The police in Yobe State have arrested three vigilante members after one person was, on Saturday, found dead in the vigilante group’s custody in Potiskum Local Government Area of the state.
Residents said the victim in Potiskum, Musa Baba, was found dead inside a vigilante group’s cell.
The police spokesperson in Yobe, Dungus Abdulkarim, told PREMIUM TIMES that the arrest was made following a spate of extra-judicial killings and unlawful detention of suspects for days by the vigilante group in Potiskum town.
The police said this victim, Mr Baba, was taken to the vigilante’s custody by his brother for alleged substance abuse, where he was detained for five days before his death on Saturday.
“The information received from the vigilante (group) is that the suspect committed suicide while in detention using a knife to slice his own neck.
“The police have arrested three vigilante members and have commenced investigation into the matter to ascertain the truth of the matter.
“The investigation will focus on who kept the knife inside the vigilante’s custody that the suspect used in killing himself,” the police spokesperson said.
Killing of suspected kidnappers
The police also said the vigilante group killed three suspected kidnappers in Murfa Kalam village, about 16 kilometres from Damaturu, the state’s capital.
Residents said the suspected kidnappers were killed following an attempt to kidnap one Alhaji Fulani after obtaining N4 million from him in his residence.
The vigilante members mobilised and ambushed the kidnappers who were attempting to whisk away their victim. In the process, three of the kidnappers were killed and four others arrested, a resident said, asking not to be named for security reasons.
The four arrested suspects were handed over to soldiers, the source added.
PREMIUM TIMES could not reach the vigilante group to hear their side of the story because the commander, Mallam Idris, was among those arrested by the security agents.