The Police in Akwa Ibom have confirmed the arrest of 14 suspected members of cultist group, Debam confraternity, over the possession of pistols in Ukanafun Local Government Area of the state.
SP Odiko Macdon, the State Police Public Relations Officer, confirmed the arrest to newsmen in Uyo on Wednesday.
Macdon explained that the suspects were arrested while unlawfully in possession of pistols.
He said that the suspects confessed to have owned the pistols and also confessed to be members of Debam confraternity.
He said that the Command had completed arrangements to arraign the 14 suspected cultists in court.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalled that the confraternity was one of the 65 outlawed by the Akwa Ibom government in 2020, though it is embraced by some youths in the area.
He said the suspected cultists were said to have come from Rivers State to attend the funeral of one Imoh Thompson, otherwise known as Landlord from Ikot Effiong village in Ukanafun LGA on Saturday.
He said that the suspected cultists have been transferred to the State Investigation Department (SID) in Uyo.
“The Commissioner of Police, Mr Andrew Amiengheme, has directed the Deputy Commissioner of Police in charge of Investigation to carry out a discreet investigation.
“Investigation is ongoing, very soon, they will be charged to court,” he stated.
An eyewitness said that Thompson, alleged to have been killed by members of a rival cult group – Iceland confraternity – in what some people saw as battle of supremacy, was the suspected Debam leader in Ukanafun.
He said that the suspected cultists were ambushed and arrested by the police along Ekparakwa-Aba Federal Highway as they were about entering Ikot Udo Ossiom-Ikot Effiong road in Ukanafun.
He said that the suspected cultists were armed with English pistol and some locally-made rifles as at the time of their arrest. (NAN)