…In Taraba one dies, six injured as police, miners clash

General Court martial sitting at 7 Division of the Nigerian Army, Maiduguri has sentenced one lance Corporal, John Godwin to death and five others to various Jail terms for committing offences contrarily to the rule of engagement of the Nigerian Army.

Handing down the judgment, the President General Court Martial, Brigadier General GbengaOlusegun said that Corporal John Godwin was found guilty of murdering five people aged between 17 to 25 rescued by the military at Yamtake in Gwoza local government area, as such he deserved the sentenced pronounced on him.

General Olusegun said Innocent Otodo was also sentenced to life imprisonment for torturing to death, Mr. YakubuIsah of Zabarmari village whom the soldiers accused of stealing a mobile Phone belonging to Sergeant Otodo.

According to the Court, during the torture of the 13 year old teenager, SergentOtodo used a grinding pepper  on the body of the victim and flogged him, when he notice that the boy was unconscious he rushed him for medical attention but before the doctor could attend to him, he gave up the ghost.

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Others that were sentenced for various jail terms were Lance BenjeminOsagie sentenced for 20 years jailed term, for illegal possession of 1339 1.62 special ammunition which is contrary to the rule of engagement of the Nigerian Army.

Also sentenced to 10 years, 5 years, 3 years and 2 years for four charges to run concurrently was Private Sunday Owen found in possession of large quantity of arms concealed in his bag.

While others Private BitrusYunana and Lance Corporal Ayuba Jonathan of 7 Strike Force Group Kumshe, Bama Local government Area were also sentenced  to 5 years jailed term for possession of illegal arms, which run contrary to the Nigerian Army rules of engagement.

The President of the Court however said all the sentences are subject to the confirmation by the Higher Military authority.

Meanwhile, at least one person has been confirmed dead, a police officer missing and six others sustained bullet wounds following the clash between police and illegal miners in Sardauna local government area of Taraba State.

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Acting Chairman of Sarduana local government, Hon. Godswill Sol told our correspondent in a telephone interview on Friday that a team of police task force had arrived Mayo Sine on Saturday last week on the directives of the state governor to flush out illegal miners at the mining site in the area, but were met with stiff resistance.

Sol said the police reinforced and stormed the mining site again on Thursday and were still met with stiff resistance from the illegal miners, mostly foreigners, leading to the clash.

“Information available to me indicates that one person was killed, a police officer is missing and six persons who sustained injuries during the clash are receiving treatment at the Gembu General Hospital.

“I have been told that about 50 to 100 makeshift tents of the illegal miners were burnt by the police during the raid. We thank God the situation did not escalate and the area in question is now calm,” he said.

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State Commissioner of Police, Mr.  DaveAkinremi who confirmed the incidence to journalists in Jalingo said he deployed his men to the area on the instruction of the state government, following reports of illegal activities going on in the area.

He told journalists that one person was killed during the clash, a police officer still missing, while six persons who were caught in cross fire are currently receiving treatment at Gembu General Hospital.

Our correspondent reports that illegal mining activities have been going on in the area for some time now, with government losing billions of naira in revenue.

Governor Darius Ishaku who returned to China recently where he attended China Business and  Investment Fair, told journalists that China investors would soon be coming to invest in the state mining sector, to boost the state and the nation’s economy.

The Mambila plateau is home to the proposed 3,050 mega watt hydro electric project which was recently approved by President MuhammaduBuhari.