No fewer than 30 aged women including widows and eight men of Nasarawa State origin were on Friday arrested by the police for allegedly protesting the outcome of the Supreme Court judgment which affirmed Governor Abdullahi Sule as winner of the March 18, 2023 governorship election in the state.
The governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, David Ombugadu, had dragged Sule of the All Progressives Congress to court, challenging his 2023 election victory.
The Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal had on October 2 sacked the governor and declared Ombugadu as winner of the poll.
Unsatisfied with the judgment, Sule approached the Appeal where he was declared as the actual winner of the election.
This prompted Ombugadu to approach the Supreme Court for the final verdict on the matter.
Speaking on the development on Friday, the state Police Public Relations Officer DSP Ramhan Nansel, said apart from the 38 suspects arrested by the command, 29 motorcycles were recovered by its personnel during the protests which took place in Lafia, the state capital.
He further explained that the protesters were arrested because they violated a peace agreement recently reached by stakeholders of the APC and PDP in the state ahead of the Supreme Court judgment.
Nansel said, “The command has apprehended 38 suspects in connection to the protests and we have recovered 29 motorcycles
“After the Supreme Court judgment, the protesters were aggrieved and they blocked the roads, burning tyres and thereby obstructing vehicular movements and disrupting business activities. That was why they were arrested.
“A total of 30 females and eight males were arrested. 29 motorcycles were also recovered.
“The suspects were immediately taken to the State Criminal Investigation Department in Lafia where an investigation was carried out and they were charged to court for prosecution.
“The court has remanded them in prison custody pending their bail determination on Monday.”
While urging all residents of the state to go about their business without any fear, the PPRO assured them that the command is working in synergy with other sister security agencies to ensure that the entire 13 Local Government Areas of the state remain peaceful.
Meanwhile, investigation by our correspondent indicates that the 38 suspected protesters were charged before the Chief Magistrates’ Court III, Lafia by the state police command.
When the matter was mentioned for hearing by the prosecuting counsel, Danjuma Allu, the Chief Magistrate, Mohammed Lanze, reserved his ruling for Monday, January 22, 2024.
However, the defendant’s counsel, Iliya Ashokpa, pleaded with the court to grant his clients bail but was not granted.