THE Benue State Police Command has arraigned four hunters who forcefully shaved the hair of some residents of the state.
Spokesperson for the Command, Anene Sewuese Catherine, disclosed that the suspects are to appear before a Magistrate Court on Friday.
Catherine said the arrested suspects who are members of the Nigeria Hunters and Forest Security Services (NHFSS) were led by one Ajonye Peter.
Using scissors, the hunters shaved hairs off the heads of residents who had applied dye.
“Investigation reveals that on 26th April 2022, a group of persons who assembled themselves unlawfully under the umbrella of NHFSS and leadership of one Mr Ajonye Peter embarked on a rally to showcase themselves in some communities as a legal entity without notifying the police and without any authority to operate.
“In the course of the rally, they came across citizens going about their normal businesses and decided to cut the hair of these persons for reasons best known to them,” a statement released by the Benue State Police Command said.
The statement said Ajonye and three other suspects have been arrested, adding that an investigation is ongoing.
The names of the arrested suspects are State Commandant, Leva Luther, Deputy Commandant, Jov Peter Charles, and Godwin Adinya, State Adviser.
The statement further disclosed that the Benue State Commissioner of Police Wale Abbas condemned the act as ‘barbaric and dehumanizing’.
“While commiserating with victims in his office, the CP assured them that the Command under his watch will not allow lawlessness hence, the suspects will be dealt with in accordance with the laws,” the statement added.
Viral videos on social media showed members of the hunters association in their van cutting a lady’s hair with scissors.
Governor of the State Samuel Ortom had also condemned the organisation’s activities, which he described as ‘illegal’.
Ortom said this in a statement by his media aide, Nathaniel Ikyur, saying the Hunters and Forest Security Guards was not established by the Benue State Government.
“As the Chief Security Officer of the State, I am appalled by the unlawful acts of these people, and I condemn this in unequivocal terms and state categorically that my government has nothing to do with this group and its actions.
“I have repeatedly maintained that I will never allow criminals to take over the state. Benue citizens are law-abiding and we cannot allow illegal bodies to operate and harass people here,” he said.