- Police parades deadly cultists, armed robbers in Enugu
- Reveals the new strategy by cultists
- Sends warning message to criminals in the state
The Nigerian Police, Enugu State command on Monday, 9th September, paraded some suspected cultists and armed robbers at the command headquarters, Enugu.
While addressing journalists, the state Commissioner of Police, Ahmad Abdulrahman said over 22 suspects were arrested for different offences ranging from cultism to armed robbery. The Police head revealed the new strategy by cultists as they now organize themselves and register as a corporate group with the Corporate Affairs Commission. He further described the recent success of the force under his leadership as a modest achievement of the command and assured that no stone will be left unturned in keeping the state safe from criminals.
“As you know, i just took up the mantle of leadership of the command last week, and when we came, we found out that we have to do everything that is needful to clear the state of crime and criminality, as a result, the effort has been yielding fruit”, Ahmad said.
How they apprehended the suspects
The commissioner of Police revealed that they got wind of the activities of the suspects through intelligence tipoff. He said; “first and foremost, out of information and tipoff, we got wind that some cult leaders were meeting in a particular place and we went there with all our force and arrested 22 out of which 2 were screen out because one was just a girlfriend to the other which further investigation is going on to prove if she is a member.
“The other one was just a friend, so we have 20 cult leaders what came and in a disguise that they went to cooperate affairs and registered as a very simple organization but we caught them with all the paraphernalia’s of the Vikings cult organization. Not only that, we arrested one Tochukwu and his friend who connived with a soldier whom we are still trying to establish if he is a real soldier, he claimed he was serving in Kano.
“He was with a military life jacket and a pistol and another locally cut to size gun. The said soldier is on the run, but we are making everything possible to get him. The one that got the arms from the soldier came back home and continued to recruit other people, one of whom is now with him and who confessed to have killed about 7 or more people for now. We recovered the arms but the same Tochukwu had a link with this people whom we have arrested who went and disguised as a simple organization and not cultists. He was their president, he identified some of them to be their members while others came from various places, we are working on that and so far, those that we have finished with are going to court.
“Then we have about 9 young men who were arrested by our anti robbery operatives. They are deadly armed robbers as well as cultists. Almost all the crimes are connected to cultism, that is to show you that cultism is a very venomous crime and group, that we have to put our eyes very much on them and we are going to fish them out one by one until they surrender or change their means of livelihood and activities” the Commissioner said.
Speaking further, the Commissioner of Police, Mr. Ahmed Abdulrahman reiterated his resolve in their fight against crime in the state by declaring that the Police are ready for law breakers in the state.
“You will see that we have started, last two days we went to Awgu, we identified those areas where people were attacking and kidnapping road users. We are putting in place mechanism to bring that to an end and I am by this, warning every criminal and criminally mind people that they should desist and change their means of livelihood or we are going to fish them out and allow the law to beat them.
“This is my message, you will now go and see the recoveries, things we just did in 5 days which means that the assignment the Inspector General of Police sent me to do in Enugu has started and we are not going to relent in our effort until peace is brought to the once peaceful ancient city”, Mr. Ahmed reassured.
We are not cultists, NORSMEN reacts
However, in a swift reaction, one of the suspects who identified himself as Comrade Okenwa Nnajiuka, denied all allegations against him and his group while distancing himself from the paraded suspected cultist. Mr Okenwa who also claimed to be the state financial secretary of the ruling All progressive Congress in Ebonyi State, and the Director South East of the Norsemen club incorporated, (the identified group the Police commissioner referred to as a cult group but disguised as a corporate body registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission of Nigeria,) said he is baffled by the quick conclusion by the Police without duly investigating to get their facts right.
In his words; “I listened to the wonder working Commissioner of Police of Enugu state, but I want to say today categorically, that he was wrongly fed with information that are not true. Ladies and gentlemen of the Press, I want to state categorically here that this program is a program that is held every quarter of the year. (Referring to the banner of the group for a program slated to be held in Enugu).
“In April, we were in Dubai,United Arab emirate, in December last year, we were in Aba. We have been to Lagos, we have been to Abuja. We have done this program in Enugu before and before we had it in Enugu, we sent out letters, this is the one we addressed to the commissioner of police, Enugu state on the 8th day of August, 2019 which was duly acknowledged by them. We also wrote to the state Director DSS, we wrote to the Commandant, Nigerian Security and Civil Defense corp. The DSS invited us for interview because this letter has our names and phone numbers; our international president is a Yoruba man, Dr. Adeshola Williams Giwa Phd.
“When we came to the DSS, they asked us questions and we answered and they said okay no problems. The police never invited us”, he said.
When probed further by journalists on the objective of the group, he said that the group is a charity organization with the motto as service to humanity while identifying their latest visit to the Internally Displaced People’s camp in Maiduguri as part of their charity visits across the country.
On why they have similar logo with the one on the Police paraded cultist, Okenwa said that the two logos are not the same. “If you look at the two logos, they are not the same, our logo has a patent right with the Nigerian government and this organization is duly registered by the Cooperate Affairs Commission with RC No. 7458”, he said.
He further wondered why the organization should be roped into this saga, saying that just because he has similar logo with theirs does not make him one of them. He wondered why the army wasn’t also accused just because the suspect was found with camouflaged military bullet proof vest.
“This is part of the problem we have in this country, that young man is also wearing a military camouflage, a military bullet proof, is that man a military man? Do you know that i have been in my house one day, armed robbers came putting on police uniform and shouting ‘MOPOL’‘MOPOL’, Will you now want to ask me why they were calling themselves MOPOL?That does not mean we do not have original people who are police,” he said.
On why they were arrested
Comrade Okenwa while narrating how they were arrested, said; “what happened was that, the Officer in Charge (OC) of Anti-cult sent some persons to me, he came after our program, the football at new park, we were at motherless babies home at Amoji Nike, where we gave them food items worth more than N200, 000, I have the picture of all this things.
“After the public lectures, where a renowned professor of accounting came and spoke on the theme, the OC sent people to tell me around 7:30pm that the Commissioner of Police wants to speak to me and that I should come with 5 leaders of the club, I obliged him peacefully and entered their vehicle, while we were coming towards All Saints Anglican church, he diverted towards that way and I told him that this is not the way to the Commissioner’s office and he said he wants to pick their Oga first.
“When we got to that place he pushed me, the lawyer and one Mazi Ndubuisi Orji, removed our cloths and pushed us inside the cell. We stayed inside the cell for up to 6 hours and after 6 hours he came and said that we should calm down that his anger was that, the person he is working with who is one Okosisi, the Peace Committee Chairman, had a disagreement with him”.
Comrade Okenwa further threatened to sue the Police for the harassment. He also revealed that since their establishment, they have embarked on several humanitarian missions such as; the distribution of food times to the IDP camp in Maiduguri, handing out aids to Public Schools in Niger State. He said that they produced exercise books for school children bearing their logo. He also said that they also offer legal aid to stranded Prisoners. He further revealed that with the actions of the Police, they have their plans to conclude their annual event which has been halted by the police with a special thanksgiving service at All Saints Anglican Church has been jeopardized.
One of the two paraded cultists by name Tochukwu Iwu who hails from Oba said that he is only a cultist and has not used the guns found in him before, but only keeps them for his personal protection.
“I am not an armed robber, neither am I a criminal, but a cultist. Anti-cult arrested one of my colleagues and the guy brought them to my place and they recovered these arms from my house. One of the guns found on me is called Berretta, a soldier gave it to me to keep and I bought the other ones with my friends in my cult group.
“We bought the gun just to protect ourselves in case fight breaks out, however, we haven’t used it”, he confessed.
He further revealed that one of the guns found in his house and the bullet proof vest was given to him by a soldier who he only gave his name as Ebuka in Kano. He said he joined the cult in 2017.
On his part, Samuel Godson Nnamani, a student of University of Nigeria, Nsukka who said he was forced into the group, revealed that he is a member of the cult group named black movement of Africa, popularly known as Black Ass. He said that he is their number one as a student and have headed the group twice in UNN.
“I am a member of the cult named Black Movement of Africa A.K.A Black Axe. I am their number one as a student because the office is only for students. I have never declared any war as the head but the chat in my phone where I said I needed a war with our rivals was because of the other students that were killed in a cult war who happen to be our members, they were 7 in total. I have headed the group 2 times in UNN”, he revealed.
Speaking further on the cult war he was promoting before his arrest, he said; “our opponent was the Vikings, they killed two students who are our members and one of them was in final year, Harrison and Andrew by name. Andrew was my kin son in the cult.
“The office I occupy in the group goes to students so that he can control the activities going on in the campus. I don’t have any arms; we meet the older men in the cult for arms whenever the need arises. We call them the axe Lords, they either give you their arms or give you money to buy”, he revealed.