The Edo State Police Command has arrested a 68-year-old man and five others for suspected cult-related activities in Edo state.
Deputy Police Public Relations Officer, Jennifer Iwegbu, who confirmed the arrest in a statement issued on Monday, identified the suspects as Andrew Owhoyavwosa, Joseph Meshak, Osazee Solomon, Godswill Obasohan, Charles Odiase, Okoh Peter.
Iwegbu said the Command’s Crack team and Anti-cultism unit have been directed to immediately start an investigation into the ugly trend.
Suspects have reportedly been arrested by the police joint team and are said to cooperate with the police by providing useful information.
According to her, one Esosa, aged 35, and one Frank aged 34 were arrested at Iguosodin Community, Upper Siluko Road Benin city and allegedly confessed to being members of the dreaded Eiye confraternity.
This is even as one 18-year-old known as Minister and one Jeremiah, aged 22 were also apprehended at Eweka by Siluko Road, Benin City. The pair allegedly confessed to being members of the rival Aiye confraternity.
Meanwhile, the Commissioner of Police in the state, Abutu Yaro, has ordered a massive deployment of operatives to ensure that peace is restored and perpetrators of the dastardly act are brought to justice/arrested to face prosecution.
While commiserating with the bereaved families, Yaro assured the good people of Edo State, of the Command’s unrelenting efforts in ensuring that there is no hiding place for criminals.
A lawmaker representing the Degema/Bonny federal constituency in the House of Representatives, Farah Dagogo, has gotten N20 million bail.
Justice Chiwendu Nworgu of the Rivers State High Court granted Mr Dagogo the bail or the option of a surety in like sum with a landed property worth the same amount.
The lawmaker, also a governorship aspirant of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), is being prosecuted by the Rivers State Government for allegedly promoting cultism in the state.
He was arrested on April 28 at the South-South zonal office of the PDP in Port Harcourt, the venue of the screening exercise for governorship aspirants from the zone.
His arrest was effected about four days after Governor Nyesom Wike declared him wanted for allegedly hiring cultists to disrupt a screening exercise for state and National Assembly aspirants at the state party secretariat, an accusation he had denied.
The past 62 days of his arrest and subsequent trial had been both dramatic and pathetic.
On one occasion, the federal lawmaker was brought into the courtroom at the state high court being hand-lifted by security personnel following his excuse that he was sick.
This was after the state high court insisted that Mr. Dagogo be remanded, despite a Federal High Court order which granted him bail.
The family of Dubuem Okonkwo has petitioned the Inspector General of Police, Usman Alkali Baba, over the sudden disappearance of the suspect in police custody in Anambra State.
45-year-old Okonkwo, a member of Tricycle Owners Association of Nigeria (TOAN) Awka, was arrested by the police on March 15 for being linked to cultism and terrorising security agencies and residents.
During his arrest, the Commissioner of Police, Echeng Echeng briefed journalists in March, saying: “We appreciate the fact that he can shout and make all the noise. We discovered, based on intelligence, that he is the one that at all times there is a strike around that axis, he gives information that the place is free for them to come in and go out.
“He didn’t know also that we were monitoring him. An investigation is ongoing; we are not saying he is guilty. The law and court will say whether he is guilty or not based on what we are able to come out.”
But two months after, the Okonkwo family raised an alarm over Dubuem’s sudden disappearance.
A family member who craved anonymity accused the police authorities of picking up Dubuem at the park and setting him up with some weapons.
“They picked him up at the park where they went to lay different kinds of guns before him. From the picture that I saw, the man was raising up his hands to ask what he did. From the information that we gathered, he was asking them what he did,” the family member said.
“Nobody ever told him, thereafter they took him away. It now looks as if an animal has been taken away. They just took him away and we have been asking questions, nobody wants to say anything.”
Speaking to Channels Television, the wife of the missing suspect, Ebere is demanding contact with her husband.
“I have been going to ask of him from one police station or the other. Since then, nothing,” the 28-year-old mother of one said.
“Nothing has appeared, no reply of seeing him face to face. They did not even give me any attention at all. I want President Muhammadu Buhari, the IGP to help me look for my husband. If he is dead, let me know. If he is still alive, let me know.”
Breaking down in tears, she called on well-meaning Nigerians to intervene in her situation.
Efforts made by Channels Television to speak to the police commissioner hit the brick wall. Although he promised to return the call, Echeng, however, failed to keep to his promise.
Two suspected cultists have been arrested for forcefully initiating a student into their group in Ogun State, police authorities said on Sunday.
In a statement, the Ogun State Police Public Relations Officer, Abimbola Oyeyemi, said the suspects – Owoseni Gbemisola and Ogunsola Ayo – were members of the Eiye cult group.
He said the arrest followed a report by the victim, a 21-year-old-student of the Olabisi Onabanjo University of being lured to Ijebu Igbo by one Yemi Justice aka JP under the pretence of going for a job.
According to the police spokesman, on getting to Ijebu Igbo, the said Yemi alongside the other suspects blindfolded him, beat him, and forced him to be initiated into Eiye confraternity.
“Upon the report, the DPO Ago Iwoye Division, SP Noah Adekanye, detailed his detectives to go after the suspects and bring them to book,” the statement read.
“The detectives there and then embarked on intelligence surveillance for the suspects, and their efforts paid off when Owoseni Gbemisola was sighted in Ago Iwoye where he was still threatening to get back to the complainant in order to bring him to their fold either he likes or not.
“He was promptly arrested by the operatives who unknown to him were lurking around. His arrest led to the apprehension of his accomplice Ayo Ogunsola who was traced and apprehended in their hideout, while Yemi Justice who has since taken to flight is being hunted for.”
Reacting to the arrest, the Commissioner of Police in the state, CP Lanre Bankole ordered the immediate transfer of the suspects to the State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department for discreet investigation, with the view to charging them to court as soon as possible.
The Commissioner of Police, Lagos State, CP Hakeem Odumosu, has again reiterated his commitment to getting Lagos rid of armed robbers and cultists with the adoption of Community Policing strategies.
The police chief made the assertion today Saturday 2nd January 2021, while dishing out instructions on Police Communication Network to officers and men of the command on the need to take the battle against armed robbery and cultism to their dens across the state.
While briefing the Commissioner of police on their achievements, the commander RRS CSP Yinka Egbeyemi and Divisional Police Officer, Akodo Division, Ajah, respectively informed that their teams arrested 10 suspected armed robbers and 2 Aiye Confraternity members at various locations in the state.
RRS operatives, led by the Commander RRS, on patrol in Lekki, in the early hours of Friday 1st January 2021, arrested two suspected robbers operating on motorcycles and eight (8) suspected criminals in their various hideouts.
The suspected robbers are Hussein Hudu,m, (23) and Ibrahim Bello,m, (25) while one Adamu Zango (35), still at large, viciously attacked and stabbed one Robert at the back around 4am on Friday, in a bid to dispossess him of his bag and mobile phones. Preliminary investigation reveals that the trio connived, converged and lodged on Obalende Area, Lagos, in preparation for their robbery operation.
Items recovered from the robbery suspects include two knives and their operational motorcycle with Registration Number AGL 808 QL
Meanwhile, eight (8) suspected criminals including three (3) suspected cultists, five (5) drug dealers and takers were, in an all-night patrol on new year’s eve, picked up at different locations within the state. The suspects include Kabiru Tajudeen, m, Ibrahim Hamed, m,.Elijah Ogbonna, m, Daniel Emmanuel, m, Chukwuma Abiaza,m, Rafiu Kolawole, m, Ibrahim Ogundimu,m, and Nwerrih Elvis,m.
Similarly, the police operatives attached to Akodo Division arrested two (2) suspected members of Aiye Confraternity at Eleko Beach in an attempt to attack their targets in the area on Saturday 2nd January 2021 at 1 pm.
The suspects are Adegbenga Balogun, M, 25, and Temitope Yusuf, M, 24. Items recovered from them include one locally-made pistol with some live cartridges and some charms.
The Commissioner of Police, Lagos State, CP Hakeem Odumosu, has ordered that the suspects be transferred to State CID, Panti, Yaba, for proper investigation and prosecution.
CP Hakeem Odumosu reaffirms his zero tolerance for crimes and social vices, especially cultism which is the root of all violent crimes. He further vows to take the battle to their dens and flush them out of Lagos State according to the provisions of the law. “No room for armed robbers and cultists in Lagos”.
Governorship Candidates of the two Major Parties in Edo State were on Sunday at each other’s throats raising claims and counter-claims in their bid to position themselves ahead of the September 19 polls.
Governor Godwin Obaseki of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Mr. Osagie Ize-Iyamu threw some dirt on each other on Sunday when they participated in the governorship debate put together by Channels Television and its partners.
At the event, the candidates came at each other with several allegations. The most heated attacks, however, bordered on their educational qualifications, and alleged participation in cultism.
When in June Obaseki dumped the APC after his disqualification from participating in the primary that produced Ize-Iyamu as the flag-bearer of the party, there were claims that the governor was disqualified based on certain bordered on inconsistencies in his certificate.
Reacting to these claims at the debate arena in Benin, the Edo State capital, the governor said, “it is very ironic that someone who has no certificate can stand up and comment on someone whose certificate was issued by the premier university in Nigeria. That is a very sad situation that we have found ourselves in as a country.
“In 1976 when I gained admission into the University of Ibadan, there was no JAMB; you could either go into the university through prelim or through Direct Entry in your advanced level examination. I finished my O Level and my Advanced Level and it was As, so I gained admission into the University of Ibadan in 1976.
“I don’t know what has happened but for the University of Ibadan, the standard is still very high and they have come out to say that I graduated from that university. How else do you want to make that clear?
“It is very sad that in a country like Nigeria, some people who do not have the qualifications, have the effrontery to challenge the qualifications of those who went to proper schools. It is sad.”
Similarly, Mr. Ize-Iyamu the APC candidate has been accused of partaking in some occultic activity that led to his expulsion while an undergraduate at the University of Benin, but the pastor described the allegation as a ploy to dent his character ahead of the polls.
He said, “I graduated from the University of Benin. I was very active in the students’ union and my records are clear.
“People have alleged that when you were in school, you did that but I think they should go to the university authorities and find out exactly what was the offence. If you do something very criminal, the university cannot even handle it. And I am proud that throughout my stay, I was not engaged in any criminal matter.”
Reacting to the Obaseki certificate issue, Ize-Iyamu said no one doubts that Obaseki went to the university, adding that the issue is that the governor failed by his own records.
“You failed school cert, you had three credits, no English, no Maths, even to enter A’ Level would have been difficult.
“And if you got A-Level, why is it that you’ve not been able to present the A-Level, where is the result? That is a moral question. A lot of people are looking up to you as a governor and as a leader.
“The question is that you failed your A-Level and that is why you were disqualified and your disqualification arose from information from the PDP, your party now, provided. Because the PDP, when I was contesting against you (in 2016) said you have no results. Why have you not answered the question? Where are your results?”
Viewers who tuned in for the two-hour debate between Osagie Ize-Iyamu of the APC and Governor Godwin Obaseki of the PDP on Sunday witnessed first hand the disagreements and issues that have seen the state witnessed one of the most controversial campaigns in recent years.
Both candidates, widely believed to be leading candidates for the September 19 election, disagreed on virtually every issue – job creation, debt profile, governance, qualification, and the facts that they built their plans on.
Beyond a handshake at the start of the debate, they would only agree on the need for community policing and the importance of a refinery project, the latter still sparked some disagreement.
The Commissioner of Police in Akwa Ibom State, Imohimi Edgal, has dismissed a police constable, Mfon Esio, for being a member of a secret cult group.
A statement by the Police Public Relations Officer in the state, N-Nudam Frederick, said the policeman was sacked after investigation revealed that he participated in the initiation rites of a secret cult, Junior Vikings Confraternity in May.
According to the statement, one Ubong William was abducted and taken to a bush along Marina Road in Eket Local Government Area where he was forcefully initiated into the cult group.
“The constable has been subjected to an orderly room trial where he was found guilty of the offence and has been dismissed immediately from the Force. This will serve as a deterrent to others of his like in the Force,” it said.
Frederick also disclosed that 12 persons suspected to be notorious cultists have been arrested in different locations in the state.
He disclosed that 10 locally made pistols, live cartridges, machetes, axes, charms, hard drugs, and other dangerous weapons were recovered from the suspects.
“The Commissioner of Police Akwa Ibom State, therefore, warns that any persons, no matter how highly placed, involved in cultism or other crimes will be promptly arrested and prosecuted accordingly,” the statement added.
The Lagos State Police Command has arrested 17 suspects for cultism and violence in the Ijora Badia and Ikorodu areas of the state.
A statement on Sunday by the Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Bala Elkana, revealed that the suspects were arrested in batches of five and 12.
Elkana explained that two rival cult groups armed with dangerous weapons engaged themselves in a battle for supremacy at Iso Isu in Ijora Badia and inflicted various degrees of injuries on each other on Friday last week.
He said the police got a distress call and mobilised police operatives from Ijora Badia Division and Special Strike Force on Social Miscreants from the Command Headquarters to the area where five suspects were arrested.
The police have arrested a 22-year-old suspect said to be the supreme leader of a cult group in the Itire area of Lagos State.
The spokesman for the Lagos State Police Command, Bala Elkana, confirmed the arrest of Maliki Bello and 11 other suspected cultists in a statement on Sunday.
“Maliki is the supreme leader of the notorious Berry Boys Secret Cult with operational base at Itire,” he said.
Elkana explained that the suspects were arrested on Tuesday last week following a sustained monitoring operation led by the Divisional Police Officer in Itire, Barkfur Kromkyes.
He added, “He is a native of Lalopun, Kwara State but resides at 23 Ayinla street, Idi Araba area of Lagos state. Maliki has been on the wanted list of the Police for violent crimes and gang clashes.
“The suspect confessed to be responsible for a series of violent attacks, murders and armed robbery incidents recorded in Idi Araba, Lawanson, Dosunmu, Ashimowo Bakare, Omo-Bola Mushin, and Itire.”
According to the command’s spokesman, the suspect told the police that he was initiated into the cult at age 12 when he was in Junior Secondary School (JSS) 1.
He was said to have risen to the number one position, mostly addressed as the supreme leader of the ‘Berry Boys’ confraternity.
“The gang has an official Facebook page (Bbl Baloteli) with 1,928 friends.
“According to Maliki, they use the Facebook page and other social media accounts to recruit new members, plan attacks and give updates to members. Investigation led to the arrest of 11 additional suspects,” Elkana noted.
He stressed that the Special Strike Force on Social Miscreants has successfully brought under control the activities of various cult groups in the state through well-coordinated and targeted operations.
The Lagos State Police Command says it has arrested 86 suspects for cultism and violent attacks in the Ikorodu area of the state.
The Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Bala Elkana, stated in a statement that the arrests were made in two batches.
“On 25/1/2020 at about 0600hour, acting on credible intelligence, the Special Strike Force on Social Miscreants established by the Commissioner of Police Lagos State, CP Hakeem Odumosu psc arrested 21 cult suspects at Adamo community, Imota.
“The suspects who belong to two rival cult groups, Aiye and Eiye confraternity, mobilised from Emure and Adamo communities to unleash terror on residents of Adamo community and environs,” he said.
Elkana explained that the arrest was carried out in joint operations with operatives from Imota Police Station, Rapid Response Squad, Special Anti-Robbery Squad, and Area N Command.
According to him, this is a follow up to the operations carried out at Ijede where 65 cult suspects were arrested.
The command’s spokesman said 11 assorted pistols of different types with a large quantity of ammunition were recovered from the suspects.
“The suspects confessed to be responsible for series of violent attacks, murder and armed robbery incidents recorded in Ikorodu area of Lagos State,” he added.
Elkana stated that the suspects would be charged to court and the police commissioner has reaffirmed the commitment of the Command to addressing the menace of cultism and youth gangsterism in the state.