The Akwa Ibom State Police Command said it has arrested twenty suspected cultists for alleged murder in Inen Ikot Eteye, Ikot Inyang, and Inen Ikot Owuk villages of Inen clan in Oruk Anam local government areas of the state.
The Police Public Relations Officer in the State, Mr Fredrick Nnudam in a statement made available to Journalists on Friday in Uyo, said nineteen (19) suspected cultists were arrested on 22 July 2020 following an extensive and thorough manhunt for the hoodlums that have been terrorising the villages.
Fredrick disclosed that one Ukandie Okon Ibanga of Inen Ikot Owuk village who had since been declared wanted by the Command for armed robbery was among the twenty suspects that were apprehended.
He also disclosed that a 70-year-old man identified as Mr Ita Johnson who was allegedly abducted by hoodlums has been found.
He stated, “On 19 July 2020 at about 10:00 am, the Police Command received an upsetting report of pandemonium occasioned by the cult rivalry between the Iceland and Debam confraternities in Inen Ikot Eteye, Ikot Inyang, and Inen Ikot Owuk villages.
“Following the incident, one Ubong Okon (27) suspected to be a member of Iceland confraternity was shot dead, while the whereabouts of one Ememobong Isaiah ( 25) also, a suspected member of the Iceland cult group who was allegedly attacked is yet unknown.
“Consequently, the Tactical teams deployed to the area by the Commissioner of Police on 19 July 2020, operated in collaboration with the Oruk Anam Division and arrested a prime suspect, one Ukandie Okon Ibanga of Inen Ikot Owuk village who has been a wanted person in the Command for armed robbery and murder.
“In another coordinated manhunt for the hoodlums on 22 July 2020, nineteen (19) suspected cultists were arrested. Two (2) double barrel shotguns were recovered from the hideout of the hoodlums”
The PPRO added that, however, normalcy has since been restored to the affected communities. He noted that Commissioner of Police of the command, Mr Imohimi Edgal has reassured the people of Inen of Police constant operation in the area to forestall cultism.
“The Commissioner of Police also enjoins them to continue to cooperate with the Police teams deployed to the area by giving useful information on the hideouts of other suspects”, Fredrick stated.