals.
According to the police prosecutor, Mr Adama Owochio, the accused persons – Michael Itodo, Olofu Ebeakwu, Emmanuel Edoh, John Danladi, Ajene Awodi and Alhaji Ugbaebe Daniel, all residents of Otukpo, were arrested on April 4, 2017.
He told the court that the accused persons were arrested after Mr Yahaya Bawa, the Divisional Police Officer of Adoka Division, received information that 500 cattle had been rustled from Agatu and were being moved from Adoka to Otukpo.
“The police moved immediately and intercepted two buses conveying 17 cows, out of which one had died.
“When the accused persons were questioned, they could not give a satisfactory account as to how they got the cows,” the prosecutor said.
He said that the offense was contrary to sections 97, 208, 331, and 321 of the penal code laws of Benue State 2004.
The accused persons, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Owochio told the court that investigation into the matter was still in progress, and asked for a short adjournment.
Counsel to the accused persons, Haruna Audu, prayed the court to grant bail to the accused persons, pursuant to sections 341(2) and 5 (3) of the C.P.C, and section 36 (5) of the 1999 constitution.
The Magistrate, Mrs. Franca Yuwa, granted the accused persons bail in the sum of N100,000 each, with two sureties in like sums who must be civil servants or land owners resident in Makurdi.
She adjourned the case to May 8, 2017 for further mention.
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