ZAMFARA State Police Command yesterday arrested and arraigned 21 persons, including two immediate past council Chairmen of Gusau and Shinkafi councils, and a People’s Democratic Party (PDP) youth leader before a chief magistrate’s court one sitting in Gusau, the state capital, for allegedly inciting public disturbance during the just concluded subsidy withdrawal protest in the state.
But reacting to the arrest on telephone, the former Special Adviser to immediate past governor of the state on Media and Publicity who is also a PDP chieftain in the state, Alhaji Sani Anka said most of the accused persons were members of the PDP, adding that the arrests were politically motivated.
The presiding court Magistrate, Umar Abdul Nasir ordered that they be transferred to a Sharia court in Gusau for hearing, pointing out that his court lacked jurisdiction over the matter. He however ordered the accused persons to be remanded in prison custody till today when the case would be heard.
In a related development, prominent politicians and chieftains of Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in Niger State have been arrested by the state police command in connection with last week’s violent protest occasioned by fuel subsidy removal by the federal government.
Also arrested were former senior special assistants to Governor Babangida Aliyu who were dropped at the inception of the second term of the present administration, owning to some differences.
Those arrested and are currently being detained at the police headquarters in Minna, are former Vice Chairman, North Central of PDP, Alhaji Abubakar Magaji; the former Secretary to the state government, Comrade Adams Erena; former Commissioner for Health and former House of Representatives candidate under ACN in Chanchaga constituency, Hon Dettijo Aliyu; former Commissioner for Agriculture in the state, Alhaji Idris Azozo and Mike Barde.
In addition, no fewer than 212 people mostly youths had been detained by the police in connection with the violent protests as more arrests were made across the state yesterday.
Meanwhile, no fewer than 23 suspects, including one Lawrence Dada who allegedly murdered a protester in Osogbo, the Osun State capital, during the fuel subsidy protest were paraded by the state Police Command yesterday.
The state Police Commissioner, Mr. Solomon Olusegun who paraded the suspects, said they were picked up from different locations in the state in the last three weeks.