By Onyeje Abutu-Joel
Makurdi – Fourteen persons of various addresses in Makurdi were on Wednesday brought before a Makurdi Chief Magistrates’ Court for allegedly belonging to cult groups and planning to unleash mayhem on the residents of Makurdi.
They are: Solomon Adura, Yagba Raymond, Kum Aluor, Isaac Tar, Verem Mngutyo, Abuul Geoffrey and Tersoo Kunde.
Others are: Daniel Tar, Alagi Linus, Collins Chisom, Abubakar Abah, Patrick Emeka, Abubakar Suleiman and Ochowoichi Oluwa.
The Prosecutor, ASP Hyacinth Gbakor, told the court that the Police Command in Benue, through an intelligence gathering, received information on June 24, 2020 that two rival cult groups, the black and red confraternities, were planning to attack and unleash mayhem on the residents of Makurdi.
Gbakor said that a team of SARS operatives led by the Commander, SARS, Police Command in Benue , in conjunction with the Vigilante Group, Makurdi, on the strength of the information, embarked on a general clampdown on cultists on June 24, 25 and 27.
He said that the team arrested 14 cultists from Northbank, Logo II, Akpehe and Tito Gate during the clampdown, adding that two axes, four cutlasses, three berets, one black fez cap, one cow horn, one head warmer and charms were recovered from them.
The prosecutor said that the defendants, who were arrested in connection with the crime, confessed that they belonged to the black and red cult groups.
He said that the offences contravened Section 97 of the Penal Code, Law of Benue, 2004, 11(2) and 10(c) of the Abduction, Hostage-Taking, Kidnapping, Secret Cult and Similar Activities Prohibition Law of Benue, 2017.
He said that when the case came up for mention, the court did not take the pleas of the defendants for want of jurisdiction.
The prosecutor told the court that investigation into the matter was still ongoing and asked for another date for further mention.
The Magistrate, Mr Isaac Ajim, ordered that the defendants be remanded and adjourned the matter until Sept. 16, 2020, for further mention.