Controversy trails military arrest of CJTF commander in Kaduna | Dailytrust

Controversy trails military arrest of CJTF commander in Kaduna

Some residents of Rigasa who staged a protest asking the Military to release a Vigilante commander
Some residents of Rigasa who staged a protest asking the Military to release a Vigilante commander

Protests have continued to trail the arrest of a commander with the Kaduna State Civilian Joint Taskforce (CJTF), Aminu Sani, popularly known as Bolo.

Residents of the Rigasa community, in Igabi Local Government Area of Kaduna State, where Bolo resides as well as his colleagues and family members have expressed concern over his alleged torture by the military and have called on Governor Nasir El-Rufai to intervene. 

Daily Trust reports that Bolo was arrested by the military over alleged ties with bandits. His arrest, however, resulted in a mass protest in Rigasa where residents said Aminu Bolo has shown nothing but bravery and doggedness in the fight against banditry and other crimes. They claimed he had worked with security agencies for years to reduce the level of crime in the community. 

Following the protest, the Nigerian Defence Headquarters had through a news briefing in Abuja admitted that it arrested the CJTF commander on alleged ties with bandits saying Bolo was still in their custody.  

The acting Director, Defence Media Operations, Brigadier General, Bernard Onyeuko, had confirmed that troops of the Nigerian Army attached to Operation Thunder Strike and Whirl Wind arrested Bolo. 

However, speaking with our correspondent, the commander’s younger brother, Haruna Sani said for over 30 days, they have been denied full access to Bolo and are therefore concerned about his health, especially, since some pictures of Bolo being chained to a hospital bed surfaced. “We don’t know his health situation at the hospital but his lawyer told us he is still alive. The truth is we are worried,” he said. 

A resident of the Rigasa community, who  simply identified herself as Saudatu, described Bolo as a good man who has sacrificed for the community and urged Governor El-Rufai to intervene before “they harm an innocent man.”  

Also speaking with our correspondent, a community leader who pleaded anonymity said the detained commander should have been handed over to the police for prosecution if the military had evidence against him. 

On his part, Bolo’s lawyer, Barrister Abdulrashid Aminu said a case had been filed at the State High Court demanding N500 million in damages against the military for illegal detention and infringement of Bolo’s fundamental human right. 

He said they had petitioned the Department of State Security, the Kaduna State Police Commissioner, the General Officer Commanding 1 Division of the Nigerian Army before filing the case adding that Bolo is a known taskforce commander who has assisted security agencies. 

Barrister Abdulrashid Aminu further accused the military of torture and maltreatment of his client stressing that: “As a citizen of Nigeria, the constitution presumes innocence. Even if he committed any crime, he should be formally informed and his family should be informed then charged to court within 48 hours of arrest.” 

The lawyer said he had met Bolo in a terrible condition in the hospital, chained to a bed and looking dehydrated. “He was uncovered in this cold season,” he lamented. 

When asked if they knew about the arrest, the Kaduna State Police Command disassociated itself from the arrest saying they were not informed by the military on why Bolo was arrested.

The State Police Public Relations Officer, ASP Mohammed Jalige said: “The command is not aware of his arrest because the military didn’t notify us and so we don’t know his whereabouts or why they arrested him.” 

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