By Onyeje Abutu-Joel
A nine-man robbery gang have been docked before a Chief Magistrates’ Court in Markurdi for killing one Inspector Peter Ilonye at a road block where they were robbing motorists of their belonging at Jiwunde village of Benue State.
Inspector Ilonye who was attached to Operation Zenda JTF, Aliade Sector, was riding on his motorcycle from Taraku to Aliade town when he ran into the gang of armed robbers at the road block at Jiwunde village, the Prosecution Counsel, Insp Godwin Ato, told the court.
He added that upon sighting Ilonye, they shot him on his stomach and carted away his service AK-47 rifle with breech number NH347439 loaded with 30 rounds of ammunition.
He said Ilonye was later confirmed dead as a result of the gunshot.
The Police prosecutor said the case was received at the State CID, Makurdi on March 1, 2023 from Operation Zenda Joint Task Force Headquarters, Makurdi via signal dated same March 1.
Prosecutor said the suspects, Alam Timothy, Ushahemba Tarveem, Ternenge Zafefa, Aondonenge Tyozenda, Zakpe Alfred, James Akange, Terdoo Ikpur, Aondohemba Torto and Jennifer Terna were arrested during police investigation for committing the offences.
He said some others are still at large.
Ato said two AK-47 rifles, four locally made pistols, seven single barrel guns, 67 rounds of 7.62×39 mm live ammunition and three magazines were recovered from the hoodlums.
Also recovered were four expended cartridges, 21 live cartridges, four pairs of Military camouflage and a pair of Mobile Police uniform were recovered from the defendants.
The police charged the defendants, who live at various addresses in Gwer-East Local Government Area of Benue with criminal conspiracy, armed robbery, illegal possession of firearms and culpable homicide.
Prosecutor said their offenses contravened sections 6(b), 1(1)(2)(a)(b), 3(1) of the robbery and firearms act, 2004 and 222 of the penal code laws of Benue, 2004.
The Court ordered the remand of the nine suspects in a correction centre.
However, the Magistrate, Mrs Roseline Iyorshe, did not take their plea for want in jurisdiction.
Iyorshe adjourned the matter until May 15, 2023 for further mention.