The admission by the governor of Nasarawa State, Tanko Al-Makura, that he donated N1 million to the deadly sect, Ombatse, has drawn varied reactions in the state.
The group is accused of killing of dozens of security operatives in May 2013.
At a commission of inquiry into attack that occurred in Alakyo community, the governor, on Friday, admitted donating to the group after its members blocked a highway in the state.
He said the youths were protesting against the military, which, they alleged, obstructed their prayer session at Alogani Village.
Mr Al-Makura comments came in response to statements by the legal adviser to Ombatse, Zamani Allumaga, who said that the governor gave leaders of the group and Eggon Community Development Association, ECDA, N2 million when they visited him in November, 2012.
The governor’s appearance and his claim have stirred a fresh round of controversy in the state.
The state Peoples Democratic Party, PDP’s Youth leader, Mohammed Barde, called the governor’s action “criminal” and said he was abetting criminality.
Mr. Barde said the governor’s appearance and testimony set a bad precedence and rubbished the exalted seat of the governor.
According to Ismaila Ahmed of Angwan Waje, Keffi, Mr Al-Makura’s appearance makes him an interested party.
Mr. Ahmed added that the governor could not be a judge in his own case, and as such, the commission should not submit its report to him but to a separate body accepted by all parties involved.
However, the state Commissioner for Justice, Innocent Lagi, defended the governor’s appearance, calling it the act of a true leader. He, however, noted that the commission’s report would not be submitted to Mr Al-Makura as a person but as governor.
“It was quite noble, despite having immunity, to appear to clear his name of certain allegations made against him,” Mr. Lagi said.