Suspected cattle rustlers arrested while sharing cows

Six suspected cattle rustlers in Taraba State were unlucky on Friday as they were arrested in the bush while they were busy sharing the cows they had rustled.

They were arrested in Nyogor forest by a military patrol team from the 20 Mechanised Battalion, Serti, operating in Mambilla, Taraba State.

The Commanding Officer of the Battalion, Lt.-Col. Sani Adamu, gave the names of the suspects as: Hammanjulde Yahya, 50; Umaru Yahya, 40; Paul Samuel, 35; Juli Adamu, 30; Ibrahim Yusufa, 27; and Usumanu Buba, 25.

While parading them at Mayo-Ndaga in Sardauna Local Government Area of the state, Adamu said 30 cows were recovered from the suspects.

According to the News Agency of Nigeria, Adamu said the soldiers were on patrol of the troubled area, where several persons had been killed and hundreds of cows stolen earlier in the month. He noted that the soldiers invaded the forest when they got information that the cattle rustlers were in the forest.

He said, “When we entered the bush on Sunday, March 25, we caught them (suspects) sharing the meat of the stolen cows in Nyogor forest. Further search into the deep forest led to the recovery of 30 stolen cows, which have been handed over to community leaders in Mayo-Ndaga for proper identification by their owners.”

The commanding officer advised the people to live in peace, while imploring those in possession of stolen cows to quietly return them to community leaders or security agents and be pardoned.

“Those who refuse to adhere to this advice should blame themselves for whatever happens to them when they are caught,” he said.

The village head of Mayo-Ndaga, Alhaji Auwalu Mansur, had told the officers that his subjects had not been able to recover cows stolen from them during the recent crisis.

The report noted that the suspects had been handed over to the Taraba State Police Command for further action.

The spokesperson for the command, Mr. David Missal, said that even though some suspects were handed over to the command by the army, the police would carry out further investigation.

He said, “It’s too early to comment about it because when people are arrested in connection with a crime and they are handed over to us, it is necessary that we investigate and be able to ascertain the true nature of the case.

“Of course, we have some people in our custody that were handed over to us by the army, but we are still investigating. We need to know their level of involvement, how many cows they have rustled, if that is true. So, let us get the full details and we will comment on it later.”