Edo Police Arraign 227 Cult Suspects

Edo Police Commissioner
Edo Police Commissioner
By Jefferson Ibiwale, BeninThe police in Benin have arraigned 227suspected cult leaders before a special magisterial court for their alleged involvement in cult killings in several parts of the state.

The state command also indicted the suspects for crimes ranging from cultism, murder, armed robbery, kidnapping and unlawful possession of fire arms.

The suspects, who were arraigned on a holden charge to establish their alleged offences, have been remanded in prison custody, as the charges brought against the suspects were beyond the jurisdiction of the court.

Police prosecutor, Aigbodion Obakpolor, explained to journalists that the the magistrate court has no power to prosecute the suspect because they are being held on a holden charge.

He said bail was not an option for them.
It would be recalled that following the deployment of a special crack squad to the state, the police had on 14 May, 2015, announced the arrest of 56 cultists.
Among them were 11 persons labelled “highly placed persons” and “ring leaders” of cult groups, for their alleged connection with various cult-related killings across the state.The Edo State Commissioner of Police, Samuel Adegbuyi, further confirmed to journalists in Benin that the suspects were arrested through the intervention of the Inspector-General of Police, IGP, Solomon Arase.

According to Adegbuyi, items recovered from the cult leaders included swords with cult symbols, an Eiye confratanity plaque, and two Neo-black Movement regalia.



    Other items recovered‎ from other suspects included two locally made pistols, four cut-to-size guns, four double barrel guns and eight single barrel guns, four AK47 rifles, three pump action guns, 164 live cartridges, eight ‎cutlasses, two battle axes and one tear gas cannister.

    He further stated that 129 suspects had earlier been arraigned on June, 2nd and 3rd 2015, while 98 others were arraigned on June 8th, for criminal offences, following completion of police investigations.

    He said the synergy between the state command and force headquarters was paying off.

    “The synergy paid off and in the process a total of 227 suspects were arrested in connection with cultism, kidnapping, murder, armed robbery and unlawful possession of firearms throughout Edo State,” Adegbuyi said.

    One of the suspected cult leaders who identified himself as Ernest Amadasun, told journalists that they were arrested at a meeting with the police commissioner, after they were allegedly invited to “assist” the police with information on cases of cult-related killings.

    “‎I am a member of the Neo-black Movement. It’s a Pan-Africanist group that fights for advocacy for the Black man. We were arrested in a meeting we held with the CP where we were asked to assist the police with information because all the crime happening in our communities and most of these criminals are known. We acceded to it and we got there and were arrested by the Federal SARS,” Amadasun claimed.

    ‎The police commissioner, however, said that the suspects committed the crimes for which they were arrested.”The charges were read. There is what we call assessor after the commission of a crime and conspiracy. If you are not the actual suspect and you are privileged to be part and to know the offenders and you have admitted to be members or kingpin of these cult groups, there is no way you will exonerate yourself. Full trial will commence where evidence that I cannot disclose now will be tabled before the competent ‎court for judicial notice,” he said.


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