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20 Dec 2017

Police parade 35 suspected cultists in Benue

The Benue State Police Command has paraded 35 suspected cultists arrested in the last few days in different parts of the state as part of its ‘Ember Month Operation Order’ aimed at ensuring a peaceful and crime free festive period.

This is even as Governor Samuel Ortom has enjoined parents to warn their children against cultism, saying that anyone caught would be prosecuted and jailed if found guilty no matter how highly placed or connected the parents may be.

The arrested persons included 26 suspected cultists said on their way from Ogbadibo to Makurdi and nine other suspects from Lessel in Ushongo Local Government Area of the state.

Commissioner of Police in the state, Bashir Makama, while parading the suspects at the Command’s headquarters, on Monday, disclosed that a combined team of Operation Zenda and Special Anti Robbery Squad, acting on an intelligence report, last Friday, intercepted the suspects.

Makama said the suspected cultists, who were members of the Black Axe Confraternity, were traveling in a convoy of three commercial vehicles on their way to Makurdi when they were intercepted by the police.

He explained further that the suspects whose ages range between 18 and 25, had traveled all the way from Ogbadibo Local Government Area of the state to Makurdi with the intention to cause mayhem on residents of North Bank area of Makurdi.

Also, the Police Commissioner stated that last Saturday, at about 11:00p.m., policemen on patrol at Lessel town received information about a cult clash and quickly moved to the scene and arrested one Shedrack Shior.

“Upon interrogation, he confessed to be a member of the Black Axe Cult group and led policemen to the arrest of eight other suspects in connection to the cult activities,” Makama said.

He further disclosed that one blood-stained cutlass, one axe, and one knife were recovered from the suspects.

Meanwhile, Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State has advised residents to caution their wards against indulging in cult activities warning that anyone caught would be sanctioned according to the provisions of the anti cultism law recently passed by the state House of Assembly.

The governor gave the advice during the swearing in ceremony of the state Chief Judge, Justice Adam Onum, on Monday.

He urged parents to caution their wards to ensure they do not fall victims of cultism stressing that whoever fails to warn his or her children should not run to him when they are caught.

Said he, “I will never send thugs after anyone and I want to advise other politicians against such acts.”
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