Damian Duruiheoma, Owerri
Barely one week after the state police command arrested 15 suspected criminals that 15 suspected criminals that had been terrorizing the state; no fewer than 32 cultists and suspected armed robbers were on Monday paraded at the headquarters of the Imo State Po- lice Command in Owerri.
Addressing newsmen during the parade, the state Police Public Relations Officer, Mr. Andrew Enwerem (DSP), said the suspects were arrested at different locations within the state.
He said dangerous weapons, including locally made pistols; axes and charms were recovered from the sus- pects.
Enwerem said that the suspects came from within and outside the state and that the cultists, all of black axe confraternity, were arrested in a bush around the Federal University of Technology, Owerri, FUTO, during their national conference/initiation
He said, “You are aware of the de- termination of the Imo State command to weed the state of all forms of criminal activities and cult-related crimes in the state, especially violent attack against law-abiding citizens.
“We are not relenting on our ef- forts to checkmate the excesses of these groups and create a conducive atmosphere for business to thrive. We are partnering with other security agencies and increasing our visibility policing, intensive foot and vehicular patrols”.
The police spokesman added that the sustained raid of black spots, use of informants, vigilante groups, adoption of some strategic community initiatives and proactive measures had helped the command to reduce crime in the state. He also disclosed that such strategy helped the police to nab a gang of armed robbers believed to be responsible for series of armed robbery operations within Orlu and its environs.
This same group, he disclosed, went and robbed some traders at Orlu International Market of millions of naira worth of cash and other valuables.
Enwerem stated that the force would not relent in its effort at weeding out criminal activities in the state.
Meanwhile, Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State has promised to constitute Anti-cult group in schools in the state to nip cult activities in the bud.
The state governor who made the call when he visited the Director of State Security Services at the Headquarters in Owerri, assured to work in collaboration with the DSS and other security agencies in the state to fight kidnapping and cultism.
Okorocha said he would do all he could to encourage them to carry out their work effectively and commended the manner at which the command conduct itself.
The state Director of State Security Services, Mr. Francis Chinedu Ejiofor, thanked the governor for the visit and his continued support to the command.
Ejiofor, who noted that security is essential in the growth and develop- ment of the state, especially as the Rescue Mission by government has done so much in infrastructural devel- opment of the state, stressed that his officers and men poised to fight crime and criminality in the state.
He disclosed that the command has arrested three students of Emmanuel College Owerri for their involvement in cultism as well as rescued kidnapped victims within the month of May while their suspects were now cooling off in the cell.
The DSS expressed appreciation to the Judiciary for their cooperation in prosecuting the criminals.