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Navy hands over 42 suspected cultists to Cross River govt

The Nigerian Navy Victory Ship (NNVS) has handed over 42 suspected cultists to the Cross River government for onward investigation and prosecution.

The Commander of NNVS, Rear Admiral Vincent Okeke, who briefed journalists in Calabar, the state capital, said the suspects were arrested on Sunday through a tip-off by concerned individuals.

Represented by one Capt. Ibrahim Gwaska, the Navy commander said the Service standby team was informed that the suspects were gathered in Akpabuyo local government area of the state for initiation and other activities.

According to him, intelligence gathering revealed that it was evidently clear that there was going to be a clash between the Klans and Black Axe confraternities.

Okeke said: “We are here to do a routine handover of 42 suspects to the Cross River State government representative.

“Accordingly, the base responded through a tip off and cordoned the area in Akpabuyo. In that raid, we arrested 61 suspected cultists.

READ ALSO: Navy rescues 18 crew members onboard Chinese vessel, arrests 10

“On arrival, preliminary investigations were being conducted and having concluded the investigation, 42 out of the arrested 61 persons were confirmed to be cultists accordingly.

“It is on this regard that we will be handing over the suspects to the state government and officials of the Anti-Cultism and Kidnapping Unit for onward investigation and prosecution.”

The Navy also seized a wooden boat laden with 130 drums of palm oil smuggled from Cameroon alongside 10 suspects

The State Security Adviser, Southern Senatorial District, Mr. Ani Esin, who received the suspected cultists, commended the Navy for a successful operation.

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