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Police recover explosives, arms in Rivers



The Police Command in Rivers has seized Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs), arms and ammunition from suspected cultists in the state.

The command’s spokesperson, SP Grace Iringe-Koko, revealed this in a statement issued on Tuesday in Port Harcourt.

She said that the command’s C4i Strike Force and local vigilance group arrested a suspected cultist, Samuel Nwokoma, who led them to where the arms were hidden in Diobu area of Port Harcourt.

“The arrest and seizures mark significant progress in addressing the recent wave of cult-related attacks and killings in Diobu.

“The arrest of Nwokoma, 25, a member of the notorious Blood Star cult group, took place on March 17 around 7 a.m., following credible intelligence.

“Nwokoma has been linked to several cult-related killings within Diobu area of Port Harcourt,” she said.

Iringe-Koko explained that after the arrest, interrogators were able to extract a confession regarding his alleged involvement in two cult-related attacks in the area.

“On March 14 at about 8:30 p.m. the suspect, along with his gang, attacked and fatally shot Ede Sunday, 32, at Nanka street by Lumumba in Diobu.

“Similarly, on March 16, the gang also shot George Johnson, 28, in the chest at Ojoto street by Emenike in the same area.

“Despite receiving immediate medical attention at New Mile One Clinic, Johnson tragically succumbed to his injuries,” she added.

The command spokesperson stated that following his confession, Nwokoma led police operatives to his gang’s hideout at Ogwu Waterside in Diobu.

Upon reaching the hideout, she said the cultists fled through an adjacent river close to the hideout.

“Officers proceeded to search the hideout and recovered three AK-47 rifles, one assault rifle, six AK-47 magazines, one Beretta pistol and 274 rounds of 7.6mm live ammunition.

“Additionally, 105 rounds of 6.55 live ammunition, nine rounds of .9mm ammunition, seven packets of IEDs, one long wire used for detonating explosives and various charms were recovered.

“The recovery of these dangerous weapons and explosives will neutralise an immediate threat to public safety and underscores the command’s dedication to combating violent crimes,” she added.

Iringe-Koko said efforts were underway to apprehend the fleeing suspects and urged residents to provide useful information that could facilitate their arrest.

Desmond Ejibas

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