By Stephen Adeleye
Lokoja – The Kogi Government on Monday, said 28 suspected criminals had been arrested at different locations across the state in the last seven days.
A statement by Mr Onogwu Muhammed, the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor in Lokoja, said that the suspects were arrested by the Joint Task Force of the State Vigilante Service and the Neigbourhood Watch.
According to Muhammed, those arrested include four dreadful kidnappers, who confessed to be terrorizing the people of Dekina and Bassa local government areas on April 6.
He added that over 16 members of a cult group, who confessed to be from Ankpa Local Government Areas of the state were also arrested in Olamaboro Local Government Area, where they were carrying out initiation of new members.
Mohammed said that the cult group also confessed to have carried out several armed robbery operations on Ankpa-Okpo-Otukpa road.
”Similarly, 8-man gang of miscreants, who were involved in destabilizing the peace around Anyigba and Egume areas of Dekina Local Government Area of the state were also apprehended by the security agencies.
”They were alleged to have led masquerades into the mosque during Islamic congregational prayers in order to spark up religious crisis,” he said.
He disclosed that the two Chairmen of Kogi Vigilante Service in Imane, and Neigborhood watch; Mr Usman Okoliko and Mr Iliyasu Abubakar respectively, handed over the suspected persons to the Police at Okpo Division on Monday.
The chairmen said that the activities of the group had gone beyond cultism as they were also engaged in armed robbery, kidnapping and other criminal activities in the areas.
”Also the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor, Dekina Local Government Area, Hon. Ishaq Shaibu, described the suspects as miscreants, who were bent on creating trouble in the local government area.
Muhammed, however, restated Gov. Yahaya Bello’s, commitment to eradicating all forms of criminality from the state, warning that whoever is caught in any criminal activity would face the full wrath of the law.
Spokesman of the state police command, DSP William Aya confirmed that 16 of the suspects were in the custody of police.
Aya explained that the suspects include: four kidnap suspects and 12 alleged cultists, adding that they will be arraigned as soon as investigation is concluded.