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General News of Saturday, 14 January 2023


Police kill cult leader, arrest two others in Anambra

Police file image Police file image

The police in Anambra State, South-east Nigeria, said they have killed a suspected leader of a deadly cult group in Nkpor, a community in Idemili North Local Government Area of the state.

The police spokesperson in the state, Tochukwu Ikenga, who disclosed this in a statement on Friday, said two members of the cult group were also arrested.

Mr Ikenga, a deputy superintendent of police, said the incident happened on Tuesday when police operatives busted their hideout in the area.

The police spokesperson said the raid of the suspects’ hideout followed receipt of “credible intelligence.”

He gave the names of the suspects as Caleb Nwankwo, 22, Katchi Nwolisa 23, and Freedom Okechukwu, the leader, who was killed by the police.

‘How the cult leader was killed’Mr Ikenga said the suspects, on sighting the operatives, started shooting indiscriminately in an attempt to escape the scene.

He said “the police engaged the armed hoodlums in a gun duel,” which resulted in the killing of the cult leader, Mr. Okechukwu, before the arrest of the two others who sustained gunshot wounds.

“They all confessed to be members of Viking Confraternity and identified the late Okechukwu as their leader,” Mr. Ikenga stated.

The police spokesperson said the slain cult leader had been involved in cult-related killings in the community and Obosi, a neighbouring community in the council area.

The slain cult leader, according to the police, was also actively involved in a cult attack and murder of two residents of Obosi Community – Chimeile Udemba and Ikenna Nwagbulu – on 1 and 14 December respectively.

Two locally made pistols, a motorcycle, an expended cartridge, charms, face mask and substances suspected to be hard drugs, were among the items recovered from the hoodlums during the operation, the police said.

Recovery of more weapon

Mr Ikenga said the police on Tuesday recovered some arms and ammunition from a suspected criminal gang operating along an estate in the same community.

The police spokesperson said the operatives stormed the suspects’ location in response to a distress call about their activities in the area.

One locally made pistol, a motorcycle and an expended cartridge were recovered from the suspects during the operation, according to the police.

“The suspects, on sighting the police operatives, abandoned the recovered exhibits and took to their heels. Efforts are in top gear to arrest the assailants,” he said.

The Commissioner of Police in Anambra State, Echeng Echeng, has ordered area commanders divisional police officers and commanders of Tactical and Operational Units/Formations of police in the state to embark on “aggressive crime-prevention and visibility patrols” in their areas, Mr Ikenga said.

Mr Echeng said this will enhance “adequately already policing strategy put in place that is potent and dynamic to respond to any emergency and security concerns and prevent untoward activities by criminals.”