The Imo State Police Command has apprehended nine undergraduate students of the Alvan Ikoku Federal College of Education, Owerri, who were on their way for a cult initiation.
Parading the suspects, the state Commissioner of Police, Dasuki Galadanchi, stated that the suspects were members of the National Black Movement, otherwise known as Black Axe.
He gave the names of the suspects as Martins Okebanama, 22; Royal Amanze, 19; Ohale Chinaecherem, 23; Chisom Orji, 22; Ebuka Okeke, 24; David Chukwu, 28; Nwaegbu Innocent, 23; Obodo Emmanuel, 20; and Chisom Ezema, 21.
According to the CP, one locally-made pistol, white and red candles, gun powder, black and white clothes with cult inscriptions, and one jerry can of zobo beverage used in place of blood were recovered from the suspects as exhibits.
Galadanchi said, “On November 10, the operatives of the Anti-cultism Unit of the command on routine stop and search duty at the Amakohia/Egbeada flyover arrested the suspects in possession of the exhibits.
“They have confessed to belonging to the dreaded National Black Movement cult group aka Black Axe. They confessed that they were on their way to a forest at Awo-Omamma along Onitsha for the initiation of new members as is the norm and tradition of their cult group before they were apprehended.”
The CP, who said that investigation was in progress, added that the command would continue to clamp down on cultists in the state.
One of the suspects, Okeke, confessed to the crime and confirmed that he was a member of the cult group.