Following incessant cult-related crimes in Edo State, the police said it arrested no fewer than 119 suspects in the state.
Force Public Relations Officer, Emmanuel Ojukwu, told journalists yesterday in Abuja, while parading 11 cult kingpins that activities of the cultists had led to loss of lives and properties, while inflicting terror on residents of the state.
According to him, the kingpins include professionals, artisans, public office holders, civil servants and businessmen, adding that the arrest was made possible by the deployment of a crack team by the Inspector General of Police, Solomon Arase.
The FPRO said: The 11 suspects are being interrogated for their conspiratorial involvement in the murder of 10 Nigerians, including one late Ojo Aye Adu, 55 years, male, between 5th April, 2015, and 5th May, 2015, in Edo State. “Another 30 suspects were linked to the murder of one Constance Iyoha, 23 years, female, an apprentice interior decorator.
“The incident occurred during a fracas that broke out among members of Marphites confraternity, students of Auchi Polytechnic that came for initiation ceremonies on 12th May, 2015, at Baladi Hotel, Aviele, out of which 11 had confessed membership. “On the same date, 12 May 2015, a total of 68 suspected cultists linked to recent cult related violence in the state were also arrested and are undergoing interrogation.”
Exhibits recovered include sculptures, multiple Nigerian and international passports, multiple pass books, multiple ATM cards, about 40 membership cards of various political parties, photo frames and pictures marked RIP. While assuring Nigerians on the timely and qualitative intervention of the police wherever and whenever the need arises, Ojukwu stressed that operations was ongoing to ensure cultism do not over run the system.
Meanwhile, the Inspector General of Police has launched about 259 patrol vehicles under the ‘safer highways patrol scheme’, following the removal of road blocks across the country.
Speaking during the launch, Arase noted that the vehicles were an alternative to the indiscriminate mounting of roadblocks by policemen, to effectively curb the rate of crimes on the highways, gain the respect of the citizenry and conform to international best practices as it concerns policing.
To enhance an effective operational system that would hold the police accountable for their actions, Arase urged citizens to explore the new social networking anti corruption platform of the force, http://www.stopthebribes. net to report cases of unprofessional conduct by highway patrol officers. He however appealed to members of the public not to abuse the platform by reporting malicious cases but ensure that all reported cases were factual and if possible, accompanied with pictorial evidence to boost claims.
Earlier, the IGP sealed collaboration with the Federal Road Safety Commission, FRSC, in ensuring access to the motor vehicle license data base to enhance crime detection by the police.
He stressed that the patrol vehicles deployed in the 36 states of the federation and the FCT, were customized for each particular state and equipped with dedicated phone numbers to ease communication by informants or distress calls that could be placed by citizens