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Police arrest cultists for invading Anambra hotel with charms

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Eleven members of a suspected cult group who allegedly terrorised the inhabitants of the Ihembosi community in Anambra State’s Ekwusigo Local Government Area have been apprehended by Zone 13 Police Headquarters operatives in Ukpo.

The defendants were arrested for allegedly trespassing on Las Vegas Hotels Limited’s premises in Ubahu village.

About 12 more members of the group are believed to be on the run as authorities continue to pursue them.

According to a police source who declined to be named because he was not authorised to speak on behalf of the agency, the suspects were arrested on Monday in response to a strongly worded petition to Godwin Aghaulor, Assistant Inspector-General of Police in charge of Zone 13 Police Command. The Zone 13 Police Command oversees police forces in Anambra, Enugu, and parts of Ebonyi states.

Aghaulor, who verified the suspects’ arrests at his office on Thursday, stated that the police will conduct discreet investigations into the case to determine the intentions behind the action, while a manhunt has been begun to apprehend the fleeing criminals.

Chief Omenife Onwuatu, the proprietor of Las Vegas Hotels Limited, petitioned the AIG for his intervention to curb the menace of the cultist group, which he claimed invaded his hotel on March 10, 2024, with about 12 motorcycles, charms, cudgels, cutlasses, axes, and other dangerous weapons and terrorised the hotel’s owners, management, and staff, threatening to kill anyone in sight.

Onwuatu, who is also the Chairman of Ubahu village, had previously warned the group to stop performing rituals in front of the nearby stream and to relocate their shrine to its base, but his warning did not go down well with the suspects, whom he simply identified as “idol worshippers, who earn their living through rituals.”

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