No fewer than 28 suspected cultists have been arrested by operatives of the Delta State Police Command.
The suspects were arrested on Saturday, 3 July while undergoing an initiation ceremony in a forest in Ogume community, Ukwuani Local Government Area of the State.
Spokesman of the State Police Command, DSP Edafe Bright, who confirmed the incident yesterday, said the State Anti-Cultism Unit detectives acted on information received, that some members of the Aiye Confraternity, also known as Black Axe, were planning to meet in the bush that night at about 3am.
When detectives stormed the place, four suspects: Obanor Osasuyi, 24; Oliseh Onimichi, 27; Moses Samuel; 18; and Olusola Ese, 18, had already begun the process of their initiation, and we’re all rounded up.
Items recovered from the cultists include two locally made single-barrel guns, eight vehicles, six motorcycles and charms.
On the same date, operatives of the Safer Highway 018 stationed at Alifikede boundary between Edo and Delta States, while on stop and search duty, intercepted a Toyota Camry with registration number RLU 04 MBB driven by one Tochukwu Obinakana with Mohammed Maduabuchi, 17.
According to Bright, the suspects could not give convincing account of themselves, and we’re consequently arrested and taken to the station for further investigation, where they later confessed to snatching the said vehicle at gun point from a Catholic priest in Owerri. Investigation is ongoing.
In the same vein, on Sunday, 4 July, operatives of ‘A’ Division Quick Response team, while on routine patrol along NPA Link Road, received information that three young men in a tricycle were robbing innocent citizens of their valuables.
The team rallied to the location, and the hoodlums, on sighting the police patrol team, fled, but were given a hot chase by the police. During the chase, one of the suspects, Godbless Joseph, jumped out of the moving tricycle, and was later arrested while the two others fled with the tricycle.
When he was searched, one knife and two Infinix phones were recovered from him.
The two other suspects: Ovoke Akpovikanyen and Ismaila Mohammed, were later apprehended by the Warri Area Command patrol team.
The owners of the phones have identified Joseph to be the person who robbed them of their phones.
Furthermore, the police command said its Rapid Response Squad also arrested five suspected armed robbers/cultists on July 2 while on patrol along Udu Road Warri.
Bright gave the names of the suspects as Prince Onotanare, 22; Gift Ogbeje, 19; Lucky Egere, 22; Charles Eungu, 25; and Joshua Omatseye 22.
They were intercepted along the Otokutu Bridge, Udu, Warri.
A locally made Beretta pistol with 9mm live ammunition was recovered from the first suspect.
They all confessed to being members of the Aiye and JVC Confraternities.