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Police Arraigned 98 Persons Over Cult Activities In Edo State

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The police on Tuesday arraigned 98 persons before a Special Magistrate Court sitting in Benin for cult related offences.
The suspects were arrested by the Special Squad sent out to Edo State by the Inspector General of Police, Mr Solomon Arase.
Reporters gathered that the court was specially set up by the Chief Judge of the state, Justice Cromwell Idahosa, following the industrial action embarked upon by judicial workers in the state.
While reacting to the arraignment, the State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Samuel Adegbuyi, disclosed that he sought the help of the IG because the rate of cult-related activities in the state was becoming worrisome.
The Commissioner added that 129 suspects were on the June 2 and 3 charged to court after completion of investigations, while on Tuesday, “98 suspects were equally arraigned in connection with the offences mentioned.”
Adegbuyi noted that several dangerous weapons and emblems with marks of cult membership were recovered.
Also recovered were two locally-made pistols, four cut-to-size guns, four double-barreled guns, eight single-barreled guns, four AK-47 rifles, three pump action guns, 146 live cartridges, eight cutlasses, two battle axes, one tear gas canister, one short sword with cult symbol, plague, two neo-black movement regalia and one baton were recovered from the suspects.
It was further learnt that the court proceedings which was presided over by Magistrate Adiaken, was moved to the State Police Command premises due to the four month old strike by the judicial workers in the State.
The charges read, “Between February 1 and May 12 in Benin in the Oredo Magisterial District, being public officers and professionals in the Edo State Civil Service system, did conspire amongst yourselves and others now at large to engage in Black Axe, Marphites, Eiye, Aiye, Jurist, Vickins, Norsemen secret cults initiations and illicit cult activities in Edo State and thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 4 (b) of the Edo State Secret Cult (Prohibition) Law, 2000.”
Magistrate Adiaken consequently ordered the suspect to be remanded in prison and their case files be referred to the Director of Public Prosecution, DPP, for advice.

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