The Police Command in Ebonyi on Tuesday, said it arrested four murder suspects and another four – robbers and cultists in the state.
SP Onome Onovwakpoyeya, Spokesperson of the Command, told reporters in Abakaliki that the suspected cultists were involved in the killing of a 76-year-old Traditional Ruler, Mr Christopher Ewa, of Umuezeokaha community, Ezza North Local Government Area of the state.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that the traditional tuler was murdered at his palace on Feb. 27.
According to Onovwakpoyeya, at about about 20:45 hrs on Feb. 27, members of the dreaded gang of the Ayes confraternity invaded the palace, armed with AK47 riffle and other dangerous weapons. The gang was led by one Nnabuike Emmanuel Egede, ‘m’, aka “Champaign”.
“Others members are Chukwudi Aliewa, ‘m’, Obinna Igwe, ‘m’, aka Nwampepe, Okechukwu Nwamgbegbu, ‘m’ and 30 others now at large.
She said “The hoodlums gained access into the highly-fortified palace through the fence and on sighting Ewa, they shot him severally and abandoned his body in a pool of blood and fled into hiding.
“Sequel to the attack and gruesome murder of Ewa, an official report was made at Ezza North police Divisions, Achiagu, by one of his son’s, Barr Igboke Samuel, and the case was later transferred to the State Criminal Investigation Departments (SCID), Abakaliki, for discreet investigation,” she said.
The Spokesperson explained that the operatives of the Command swiftly swung into action immediately the case was transferred, which led to the arrest of the four male suspects.
She noted that the suspects were interrogated and they made useful statements, confessing to the crime.
“The suspects, in their various confessions, mentioned some of their cohorts currently at large, who participated actively in the crime.
“Meanwhile, effort are in top gear towards tracking them down for possible arrest and further investigation,” she added.
Onovwakpoyeya said that the command also arrested four other suspected cultists and robbers.
She listed some of the exhibits recovered from them to include: One motorcycle, three locally-made pistols, six rounds of nine mmlive ammunition and two AA live cartridge.
“The three Suspects, Ogele Ifeanyichukwu, `m`, Nwali Chukwunonso, m, and Nwokwu Emeka, m, volunteered their statement and confessed that they are members of a secret cult group, called Neo Black Movement (NBM).
“The suspects also confessed that the exhibits recovered in their possession were their properties, and the exhibits were usually kept in custody of Ogele Ifeanyichukwu who is their exhibit keeper,” the spokesperson added.
One of the suspects, Igwe Ndubisi, who is a tricycle operator, said he was not a member of the secret cult group and had no knowledge of their activities.