The Commissioner of Police in Imo, Mr Chris Ezike, has called for stiffer punishment for convicted cultists to check the menace especially crime its roots. Ezike made the call in an interview with Newsmen on Monday in Owerri.
He said the punishment stipulated by Imo State law on cultism-related offences has not in any way helped in fighting cultism.
The commissioner advised the state lawmakers to look into the law with a view to amendment where necessary. He explained that cultism is where all the crimes and social vices are rooted, adding that crime fighting cannot be completed without serious war on cultism.
“Cultism is the mother of all crimes because once one is initiated into any cult group the person becomes a criminal automatically. “He will immediately seek to own a gun and thereafter becomes vulnerable to all manner of criminality,” he said. Ezike expressed worries that when a cultist was arrested due to the prescriptions of the law, the person will be given bail in court when arraigned and will automatically go back to the game. “We are really worried that our men will round up cult members even at the scene of carrying out initiation and when they are arraigned in court they will be granted bail and tomorrow you still encounter the same group,” he said. He said the law should make cultism-related offences unbailable so that culprits could stand their trials from remand homes.
The CP also said that police have subdued kidnappers in Imo, while crime rate has drastically reduced. It was recalled that Imo State Government had passed a vote of confidence on Ezike and rated him high on crime fighting recently as he marked one year in office in Imo.