Operation Safe Haven (OPSH) taskforce has paraded 23 suspects arrested in various parts of Plateau State for offences ranging from cultism, armed robbery and cattle rustling.
The OPSH is a special task force charged with maintaining law and order in Plateau, parts of Southern Kaduna and Bauchi states.
Parading the suspects at its operation headquarters in Jos, the taskforce commander, Major-General Augustine Agundu, said 10 of them were arrested for cultism during the taskforce’s recent crackdown which began on Friday.
Agundu said the suspects were arrested with different types of illicit substances and weapons, including two locally fabricated pistols, five unused firearm cartridges, substances suspected to be Indian hemp, quantities of Diazepam and eight mobile phones suspected to have been stolen from their victims.
He said notable among the suspects is Ugochukwu Nwogu, who belonged to Black Axe fraternity and confessed to have participated in the murder of one Chimeze Agwu and Prince Innocent at Chobe market and Ifesinachi junction respectively in Jos North LGA.
“The suspect also participated in the shooting of Ugochukwu Efugh as well as an armed robbery incident at Gada Biyu where he carted away with the sum of N290,000,” the commander said.
Maj-Gen Agundu also said the taskforce arrested one Christopher David, another member of Black Axe cult group, adding that preliminary investigations revealed that he was earlier jailed for three years from 2017 and released in May 2019 for robbery.
“Christopher David also confessed to have participated in the killing of Chimeze Agwu at Chobe market in early August,” he added.
The taskforce also paraded Aminu Abdullahi, Mamuda Haruna, Lawal Usman, Yusuf Mohammed, Buhari Adamu and Sanusi Abubakar for the offences of cattle theft and armed robbery.
Agundu said while activities of ethnic militia groups were on the lower ebb, of immediate concern and impediment to sustained peace in the state were activities of armed bandits, cult groups and the menace caused by sara-suka hoodlums.