Men of the Akwa Ibom State Police Command have arrested 20 cult members said to be involved in armed robbery, rape and kidnapping.
The suspects, who were said to have been picked up through police intelligence in Onna Local Government Area, had reportedly owned up to the crimes.
The state Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Elkana Bala, said in Uyo on Wednesday that the leaders of the two cults, Victor Udofia, 50 (Isakaba cult); and Victor Andrew, 52 (Ikpat cult), had also been arrested.
Bala said the policemen attached to the Anti-Robbery and Anti-Kidnapping Squad identified some flash points at Ukanafun and Etim Ekpo LGAs, adding that the command had enough intelligence about the areas.
The PPRO stated that all the suspects would be charged to court before the end of next week.
According to him, the 15 suspects that were arrested in Etim Ekpo and Ukanafun LGAs for similar crimes had all been remanded in custody.
“In a well-coordinated operation and with the support of other sister security agencies, we arrested 20 suspected cult members from two different cults – Sakaba and Ikpat cults.
“The members of these cults have also been linked with crimes in the areas. They are not only into cult activities, they are involved in kidnapping, armed robbery, and rape.
“The Isakaba group has a man, Victor Udofia, claiming to be a pastor in one of the new generation churches. He is 50 years and leading youths into crime.
“The leader of the second group, Victor Andrew, is 52 years old. He has been linked to a chieftaincy tussle in a village in Onna.
“The village, Ekwere community, does not have a village head presently. So, these two factions mobilised members and use them for attacks and other criminal activities in Onna.
“All the 20 suspects will soon be charged to court,” Bala said.