Mr Aderemi Adeoye, Commissioner of Police in Anambra State, has tried to halt the rise in cult-related killings in Awka, the state capital.
Due to a battle for supremacy among rival organizations, Awka has recently become a hotbed for cult-related deaths.
Following the murder of a popular local musician in front of his home and the butchering of a mentally ill man a week ago, the spokesperson of the Anambra State Police Command, DSP Tochukwu Ikenga, revealed in a press release that the Commissioner has planned an operation to target cultists and their sponsors.
“The Police Command will come down very hard on these heartless cultists who take pleasure in killing people,” CP Adeoye said, according to Ikenga.
“Unless they want to be disgraced, no one should call us for the release of any cultist arrested in the upcoming crackdown.”
“There will be an all-out assault on cultists and their state sponsors.” We guarantee the people of Anambra State that the recent cult-related deaths in the capital will soon restore their peace and calm.
“We seek the assistance of all law-abiding citizens in ridding society of the scourge of cultism.”
JANESCOPE inquired one week after the threat what had been done.
The commissioner of police stated in an exclusive interview that work had already begun and that numerous individuals had been apprehended, while the command was concentrated on gathering evidence against their sponsors for probable arrest.
“Over that weekend, more than 55 suspects were apprehended, including 14 who were apprehended during an initiation in the woods.” They were herded into a forest.
“They were about to be initiated into one of the cults when officers in the area apprehended them and recovered all the weapons.”
“Of those arrested, another 25 have been linked to cult-related crimes, and arraignment in court has already begun, with those found not to be culpable being released.”
“That is not the conclusion of the story. We are analyzing all of those arrested’s remarks and compiling strong evidence against their sponsors, and we don’t want to catch anyone on the elbow and have them wiggle out.
“We want to catch those sponsors red-handed with credible evidence that can withstand scrutiny in a court of law, because once we descend on them, it’s straight to court.” We are attempting to complete our investigation before taking action.”
Adeoye stated that the command properly investigated the killings and determined them to be a cult war targeting members, but argued that the police had stepped in because of the terror and apprehension it caused in the city.
“What is happening is a gang war between rival cults, and they are targeting opponents.” We oppose it because it instills dread in the minds of investors and other law-abiding residents.
“Because the penalty for cultism is not death under our laws, when they kill each other, it remains a horrendous crime to us, and we have a duty to put an end to it.”
“We issued a press release saying we would crack down on them soon, but the operations had already begun.” The goal of that publication was to inform the public about what we were doing so that they would not misinterpret our activities.”
Meanwhile, a source told JANESCOPE that the Awka community, whose boys are usually the victims, has banded together to find a solution to the killing.
“Awka Indigenes are concerned,” stated the source, who did not want to be identified. Every day, their boys are murdered by their own family in the name of cultism, reducing the number of able-bodied adolescents in the community.
“Elders from the community have called a meeting to discuss it.” They are familiar with the sponsors as well as the issues.
“The only issue is ownership of revenue windows, both from market tolls and loading bays for both buses and tricycles.”