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In Anambra, Police Arrest Herbalist, Others over Cultism, Striping of Widow

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By Izunna Okafor

The Anambra State Police Command has arrested and paraded seven suspects in connection with cultism, stripping and molestation of a widow in Aguleri, Anambra East Local Government Area of the state, as well as other forms of crime.

Parading the suspects on Wednesday at the headquarters of the State’s Criminal Investigation Department, CID, Amabiwa, Awka South LGA, the State’s Commissioner of Police, CP Echeng Echeng named the suspects to include a 44-year-old Chief Priest, Mr. Anthony Obanye.

Other suspects, according to him, include Mr Udalor Egwuatu Nnalue, 46, Mr Godwin Ezechukwu, 42, Nonso Ezechukwu, 20, Philomena Onyekwe, 27, and Chineyere Mmachi, 32.

He said, “Many of you are aware of the menace of cultism in the State particularly in Awka and environs. You will recall that on 14th December, 2021, Cultists attacked the Chairman of Tricycle Owners Association in broad day light near Unizik Junction. Two Police Officers who were in the vicinity were killed and their weapons two AK 47 rifles carted away.

“Again on 26th February, 2022 the same cultist gang attacked a funeral party at Ebenebe in Awka North L.G.A., killing several mourners.

“These serious incidents motivated the Command in going the extra mile in intelligence gathering and discreet investigation.

“In the past two weeks several members of the gang were arrested by Police Operatives working in synergy with important stakeholders in the security sector.

“On Tuesday 15th March, 2022 information was received that the same cult group had launched an attack on Unizik vigilante group at miracle junction, ifite, Awka. Police Operatives were mobilized to lay ambush for the gang as they fled from the scene. The effort pays off as the Police succeeded in demobilizing the gang and recovering a cache of weapons which included the two AK-47 rifles earlier stolen from the two Policemen murdered on 14th December, 2021.

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“The following are the weapons and other items recovered: two Ak47, three pump actions guns, three locally made beretta pistols, one locally made Chief recover pistol, Nine Ak-47 magazine, two battle axes, assorted ammunition for the firearms above and the Mercedes Benz V-Booth reg. No Lagos HC 661 AAA with which the gang was operating was also recovered

“The leader of the gang, one Uchenna Nwobu a.k.a Anali was killed while the other gang member was arrested.

“Investigation is ongoing aimed at tracking down other members of the gang and establishing the rightful owner of the recovered car.

“We have also taken note of the grievous at of jungle justice in the trending video of the clash between the cultists and a local vigilante group. We condemn the barbaric act. Investigation will unravel identities of perpetrators and they will be brought to justice.

“We wish to advise all those involved in providing protection for our communities to refrain fro resort to self help. One crime cannot be the cure for other crimes. On our part we shall continue to uphold the public trust. We shall continue to partner with all well-meaning stakeholders to improve public safety and state security

“I want to use this opportunity to update you on the video that recently trended where a lady was indecently assaulted and publicly disgraced over alleged incident of causing her husband’s death.

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“The Command operatives have arrested a total of six additional suspects including a native doctor who where Identified during the study of the video by police operatives. The suspects are: Anthony Obanye ‘M’ 44years, Udalor Egwuatu Nnalue ‘M’ 46years, Godwin Ezechukwu ‘M’ 42yrs, Nonso Ezechukwu ‘M’ 20years, Philomena Onyekwe ‘F’ 27years and Chineyere Mmachi ‘F’ 32years.

“Investigation revealed that the deceased, Mr Udorji Egwatu, had been sick for some time when his bother, Mr Udalor took him to Anthony a native doctor. Anthony confessed to have taken the decease on some spiritual cleansing and administered him some herds before he died. It was Anthony who allegedly told the family of the deceased that the cause of his death was as a result of the wife infidelity.

“We also to want use opportunity to advise the members of the public to stop sharing the video. This will help to protect the dignity of the woman. I wish to assure you that no stone shall be left unturned in the going investigation. Justice shall be served.

“Furthermore, the Command Operatives on stop and search on 23/2/2022 along Onitsha Enugu expressway arrested one Awoke Friday and Ezuma Chukwuemeka. While trafficking a large quantity of 250mg of Tramadol and other prohibited drugs. The suspects where conveying to drugs in a Toyota Hiace bus to Ebonyi State. Meanwhile the case has been transferred to National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA).”

CP Echeng also assured that all the suspects are in Police custody, and shall be charge to court at the end of investigation.

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