BENIN CITY-Police in Edo have arrested no fewer than 940 suspected cult members in a renewed efforts to curtain recurrent cult-related killings in the state.
A cache of assorted weapons, ammunition, secret cult regalia, motorcycles and cars prepared to be deployed for attack against their rival groups were also recovered from them.
Among the suspects were notable members of the public who police identified as leaders of deadly cult groups fomenting troubles in the state while lecturers, politicians, students, articians, barbers, bus drivers and conductors were apprehended.
They were nabbed at different locations in the state during coordinated raids and patrols by operatives of the state anti-cultism squad in collaboration with other tactical units and members of various communities.
Our reporter investigation revealed that the incessant cult killings particularly in the state capital triggered the present onslaught.
Records reveals that at least two persons in their prime are reportedly shot dead on weekly bases in Benin City and its suburbs.
Investigations also disclosed that between July 2 and August 10, 2017 over nine persons were killed in what the police confirmed to be cult-related matter.
Amongst the victims included a school proprietor in Useh area, two neighbours in Eweka, off Upper Siluko road, two friends shot dead in a hotel around Textile Mill road junction by Siluko and a mechanic shot dead while fixing a faulty vehicle in his workshop at Oluku area on the Benin-Lagos axis of the state capital.
The Commissioner of Police in Edo, Mr Haliru Gwandu said the clamp down on the cult members had drastically reduced the numbers of casualties recorded in the state recently.
Recently he commended men and officers of the command for being proactive and dedicated to their duties.
CP Gwandu also lauded the collaboration of members of the public particularly the vigilante, watchmen and market women for providing actionable information.
The police boss however warned that under his watch no reported crime would go undetected and perpetrators made to face the full wrath of the law.
Mr Gwandu advised parents and members of the public to report any suspicious character and movement to law enforcement agents as criminals are not ghosts.
He disclosed that the command had also strengthened its intelligence apparatus to ensure that criminals are busted before they strike in any part of the state.
CP Gwandu further explained that a total of 404 suspected cultists were apprehended within the first six months of his assumption of duty in Edo State.
He revealed that 352 of them were charged to court on completion of investigation.
The police commissioner had in subsequent parade disclosed huge numbers of arrests of suspected cult members in the state.