Gabriel Suswam, a former governor of Benue State, currently representing Benue North-East Senatorial District in the National Assembly, has called on the Federal Government to probe the killing of Terwase Agwaza alias Gana by soldiers on Tuesday.
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Gana was killed by soldiers on his way to Makurdi, the state capital, to surrender himself to Governor Samuel Ortom.
Suswam, in a statement titled ‘A time to heal’, warned that such killing is similar to what sparked the Boko Haram insurgency in the northern part of the country.
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“The claim that Gana was killed in a gunfight needs further explanation because those who accompanied him and who watched him being taken away, including his Local Government Chairman do not believe he was in possession of any arms.
“An independent judicial commission of inquiry will unravel facts of the matter to serve as lessons for the future,” the statement read in part.
“The events of September 8 2020 in my senatorial district where repentant criminals who had surrendered after extensive persuasions were singled out and killed extra-judicially leaves a sour taste and has opened a gaping wound that requires all efforts to heal.”
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Suswam said although Gana had terrorised the state for years, he surrendered after a joint effort of traditional, religious and political leaders at a public function at the Akume Atongo Stadium in Katsina-Ala.
He added that the killing is not solution to the security problems bedeviling the area, saying if such continues, there would be no need to have laws and courts.
“While I have been consistent in condemning the reign of terror he unleashed on his community, I cannot in good conscience as a lawyer of over three decades and a senior parliamentarian accept cold-blooded extra-judicial murder of an unarmed person as a solution to our security problems.
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“The lessons of the Boko Haram escalation after a similar murder of its leader are still here with us.
“If this method is accepted as a norm in our country, there will be no need for laws and courts,” he said.