Police arrest 15 suspected cultists in Benue

The police in Benue State have arrested at least 15 suspects in connection with cult activities from different locations in Makurdi, the state capital.

The Commissioner of Police, Omololu Bishi, at his maiden press conference in Makurdi, said the arrest was made within the past two weeks of his assumption of duty in the state.

“In line with the proactive measures put in place by the Benue State Commissioner of Police to bring crime to its barest minimum, especially the rampant cases of cult related violence and other serious offences, the command under my watch in the past two weeks has recorded the following successes: on January 11 at about 10:00pm, based on credible information, FSARS patrol raided some black spots in Makurdi and arrested the following suspected cultists: James Agbo, 36; Abubakar Garba, 20; Lawal Muazu, 27; and Mohammed Bala 30,” he said.

He said the suspects also specialized in robbing innocent citizens of their motorcycles, phones and other valuables at gunpoint, adding that during investigation, several items were recovered from them to include, one green Golf car, one Honda CG motorcycle frame, two motorcycle fuel tanks, six motorcycle shock absorbers, half engine of a Honda CG motorcycle, one Infinix Note 6 phone, one LG television set, one home theatre set, one glass table and a DVD player.

The commissioner noted further that on January 13, at about 7:30pm, another black spot in Makurdi was raided when the suspects regrouped to carry out reprisal attack on rival cult group over the cult related killing at Wurukum area.

Bishi said six suspects were arrested with illicit drugs and 25 litres of local gin (ogogoro). He gave the names of the suspects as: Terhemen Emmanuel, 22; Francis Denen, 24; Chiahemba Timin, 45; Gershya Sambo, 30; Kenneth Aluga, 34 and Musa Anongo, 32.

Similarly, on same day, the police commissioner disclosed that acting on a distress call that members of rival cult groups were on rampage in a cult rivalry clash, FSARS operatives responded and arrested another set of suspects which include: Kalu Otta, 33; Jeffrey Tarker, 23; Abubakar Yahaya, 19 and Henry Nenge 20 years old.

He added that on January 12, operatives of ‘C’ Division police station, while on patrol, raided a criminal hideout along Alhaji Jidda Street in North Bank area of Makurdi suburb and arrested one David Ijioma, 22, with an axe.

The police commissioner said while investigation was still in progress to apprehend more cultists, the suspects paraded would be arraigned in court.

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