6 suspected cultists, armed robbers, others, arrested, remanded in Prison custody

6 suspected cultists, armed robbers, others, arrested, remanded in Prison custody

A Makurdi Magistrates’ court, on Tuesday remanded six persons over alleged armed robbery, kidnapping, cultism, act of terrorism, and attempt to commit culpable homicide.

The Magistrate, Mrs. Adah Jack, however, did not take the plea of the defendants for want of jurisdiction.

Jack ordered that they be remanded at the Makurdi Correctional Centre pending conclusion of investigations, and then adjourned the case to Oct. 10, for further mention.

Earlier, the Police Prosecutor, Insp. Regina Ishaya, had told the court that the defendants were arrested following intelligence gathering by the men of Operation Zenda, JTF headquarters, Makurdi.

“This information was gathered from the Department of State Services (DSS), that members of an armed robbery syndicate, who have been terrorising the residents of Kighir and Adeka communities in Makurdi, were sighted in the area,” Ishaya said.

She further told the court that the team, led by Insp. Audu Ogbeche, had on different occasions, stormed the gangs hideout in Adeka, Kighir and Kanshio, all within Makurdi Metropolis.

The prosecutor alleged that on sighting the security operatives, the suspects opened fire, but they were repelled.

According to her, one Teryima Jude was arrested alongside his gang members; Tersoo Gowon, aka General, Atseriyol Ikya, Maker Dzungwenen, Terver Iortimber and Gowon Akatakpo, the blacksmith who services their operational weapons.

Ishaya said during police investigations, some of the victims identified the arrested gang members, who also confessed to the crime, as well as belonging to the Junior Vickings confraternity (JVC).

She said items recovered from the suspects included one single barrel gun, two locally made pistols, five live cartridges, four expanded empty shells of cartridges, assorted criminal charms, two dane guns, and one red beret of the JVC cult.

The prosecutor added that investigations were still ongoing, and asked the court for an adjournment.

She said the offences contravened the Robbery and Firearms Special Prohibition Act 2004.
“And hostage taking, kidnapping, secret cult membership and similar activities, contravene the Prohibition Laws of Benue State 2017, and Section 230 of the Penal Code, Laws of Benue State 2004. (NAN)

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