The police in Imo State have arrested eight undergraduates of various institutions in the state for involvement in cultism.
The state Commissioner of Police, Rabiu Ladodo, who paraded the suspects at the command headquarters in Owerri, said the Anti-Cultism Unit of the command had been charged to deal with issues of cultism.
He listed the suspects as Chinasa Nkwocha, 19; Chukwudi Ebendu, 25; Kelechi Anyaegbu, 33; Ikenna Amadi, 22; Chidiebube Emecheta, 26; Chibueze Unegbu, 23; Chiebube Anyanwu, 27; and Joseph Okereke, 26.
The CP said the suspects were members of the Black Axe Confraternity, who were returning from an initiation at Awo-Omamma in the Oru East Local Government Area of the state.
Ladodo stated that one locally-made gun, one live cartridge, one machete and a wrap of substance suspected to be Indian hemp were recovered from the suspects.
The CP said, “While on a stop and search duty on the Ogbaku/Onishta Road, Owerri, operatives of the Police Mobile Force, Squadron 18, Owerri, stopped one commuter bus with number plate ACA 22 WZ conveying 18 male persons suspected to be cultists.
“On a thorough search, one locally-made short gun, one live cartridge, one machete and a wrap of substance suspected to be Indian hemp were recovered from the bus.
“After thorough investigation, it was discovered that the suspects were members of the Black Axe Confraternity returning from a certain bush in Awo-Omamma in the Oru East Local Government Area of Imo State, where they initiated new members.”
The CP said further investigation revealed that the gun and machete were linked to the first suspect, Nkwocha, a student of the Alvan Ikoku Federal College of Education, Owerri.