The apprehended leaders of Deygbam and Iceland cult groups in Ogoni, Rivers State have admitted kidnapping and burying alive one Praise Dakkiam, a former Kereken Boue Community Development Committee (CDC) Chairman in Khana Local Government Area.
The cultists made the disclosure when paraded by the Rivers State Commissioner of Police, Olatunji Disu, on Monday.
CP Disu stated that after weeks of intense surveillance, on 15th November, in separate crack operations, men of the Anti-Cultism Unit arrested Baridapdo Igia, 33years old and Elvis Gordon, 26years old, two suspected Armed robbers and kidnappers in Kereken-Boue community of Khana Local Government Area.
The Rivers Commissioner of Police explained that after series of interrogations, the duo confessed to being leaders of Iceland and Degbam cult groups in Khana Local Government Area, respectively and have been terrorising Khana Local Government Area for the past three years.
The Rivers Police Boss explained that they murdered the victim after collecting the sum of NGN200, 000 as part of payment for his ransom from the victim’s wife.
He said the duo also confessed to murdering nine other victims from 2021 to 2023 and were the main reason for the partial evacuation of the community within this same period while Investigations are still ongoing to uncover the full scale of the suspects’ operations.
CP Disu also explained that the Command, on 16th November 2023 at about 1pm, while on stop and search at Borikiri, Port Harcourt, intercepted one Boma Loveday aged 30years, male of Okirika Town in Okirika Local Government Area of Rivers State.
He explained that the suspect resisted being searched, but the officers on duty insisted as they were responding to a tip-off. Upon conducting a search, there was found in his possession a bag containing one AK47 Magazine loaded with thirty (30) rounds of 7.62 x 39mm live ammunition and some substances suspected to be hard drugs popularly called Ice or Mpurumiri while the suspect and exhibits are in Police custody as an investigation continues.
Meanwhile acting on my directives and credible information, operatives of the Command attached to C4i Intelligence, on 15th November 2023, at about 1pm, arrested one Emmanuel Essien, aged 31years and Marshal Ime aged 22 years, both from Etim-Ekpo, Akwa-Ibom State and resident, at No. 148 Victoria Street, Port Harcourt.
Upon investigation /questioning, they confessed to being members of a four-man Armed Robbery syndicate responsible for terrorising parts of Port Harcourt in recent times.
One of the suspects, Essien Emmanuel, disclosed to the Operatives that he had been arrested, charged to court and imprisoned three times for sundry offences.
He had also been shot in the shoulder in a previous robbery operation at Trans-Amadi, a bullet wound he still bears, CP Disu stated
The suspects further revealed that they snatch vehicles and sell them off to one Alhaji and several other buyers, the proceed of the last sale, which was a Lexus RX 300, fetched them 800,000 Naira, paid in two installments.
Items recovered from the suspects include two locally made Pistols with four live cartridges, a green-coloured Sienna with Reg. No. Lagos GGE 349
Similarly operatives of the Command attached to Mini-Okoro Area Command, Port Harcourt, on 19th November 2023, at about 2200hrs while on patrol along Danjuma Drive, Trans Amadi, Port Harcourt, intercepted a Tricycle (popularly called Keke) with three occupants named Elsharawy Joseph aged 27years of Okujagu town, Trans Amadi, Port Harcourt, ThankGod Achese aged 23yearrs of Orumu street, Abuloma town, Port Harcourt and Ibrahim Ishaq aged 25yrs ‘m’ of Okwujagu, Port Harcourt, suspected to be cultists and armed robbers.
The Rivers Police Chief said upon a thorough search, one locally made Pistol and a dagger were recovered, alongside the tricycle which is suspected to be stolen.
CP Disu said the suspects confessed to the crime of robbery using the ‘one chance’ model and have successfully robbed and stolen phones and valuables from unsuspecting victims.
He disclosed that the suspect use their tricycle (Keke) along Odili Road and Abuloma areas to search for passengers to rob and push the passengers out after forcibly taking their valuables.
The CP explained that the suspects owned up to using a dagger and a locally made pistol to scare their victims. They obtained the pistol from one Nkpogeto, who is still at large.
He further explained that they were arrested at Sasun Roundabout, Odili Road, by officers who had responded to a distress call.
The officers rounded them up just as they were returning from attempting to sell a phone stolen from their last victim while suspects and exhibits are in Police custody for investigation while other members and accomplices of the gang. Effort is ongoing to arrest the fleeing suspects.
Police officers, attached to the Rumuepirikom Divisional Headquarters and on Friday, November 24 at about 8pm while on a routine Stop and Search by Rumuola fly-over flagged down a custom colour Toyota Corolla car, with Reg. No KWL 530 GO. Upon sighting the officers, the occupants immediately jumped out of the vehicle and took to their heels, abandoning it.
The Rivers Police Boss further disclosed that the team searched the vehicle and recovered one AK47 rifle, breech No. 1968-74597, with three magazines and 47 7.63 x9mm live ammunition.
The team further conducted an intensive search of the area for a possible arrest of the fleeing hoodlums.
Meanwhile, the area has been under surveillance while the exhibits are in Police custody.