Owerri - The Imo Police Command in Owerri said on Monday that one person was killed and several others seriously injured when police operatives swooped on alleged cultists terrorising members of the Egbu Community in Owerri.
The Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) in Imo, Dave Akinremi, made this known during a news briefing at the command’s Headquarters in Owerri.
He also said that several other alleged cultists were arrested during the raid which resulted in a gun duel.
Akinremi said the suspects were arrested sequel to information that 15 members of the group were having a meeting near Egbu Girls Secondary School.
He said that upon receiving the information, operatives of the command immediately swung into action, leading to an exchange of gun fire.
Akinremi said that three of the suspects had gunshot wounds and were arrested while others escaped.
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He said one Chimaobi Iheme (a.k.a Saka), identified as the head of the cult group, gave up the ghost while receiving treatment.
He said that the suspects arrested at the scene included Chinwekene Opara (25) and Tochukwu Amarikwa (24).
The DCP said the suspects have made useful statements and confessed to being members of a cult known as Neo Black Movement (a.k.a Black Axe).
According to him, items recovered from the suspects included three locally made pistols, seven live cartridges, four expended cartridges, two cutlasses and one hand axe.
Other items were six GSM phones, one Keke NAPEP and one motorcycle.
Akinremi urged members of the public to assist the police by providing useful information about criminal activities.
He also urged parents to warn their children and wards against engaging in criminal acts, stressing that the police would continue to work assiduously to ensure that peace reigned in the society.
One of the suspects, Amarikwa, who claimed to be an HND 1 student of Federal Polytechnic, Nekede, confessed to newsmen that he was a member of the gang.