At least 116 suspected cult members were apprehended at the weekend in the Ifo area of Ogun State by operatives of the police command in the state.
According to a statement by the command, the suspects consist of 70 males and 46 females, who are allegedly members of the Aye Confraternity.
In the statement issued in Abeokuta, the state capital, the suspected cultists were arrested by the command’s Anti-Cultism Squad at Galaxy Hotel, Ibogun Road at about 0142hrs.
The statement revealed that the police had a security report on the activities of the cultists in the area, and that they would be having their initiation and anniversary ceremonies.
The Anti-Cultism Squad was drafted to the scene and the suspects were apprehended.
Four axes, seven cutlasses, anniversary invitation cards, banners, axes, illicit drugs, and cannabis were recovered from the crime scene.
The statement said, “Today 26/08/23 at about 0105hrs, based on intelligence received on the celebration of the 20th anniversary of Neo Black Movement, a.k.a Aye Confraternity, Ifo Forum, the Commissioner of Police directed the Tactical Unit and men from Ota Area Command to the scene.
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“Surveillance was mounted and over 300 cult members were sighted. These included female invitees gathered for the celebration to mark Aye Day in Ogun State.
“On sighting the team of policemen who had already cordoned off the scene, they fled in different directions and 116 suspects were arrested, including 70 males and 46 females.
“Exhibits recovered from the scene during operation include four axes, representing the symbol of their confraternity, weeds suspected to be Indian hemp, cultist anniversary banner among other recoveries.”
The suspects have been taken to the Eleweran police command headquarters and are currently undergoing interrogation.
The state Police Commissioner, Abiodun Alamutu warned that cultists and other criminal elements should stay clear of the state.
He said the police command under him will not tolerate any criminality in whatever guise, adding that all formations in the state have the mandate to comb all dark spots to rid the state of criminals.