*As It Intensifies War Against Cultism
Determined to stem the rising spate of cultism and allied activities in Edo state, operatives of the state police command’s Anti-Cultism Unit arrested no fewer than six suspects over the weekend.
ASP Jennifer U Iwegbu, who confirmed the development, told newsmen that operatives of the command picked up the suspects around Ekiowe community, Ekiadolor, Ovia North East council area of the state, while on routine township patrol.
According to her, the suspects took to their heels on sighting the police but were eventual rounded up.
“On the 02/07/2022 at about 1715hrs, operatives of Edo state police Command, Ekiadolor sector, while on routine township patrol within Ekowe community and environs, intercepted some suspected cultists at the community youth house.
“The Suspects on sighting the police operatives took to their heels from the scene of their unlawful assembly, this action attracted the attention of the operatives and they gave them a hot chase which led to the arrest of the following Suspects; Andrew Owhoyavwosa ‘M’ 22yrs, Joseph Meshak ‘M’ 25yrs, Osazee Solomon ‘M’ 35yrs, Godswill Obasohan ‘M’ 25yrs, Charles Odiase ‘M’ 52yrs and Okoh Peter ‘M’ 68yrs”.
Recovered from the suspects include two locally-made single barrel guns, one locally cut-to-size single barrel gun, 30 live cartridges, one first aid box, Kolanuts, Eggs and Cowries.
The police also recovered one dead chicken, seven handsets and the sum of thirty-seven thousand naira cash at the scene of arrest.
In another related development, operatives of the command, alongside local vigilante groups, intercepted a motorcyclist who was acting suspiciously. The suspect was picked up along Igbe road, Auchi, Etsako West council area of the state, on Sunday, July 3, 2022
“In an attempt to stop the rider by the Operatives, he fired a gunshot in an attempt to scare the team of operatives to enable his escape but was subdued and arrested.
“On the spot search conducted on him led to the recovery of the following items; One locally made cut-to-size single barrel gun, one live cartridge, One expended cartridge and one motorcycle with Reg no. BEN-316-QP.
“During preliminary investigation, the suspect confessed to being a member of the dreaded Vikings Confraternity. An investigation is still ongoing. The Suspect will be charged to court at the end of the investigation”, she further said.
While assuring residents of the state of safety, police commissioner, Abutu Yaro, pointed out that his command will not relent in its efforts to rid the state of criminal elements and their cohorts. He urged the general public to continue to collaborate with the command by way of providing prompt and credible information that will lead to the arrest of all criminal elements.