Sunday, 4th June 2023

Rivers: Cult clash claims nine on Val’s Day

By Obinna Nwaoku, Port Harcourt
16 February 2023   |   4:00 am
The Commissioner of Police, Rivers State Command, Okon Effiong, has deployed tactical units to Ikata, in Upata Kingdom, Ahoada East Council Area of the state and its environs...

• Police arrest suspected kidnapper, recovers arms in Rivers
The Commissioner of Police, Rivers State Command, Okon Effiong, has deployed tactical units to Ikata, in Upata Kingdom, Ahoada East Council Area of the state and its environs, following a cult clash that claimed no fewer than nine lives on Valentine’s Day on February 14, 2023. 
The Police Commissioner, responding to an inquiry by newsmen into the incident, through the Command’s spokesperson, Superintendent of Police (SP), Grace Iringe-Koko, said the cult clash between two groups claimed nine lives.

He disclosed that the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) of the Ahoada Police Division and Joint Task Force visited the crime scene for on-the-spot assessment, adding that security personnel destroyed the camp of the cultists.

According to the CP, two persons have been arrested, while an investigation is ongoing to arrest fleeing members of the gang.

However, a source in the community explained that; “two factions of suspected Greenland cult groups loyal to VIP and Ebuka exchanged gunfire in Ikata community for over thirty minutes, which led to the death of no fewer than nine persons.”

The source stated that the incident caused pandemonium in the community as residents scampered for safety and business owners hurriedly closed their shops to avoid being hit by stray bullets.
MEANWHILE, operatives of the Command attached to the C4i Intelligence Unit, have raided the hideout of a five-man kidnap syndicate that specialises in kidnapping high-profile residents of the state and demanding huge monies as ransom.

The operatives, while acting on credible intelligence, on Saturday, February 11, 2023 at about 3:00p.m. swooped on the syndicate at Ndoki Water Side, Port Harcourt.

According to the Command’s spokesperson, Grace Iringe-Koko, the five-man gang was neutralised after a gun duel that lasted hours.

Iringe-Koko said the raid was to consolidate of the mandate of the Commissioner of Police, to de-escalate the trend of violent crimes targeted at well-meaning members and residents of the state.

She noted that one AK-47 rifle with 26 rounds of ammunition and one revolver pistol with five rounds of ammunition were recovered from the arrested suspect.

Iringe-Koko stressed that one victim was rescued unhurt and efforts are being made to round up the fleeing members of the syndicate.

She, however, noted that the Commissioner of Police had urged all residents of Rivers State to remain calm, and vigilant and report any suspicious persons or activities to the police.

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