The Commander of the Niger State Vigilante Corps, Nasiru Mohammed Manta, has ordered the closure of all the corps offices across the state.
This followed his arrest and detention by the police on the orders of the commissioner of Police, Monday Bala Kuryas.
Manta told Daily Trust that his arrest was a result of the arrest of some hoodlums who had been disrupting the peace in Minna, the state capital.
He alleged that the parents of some hoodlums reported him to the CP who ordered his detention after raining insults on him in public.
Manta said, “After recruiting us by the state government, we have not been paid but we still do our job. Nobody gets salary. And each time we make arrest, we hand them over to the police, not that we beat anybody.
“We shall resume work but for now, all our offices across the state have been shut. Even when the hoodlums started again Saturday night, many government officials called me and I told them that none of us would come out. They should leave them to do whatever they want to do.”
When contacted, the state police command’s spokesman, DSP Wasiu Abiodun, confirmed the detention.
He said, “The vigilante leader and some of his boys were just given an administrative punishment for their excesses in line of duty for the purpose of correction.
“Excesses such as indiscriminate use of firearms (Dane gun), incivility on innocent members of the public, excessive use of power, running an illegal detention facility as well as arresting and detaining suspects without handing them over to the police etc.
“The punishment measure is meant to correct these excesses and to ensure proper supervision of the vigilante members’ activities,” he said.
The state Commissioner for Internal Security, Emmanuel Umar, had in December last year said Governor Abubakar Sani Bello assented the Vigilante Corp Law to boost the activities of the corps and strengthen the internal security architecture in the state.
The corps had participated alongside the conventional security agencies in several operations against banditry, insurgency and other crimes including the ongoing effort to tame the tide of youth unrest in Minna.