Anambra State Police Command says it has arrested 147 suspected cultists across parts of the state between the 1st to 11th of May, 2020.
Police also said they recovered firearms, hard drugs and other incriminating substances from some of the suspects.
A statement on Wednesday by the Police Public Relations Officer in Anambra state, Haruna Mohammed said the arrests were part of efforts at stemming the tide of cultism and other nefarious activities in the State.
According to him, the Command’s Special Anti-Cult Squad (SPACS) in conjunction with Puff-Adder/Kpochakpu operatives had during the period under review raided various hideouts and blackspots where cultists are suspected to be hibernating in various locations within the State.
The statement broke down the number of arrests made.
“On 01/05 /2020 at Ogidi /Nkpor axis, 15 suspected cultists were arrested. On 02 /05 /2020 at Awka /Amansi axis, 10 suspected cultists were arrested while on 03 /05 /2020 at Onitsha /Nkpor axis, 07 suspected cultists arrested.
“At Oba/Nnewi axis, 22 suspected cultists were arrested on 04/05/2020, on 05/05/2020, at Nsugbe/Nkwelle-ezunaka axis, 10 suspected cultists were arrested and on 06 /05/2020, at Ogbunike/Abagana axis, 18 suspected cultists were arrested.
“On 07/05/2020 at Nanka /Oko axis, 10 suspected cultists were arrested. On 08 /05/2020, at Ogidi axis, 18 suspected cultists were arrested. On 09 /05/2020, at Amawbia/Ekwulobia/Nanka axis, 11 suspected cultists arrested. On 10/05/2020, at Oba/Nkpor axis, 04 suspected cultists arrested and on 11 /05/2020 at Oko/ Ogbunike axis, 22 suspected cultists were arrested.
He revealed that out of the total 147 suspects arrested, 55 persons were screened out and released unconditionally and 35 suspects were charged to court.
17 others he noted, were profiled and placed under police supervision for being under aged while 40 suspects are undergoing investigation.
“Meanwhile, exhibits recovered from the suspects who voluntarily confessed being members of various secret cult groups include ten(10) locally made pistols, nine(09) machetes, ten(10) live cartridges, five (05) axes, four (04) daggers, three(03) barrels, one (01) improvised gun, one bundle of foil, three(03)Vikings regalia, ten(10)improvised bunkers and substances suspected to be Cocaine as well as weeds suspected to be cannabis Sativa,” Mohammed said.
He expressed the appreciation of the State Commissioner of Police, CP John Abang to Anambra citizens for providing the Command with actionable intelligence and reassured the public of adequate protection.
“The CP further made a clarion call on all Ndi Anambra and residents alike to report any suspicious persons or movements to the nearest Police Station or call police emergency number 07039194332 for a prompt response,” the statement said.