29 members of Black Axe, Red Skin cult gangs docked for terrorism, murder

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By Onyeje Abutu-Joel

The Police have arraigned 29 members of Black Axe and Red Skin confraternities in Ikpayongo Town in Gwer-East Local Government of Benue state on charges of criminal conspiracy, act of terrorism, membership of unlawful society and culpable homicide.

The suspects were arraigned before Makurdi Chief Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday.

The Prosecutor, Insp. Godwin Ato, told the court that the suspects were arrested on Jan. 30, by a team of police anti-cultism squad attached to the state CID, Makurdi led by Ibrahim Addra.

According to him, the police had responded to a distress call from one Thomas Iti, who is the Youth President General of Mbasombo Village in Ikpayongo.

Iti told the police anti-cultism team that the village volunteer guards had called on Jan. 29 to inform him that some group of cult boys were fighting at Ikpayongo.

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He said he immediately rushed there and found that a 16-year-old boy, Terkimbi Amu had been killed by the rival cult group and the killers were boastfully chanting cult-related songs.

He said the offences contravened the provisions of Sections 97 and 222 of the Penal Code Laws of Benue, 2004, 4(2) and 1(2) of the Abduction, Hostage Taking, Kidnapping, Secret Cult and Similar Activities Prohibition Law of Benue, 2017.

The Magistrate, Mrs Roseline Iyorshe, did not take their plea for want in jurisdiction.

She ordered the remand of the suspects in prison.

Iyorshe adjourned the matter until April 18 for mention.


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