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THEWILL - Expanding the National Conversation - Army Nab Gang Of Cultists, Kidnappers In Delta

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Army Nab Gang Of Cultists, Kidnappers In Delta

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SAN FRANCISCO, February 13, (THEWILL) - The 3 Battalion of the Nigerian Army, Effurun Barracks, near Warri, Delta State has busted a gang of cultists and kidnappers terrorising Agharho community and its environs.

But some of the arrested suspects said they were not cultists or kidnappers and were only reported to the soldiers for taking the law into their hands .

Among those arrested was a 19-year-old boy who was said to have been initiated into cultism right from his primary school days as well as a 41-year-old man who attempted to kidnap a child who was waiting for his parents along the DSC expressway.

Causing a stir with his antics and desperation, the suspected kidnapper who gave his name as John Panama from Ewu, Ughelli South Council Area, claimed that he thought the boy was a neighbour's child by the name 'Voke' who was stranded on the road.

He said when he first saw the boy,  he called him 'Voke' but the boy said he's not 'Voke' but Oghenevworie after which he realised he was someone else but it was late for him to leave the boy because people were already gathering around them.

He made attempt to take the boy away on a  tricycle  but none stopped for him.

As he was waiting,  the biological father of the boy, Dickson Igbogbo, who apparently have been searching vigorously for the 'missing boy' arrived but the suspect at that point held the boy firmly insisting he knew the boy's parent whom he claimed lived in a town called Orhuwhorun.

In the ensuing drama, the suspect started dragging the boy with the victim's real father, claiming the boy is his neighbour's son.

Irked about this, and coupled with the fact that he wouldn't let the boy go, Igbogbo decided to call in soldiers who were at a nearby checkpoint who responded swiftly and arrested the suspect .

Mother of the boy, Evelyn, confirmed the incident,  saying the boy travelled to his grandfather's place at Isaba and was returning home when the suspect attempted to kidnap him.

The army disclosed that the suspects were picked up at various locations in Warri and its environs during routine patrols of the area.

Another  suspects who was paraded denied his involvement in cultism-related activities,  saying he's a policeman's son who was sent to go and take care of his father's house which was being  poorly used by tenants who had refused to pay their rent.

He said he was arrested because he took the law into his hands by pulling out the window  of a tenant who didn't pay his rent but often flood the compound with several female acquitanance, thus turning his father's house into a chalet.

The suspect said it was the tenant that called in the community taskforce who arrested him and handed  him over to the soldiers,  saying he's not a cultist.

Confirming the arrest, the Commanding Officer 3 Battalion, Lieutenant-Colonel Ifeanyi Otu said; “ its quite surprising and unfortunate that this group of young men who are supposed to be doing something positive with their lives are engaging in criminal activities”.

He  warned parents and guardians to be wary of the friends their children and wards keep while in school, saying the case of the suspect would serve as a living example to other young people to flee from criminal acts.

He said that all the suspects would be handed over to the relevant authorities after preliminary investigations.


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