• Tuesday, April 16, 2024
businessday logo

BusinessDay

Police identify 21 cult groups in Akwa Ibom

businessday-icon

The police in Akwa Ibom have identified 21 cult groups in the state with membership cutting across all genders.
Don Awunah, the state Commissioner of Police, who disclosed this in Uyo, said a catholic priest earlier kidnapped at Ikot Etim in Ukanafun local government area of the state, has been successfully rescued. Awunah said investigations revealed that cultism, kidnapping, murder and stealing were prevalent in the state.
The police boss identified some of the cult groups that have been terrorising the state as the Luttons, the Red Skins, St. Stephens, Secret Sons of Satan, Sept 11 Group, De Well, Debam, Scavenger, Predators, King Cobra and King Cobra.
Others are Skylolo, J.V., Bats, Black Cross, Black Cross, Black Ladies, Sons of Nights, White Angels, Junior Buccaneers, Blood Brotherhood, Musket and Daughters of Queen Amina.
To tackle crime, he said the command has launched “Operation Impact” which has led to the arrests of culprits across state.
“A notorious kidnap gang was smashed by the operatives of Operation Impact, leading to the rescue of a Reverend Father of St. Michael Parish. Upon interrogation, the gang members confessed to have been behind many high profile kidnap cases in the state which included among others; the kidnap of a lecturer in the state university and a political party stalwart”.
According to him, items recovered from the kidnappers include; one AK-47 Riffle, 5 rounds of 9mm ammunition, one locally made pistol with rounds of ammunition, one Nissan Primera with registration number GGE 861 DO and the sum of N180, 000”.
Speaking he said “On the 11th of February, 2017, one Nkereuwem Victor (m) aged 25 years (the suspect) was arrested on a motorcycle in Ukanafun local government area, enroute an armed robbery operation. The arrest has given insight to gangs who specialise in robbing unsuspecting citizens using motorcycles.
“In furtherance of our Operation Impact, security operatives acting on a tip-off arrested six cultists on the 12th and 14th of February, planning to unleash mayhem on innocent members of the public”.
Awunah said his men also arrested a car snatcher whose route of operation was usually between Lagos and Akwa Ibom. The suspect, according to the police chief, confessed to posing as a driver to VIPs after which he disappears with such vehicles after winning the trust of his victim (employer).
The police added that one Kelechi Ugwuchi (m) was also arrested for vandalising streetlights, adding that “upon searching his shop and business premises; equipment used for installation of solar energy streetlight were recovered. He mentioned one Kingsley, Abdullahi, Sanko and Gwadika, all males as members of his gang.”
The police boss commended the state government for supporting the efforts to rid Akwa Ibom of crimes, especially in providing logistics. He called on the general public to collaborate with the police to tackle criminality in the state.