Edo State police command has arrested 30 suspected cultists and 20 kidnappers engaged in cult activities and the kidnap of prominent persons in the state.
The Commissioner of Police, Samuel Adegbuyi, who disclosed this while briefing journalists on the current security situation in the state, said the kidnap suspects were intercepted by the highway patrol teams of the command at various locations in the state.
He noted that while the suspects had confessed to the crimes with 107 arms and ammunition recovered from them,15 of their victims had been rescued.
Adegbuyi disclosed that the command arraigned 227 cultists in May, 2015, saying an additional 30 suspected cultists were undergoing interrogation and would be charged to court subsequently.
“Apart from the 227 high profile cultists arraigned in court between May 2 and 9 this year, we have 20 suspects who have confessed to have kidnapped various prominent individuals in the state and even outside the state.
“Fifteen victims of kidnapping have been rescued. Nine AK47 rifles were recovered in the process. One Beretta pistol and about 60 locally made weapons as well as some paraphernalia of military outfits were also recovered,’’ he added.
He explained that as part of proactive measures by the Inspector-General of Police, several highway patrol vehicles had been deployed in locations within the state, including Benin-Lagos Road, Benin-Agbor Road, Benin-Akure Road, Auchi-Okpella Road, Ibilo, Ehor and Benin Bypass.
The CP, who described some of the suspects as “travelling criminals” not resident in Edo but who used the state as an escape route, commended the efforts of local vigilante groups, who used their knowledge of the terrain to aid the command in tracking down criminals, even at odd hours.