Ex-governor docked for alleged possession of firearms

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A former Benue State governor, Gabriel Suswan, has been arraigned for alleged possession of firearms.

Mr Suswan was arraigned on Friday on a three-count charge by the office of the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami.

He however denied any involvement in the allegation and was granted a N500 million bail.

Outside the court premises, protesters carried various banners and placards, demanding that the government frees Mr Suswan.

Mr Suswan, who is facing separate trials for alleged diversion of public funds, was arrested on June 17 by officials of the State Security Service.

According to Mr Suswan’s brother, Terkura Suswan, the former governor was arrested for alleged links with the state’s most wanted crime suspect, Terwase Akwasa.

The governor’s brother further said Mr Suswan was arrested to aid an alleged plot by Nigeria’s ruling party, APC, to clamp down on opposition parties in the state.

Mr Akwasa who is accused of involvement in various crimes during Mr Suswan’s tenure as governor had escaped arrest.

He, however, returned to the state following the amnesty programme introduced by Governor Samuel Orton in 2016.

Following the return of incessant killings in the state, Mr Akwasa became a suspect.

The SSS claimed some of Mr Akwasa’s men have been arrested in a string operation around the Benue-Taraba border, but he remained at large as the prime suspect.

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