It was reported that men of the Edo State Police Command continue to intensify effort to rid the state of cultists and armed robbers who have laid siege on the state capital, a prime suspect and his accomplices yesterday gave a chilling account of how they killed one Abu Iboje in Benin.
The suspect, Lazarus Anthony, told newsmen that he was the one who shot the deceased after he and others went on a reprisal attack on a rival member of a secret cult group whose activities sparked public outcry following the killing of over 25 persons in parts of Benin and its environs.
Other members of the five-man gang who were alleged to have carried out the attack on April 27, 2015, are Greatman Ita, Sylvester Ikhifa, Obiaosa Noble and Okeh Godstime. They were arrested on Thursday after months of manhunt by the police who also recovered cult-related items including black caps belonging to the Neo Black Movement, five live cartridges, ritzla and other incriminating exhibits during a raid on them in the state.
The suspects were said to have swooped on the deceased, a welder, at his workshop at Eke Street in Benin City. Narrating his involvement in cult activities, the 21-year-old prime suspect, an indigene of Emu in Esan town of Edo State, said, “I am a cultist and the name of my group is Black Axe. The incident happened when Abu and his squad killed Kelvin at Mikky Yaga house at Upper Sakponba.
“The next day, we went to kill Abu and we shot him in the afternoon. We used a short gun to kill him. Edoba who stays at Ikki brought the idea that we should go and kill him. It was me who fired the shot. It was only that one that I have ever participated in. I was confused after the killing; I didn’t know what came over me.”
The suspect who said he joined the group last year begged the federal government to forgive him as he was ready to renounce the membership of secret cult. “The federal government should forgive me and I want to renounce from the cult. I joined the cult last year, 2014, and I am a fashion designer. I am still learning,” he said.
He added further that one of the suspects, Greatman Ita, an indigene of Akwa Ibom drove them on the fateful day the victim was murdered, an allegation the suspect quickly denied.The suspect added that “we are many. I have not mentioned others; Edoba, Unity and Charity. Greatman Ita was the driver who drove there(scene of the attack).
But when asked Greatman Ita said he was never a member of any cultgroup nor the said gang, pointing out that he was in front of his shopwhere he sells DVD items when policemen came and arrested him. The Police Public Relations Officer of the command, Mr. Stephen Onwochei, a Deputy Superintendent of Police, (DSP) who paraded thesuspects before newsmen at the command headquarters, said they would be arraigned in court to face charges. Onwochei who disclosed that the operatives of the command had been on the trail of the suspects vowed that the outfit would not rest in its promise to rid the state of criminal elements, especially, cult related kidnappers, armed robbers and other criminal elements and their sponsors.
He noted that between April and May this year there was a rise in theactivities of cultists, murder, kidnappers, and armed robbery in parts of Edo state which led to the arrest and arraignment of 227 cult members, adding that the command did sound a note of warning that it would not relent until these crimes are nipped in the bud.