The Taraba state police command has arrested 39 “strange men” in Nguroje, Sardauna local government area of the state.
David Missal, spokesman of the command, disclosed this on Wednesday while briefing reporters in Jalingo, the state capital.
Missal said the arrest of the suspicious men, whose ages ranged between 30 and 40 years, followed an alarm raised by residents of Nguroje.
He said the men who were allegedly harboured by a woman in the community were first taken to Gembu divisional police headquarters where they were interrogated and later transferred to the command headquarters in Jalingo for further investigation.
Missal said the men claimed to be refugees from Cameroon, but that their movement was suspicious because they did not report their arrival to any security agency or any appropriate authority.
He said that earlier batches of refugees who fled crisis-ridden north-west Cameroon comprising women, children and the aged reported to appropriate quarters and were camped and catered for.
“This set of able-bodied men only sneaked into Nguroje, passing through other towns and Gembu, the council’s headquarters, without information,’’ he said.
Missal, however, said that no incriminating item was found on them, adding that the people were currently undergoing security interrogation with a view to ascertaining their mission in the area.
Godwin Sol, acting chairman of Sardauna local government, said the suspects, who claimed to be from Bamenda in Cameroon, did not notify the council of their coming.
Sol wondered why they opted to proceed to Nguroje instead of stopping in Gembu where there was an existing camp put in place for refugees.
The chairman said such action raised doubts about their movement, saying it was not only illegal but suspicious.
He said the council would not fold its arms and allow people of questionable character to be a source of trouble on the Mambilla Plateau, anymore.
In June, a crisis led to the death of hundreds of people in Saraudana. (NAN)