Akwa Ibom State Police Command has arrested more than 59 suspected members belonging to different secret cults in Akwa Ibom and a few have been charged to court.
A press release by DSP Bala Elkana, Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) in Uyo, said during the course of investigation, police arrested three gang members and recovered one locally made pistol in the house of one Uko Effiong Edem of Ikot Oduot village in Ibesikpo Asutan Local Government Area.
Elkana listed recovered items to include wraps of dried leaves suspected to be Indian hemp, different types of GSM phones snatched from people, female handbags, electronic devices suspected to be stolen, saying “They all confessed belonging to REDSKIN cult and the case is charged to court.”
The PPRO said on December 7, 2017, police arrested a 20-year-old Miracle Joseph Etukudoh, male of Effiat Offot village in Uyo Local Government Area, who is the gang leader of a notorious armed robbery syndicate specialized in robbing people of their GSM phones, handbags, monies and other personal effects in Uyo and its environs.
On December 9, 2017, he stated, police operatives acting on information busted a group of suspected cultists who converged at Isangedighi Lane, Oron for secret cult meeting and arrested one Ernest Etim Bassey of 4 Eyo Abasi Estate, Oron and six other members of his gang and recovered one locally made pistol and photograph of suspect with other group members, noting that the case is charged to court.
“On December 10, 2017 following a credible intelligence, police operatives raided another cult den at Abak town. Twelve suspects were arrested. The following items were recovered; military belts, binoculars, Navy beret. The suspects confessed to be members of a secret cult engaged in various crimes in Ikot Ekpene Senatorial District and its environs. case charged to Court,” the PPRO announced.
In addition, Elkana stated that on December 11, 2017 police arrested one Uyoattah Umoh Jacob, a 100-level student of Akwa Ibom State University, Ata Obio Akpa Campus in Oruk Anam Local Government Area for cultism, adding that one locally made single barrel pistol was recovered from him and the case has been charged to court.
On December 12, 2017, according to him, the police following a distress call arrested a gang of six cultists armed with machetes and axe at Itam, uyo after robbing two female victims of their phones and purse containing some amount of money, adding that the case is charged to court.
It could also be recalled that on November 3, 2017 a combined team of police operatives and Operation Thunder, Akwa Ibom State, stormed Ikwe village in Onna Local Government Area and arrested 20 suspected cult members of two (2) different groups namely a.k.a ISAKABA and EKPAT cult.
Suspects arrested include: Victor Udofia m aged 50 yrs, who confessed to be a leader of ISAKABA cult group and his gang members as Ezekiel Akpan Dickson m, aged 23 yrs, Monday Ekot Akpan m, aged 40 yrs, Emmanuel Akpan Ukoh m, aged 34 yrs, Udo Akpan Tom m aged 35 yrs, Sunday Akpan Ekpo m aged 35 yrs, Joseph Ufot Robinson m, aged 30 yrs, Anthony Nda Akpan m, aged 27 yrs, Nsikan Gregory Dickson m, aged 34 yrs, Sunshine Ufo Jacob m, aged 20 yrs and Samuel Ufot Robson m, aged 25 yrs.
While Okon Andrew m aged 52 yrs is the leader of Ekpat cult group with his men as follows: Boniface Augustine Efurudo m, aged 37 yrs, Charlie Okon Udo m, aged 26 yrs, Daniel John Umoh m, aged 20 yrs, Prince Abel Ufot m, aged 37 yrs, Daniel Okoh Udoh m aged 35 yrs, Usoro Friday Johnson m, aged 25 yrs, Jacob Akpabio m, aged 28 yrs and Akpabio Jacob m, aged 54 yrs. One locally made pistol, five machetes, and two jack knives were recovered from them. Suspects were charged to court and remanded in prison custody.
He further mentioned the arrest of one Akanimo Ndarake Akpan m and Nsidibe Pius Ekpenyong m of 43 Idoro Road, Uyo during a routine patrol by the police on December 11, 2017, saying that one locally made pistol with three live rounds of cartridges was found in their possession and the case has been charged to court.
“On November 13, 2017, following a distress call on cultists’ activities resulting to the death of one person from Ifa Ikot Akpan village, Uyo, the Command’s Anti-Cultism Team arrested one Etteidung Edem Aniedi and nine others. Exhibits recovered from them includes: Three locally made pistols with six rounds of live ammunition, one locally made revolver pistol, one double barrel gun, one single barrel gun, nine machetes and fetish/cultist items. Case charged to court,” PPRO disclosed.
According to him, “on November 27, 2017 at about 1100hrs one Daniel Cyril Akpan m of Essien Iwole Mkpanak, Ibeno Local Government Area, reported at the station that on the same date at about 0900hrs, while sitting at the frontage of his house at same address suspected to be cultists, armed with machetes, knives and bottles.”
He stated further that “when he demanded to know what they are doing, they attacked him with matches, inflicted injury on his left shoulder. A team of policemen were dispatched immediately to the scene, one Anietie Bassey Asuquo m of Owong Ule village, Ibeno Local Government Area and four others were arrested. One machete and a knife were recovered.”