Cult Clash Claims 16 In Anambra As Police Arrest 35
By Nedum Noble
No fewer than 16 persons were killed by suspected cultists in Awka, the Anambra State capital, the State Commissioner of Police, Mr Garba Umar has disclosed.
Umar who decried the growing activities of secret cults in the state while parading 35 cult suspects at the Police Headquarters in Amawbia, Awka South Local Government Area of the state, said the deaths were recorded within two weeks.
He said the police would be compelled to charge the suspects whose age ranges were between 20 and 34 for murder.
According to the CP, the suspects engaged in other forms of criminal activities such as armed robbery, extortion and housebreaking.
He gave the names of the ring leaders of the arrested suspects as Chukwudi Machie(34), Chukwudi Igwegbe(32), Onyeka Ibanugo(28), Ifeanyi Anazodo(28) and Chukwuemeka Nwokoye(32).
His words, “The aforementioned suspects confessed to be members of black axe/vickings fraternity and have direct link with the ongoing cult activities in Awka and the alleged murder of several persons.
“It would be recalled that in the past few days, activities of secret cults in the State has taken an alarming dimension following a fierce battle of supremacy between rival cult groups leading to loss of lives and wanton destruction of properties.
“These dastardly acts perpetrated by misguided youths usually under the influence of hard drugs use offensive weapons such as guns, machetes, knives and so on to intimidate, assault, maim and even kill their perceived rivals including innocent citizens in the State.
“Worried by these emergent trends of criminality and other nefarious activities, the command under my watch has reviewed its crime prevention strategies and embarked on intensive patrol, aggressive raid of black spots/ flash points and other criminal hideouts in order to nip in the bud all forms of crime and criminality in the state.
Umar asked community leaders, religious leaders and the general public to play their roles towards ensuring peace by availing the Police and other law enforcement agencies with useful information that would aid “the unbundling of criminal acts and tendencies”.
Umar said his strategies had started yielding results with the arrest of 35 suspected cult members belonging to different sect groups from various black spots within the state particularly in Awka, Obosi, Enugu-Ukwu and Okija.
He listed the items recovered from the suspects to include: one AK 47 rifle; one English Bareta Pistol; two locally made double barrel Pistols; one Single Barrel short gun ,fifteen rounds of 7.62 live ammunition; three cartridges and a red
Toyota Matrix Car with Reg. No EKY 879 EN snatched from one Evbadolovi Omorogbe at Benin City, Edo State.
While pledging the Command’s determination to ensure that criminals have no hiding place in the State, the commissioner said the suspects would be charged to court after investigations were concluded.