12 Suspected Cult Leaders Arraigned In Edo CourtLatest News, News From The State Wednesday, June 10th, 2015
From Ignatius Okpara, Benin City – A special magistrate court sitting in Benin, the Edo State capital, Tuesday arraigned 12 suspected cult leaders over their involvement in recent several cult related killings in parts of the state.
Similarly, the State’s Police Command paraded and arraigned a total of 215 suspected hoodlums for cultism and various crimes, ranging from murder, armed robbery, kidnapping and unlawful possession of firearms.
They were arraigned before Chief Magistrate F. O. Idiake on a “holden charge,” to establish their alleged offences and ordered to be remanded in prison custody as charges brought against the suspects were beyond the jurisdiction of the court.
The Police Prosecutor, Aigbodion Obakpolor, told newsmen that “the charges were holden charges that the Magistrate Court has no power to try, saying the issue of bail may not arise.
It would be recalled that the Police had on May 14, 2015 announced the arrest of 56 “vicious cultists”, among who were 11 “highly placed persons” and “ring leaders” of cult groups for their alleged connection with the killings, following the deployment of a Special Crack Squad to the state by the force headquarters, Abuja.
Briefing newsmen at the State’s Command headquarters, the Edo State Commissioner of Police, Samuel Adegbuyi, stated that the suspects were arrested through the intervention of the Inspector-General of Police, Solomon Arase.
According to him, items such as short and long swords with cult symbols, an Eiye confraternity plague and two Neo-black Movement regalia were recovered from the suspected cult leaders.
The Edo Police boss, further hinted that 129 suspects had earlier been arraigned on June 2 and 3, 2015 while 98 others were arraigned on June 8, 2015, for criminal offences on completion of police investigations.
“After the Presidential election of March 28, the National and State Assembly elections respectively, we had challenges on the increase in crime waves, vis-a-vis cult-related cases, armed robbery, kidnapping, murder and other social vices.
“All these challenges became worrisome; I had no choice but to call on the assistance of the Inspector-General of Police, IGP Solomon Arase, who swiftly drafted some MOPOL personnel from Delta and Anambra States as well as personnel from Federal (SARS) Special Anti-Robbery Squad.
“The synergy paid off and in the process a total of 227 suspects were arrested in connection with cultism, kidnapping, murder, armed robbery and unlawful possession of firearms throughout Edo State.”
Ernest Amadasun, one of the alleged cult leaders, had earlier told newsmen that he and his colleagues were arrested during a meeting with the Police Commissioner after they were invited to assist the police with information on the cult-related killings.
“I am a member of the Neo-black Movement, it’s a Pan-Africanist group that fights for advocacy for the Black man.” he stated
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