The Police, Taraba Command, on Saturday presented to newsmen 142 cows and 26 sheep it recovered from suspected cattle rustlers in Serti, Gashaka Council Area of the state.
The State’s Commissioner of Police, Mr Yakubu Babas, told newsmen in Jalingo that the animals were intercepted in collaboration with Tabital Pulaaku Vigilance Group.
According to him, the police recovered the animals after a gun battle with the suspected cattle rustlers.
“On the receipt of the intelligence information, a team of policemen with vigilantes were drafted to the area.
“On sighting our men, the rustlers engaged them in a shootout but due to the superior power of my men, they took to their heels abandoning 142 cows and 26 sheep.
“The recovered animals are now in police custody and three people have so far identified some of the animals to be their own,” Babas said.
The commissioner advised genuine owners of the animals to visit the command with proof of ownership.
On the allegation of extortion levelled against the vigilance group leader, Shehu Aljan, Babas said the command had requested for proof from the aggrieved persons.
“When I assumed duty as the CP of this state, I was approached with some allegations against Aljan by some people.
“I asked them to officially write to me indicating the alleged offences but as I speak with you, they have not done that.
“Therefore, vigilantes can operate in the state but I have directed that there must always be a policeman attached to them whenever they embark on their operation.
By so doing, they will be guided on the provision of the law as far as security operations are concerned,” the commissioner said.