ByÂ Anayo Okoli
Umuahiaâ€”Abia State Police Command yesterday paraded 18 suspected criminals, including people believed to be cult members.
Among those paraded were seven persons alleged to be cult members from Abia State University, Uturu. They were said to have been arrested from parts of the state at different operation by the police.
The other suspects were said to be armed robbery suspects and suspected kidnappers.
Those arrested for allegedly being cult members include Prince Opuene Argo, Chibuike Onyeka, John Nwachukwu, Chukwunwike Uka, Ibe Evans, Orji Dike and Egwuacha Ugochukwu, alleged to be students of ABSU.
Parading the suspects, Abia State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Edgar Nanakumo, said the alleged cultists confessed to being members of the Vikings cult at ABSU.
The arrested of the cultists, led to the tracing of their hideout at FARZ Hotel Okigwe, Imo state,Â where one locally made revolver, a toy pistol and several rounds of ammunition were recovered.
Nanakumo also said that a gang of suspected kidnappers was smashed on July 8, 2009 at their base in Alaye, Bende Local Government Area of the state, as they were â€œplanning for another kidnapping operationâ€.
The gang, he said was identified to have been responsible for the February 26, 2009, kidnapping and disappearance of one Madam Oyidiya Udensi and her 14 year old grand daughter, Miss Joy Asiegbu.
But the leader of the gang, one Ndukwo Ugwu alias Caesar escaped with an AK 47 rifles, while eight members of the gang were arrested by the anti-kidnap operatives, who stormed the hideout. Those arrested include, Ini Kaiu, Nawachkwu Chijioke, Ebomi Kalu, Oji Origa, Onua Onu, Ejere Abraham, John Akwara, Uche Ugwu, Ifeanyi Chibuike and Chibuike Okonkwo.
The police Commissioner also disclosed that they arrested fleeing members of a kidnap gang after a failed attempt to abduct one Prof P. N. Nwabeke.