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•Five killed in renewed cult violence
•Army arrest cleric over missing undergraduate in Rivers

The Edo State police command yesterday said two of the suspects that escaped from the State Investigation Department (SCID) have been re-arrested and brought back to custody.

The command also disclosed that contrary to the allegations that hundreds of kidnappers and armed robbers had escaped from the SCID facilities, only 10 suspects escaped.

The command in a statement by its Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), DSP Chidi Nwabuzor, said that eight of the suspects were detained on the order of court.

He gave the summary to include stealing – one, murder – two, cultism – three, robbery – three, while the other two were under police investigation for stealing.

“It is worthy to note that the quick mobilization and response of officers curbed further escape of the suspects. The policemen who were responsible for the safe custody of the escaped suspects have been identified, arrested and detained for departmental disciplinary process. Effort is being intensified to re-arrest the fleeing suspects.

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“The command has the wherewithal/intelligence to re-arrest the remaining suspects who are on the run but will still appreciate any useful information from members of the public as no stone will be left unturned in ensuring that all those suspects are re-arrested.”

Also, no fewer than five persons have been killed in renewed cult violence between rival cult groups in separate locations in Benin City, the Edo State capital.

The violence, which started on New Year day has lingered for days unabated with two persons killed in Oluku area near UNIBEN Ugbowo campus and another killed at Adolor College area in Ugbowo, on Sunday night (January 3).

The violence in Oluku on New Year day led to the death of two unidentified youths in the community, who were gunned down by rival cult members.

When The Guardian visited Ahunwan Street, where an unidentified middle-aged man was killed by suspected Eiye Confraternity members, the area was deserted as most of the youths in the community were said to have gone into hiding following the cult violence.

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Meanwhile, operatives of the Six Division, Nigerian Army in Port Harcourt have arrested a clergyman, Pastor Sodje Masodje, over his alleged involvement in the disappearance of an undergraduate, Beauty Nwigbaranee.

It was gathered that the 20-year-old final year student of the Department of Education, Rivers State University had visited Masodje, her supposed man-friend and the pastor of City of Angels International Ministries, Eneka, on December 25, 2020.

The family members said since the visit, the lady had not returned and all efforts to reach her proved abortive, as her phone has been switched off.

Counsel to the family of the missing lady, Gobari Deebom, who was at the army barrack and witnessed the arrest of the cleric, told journalists that following the sad development, the father of the victim contacted the military who went and arrested the suspect.

He said: “It is a suspected case of abduction. The lady visited the pastor believed to be her man friend. She visited him on Christmas Day and till now has not returned. It was the pastor that contacted the family to ask the family of her whereabouts. The family told him that Beauty said she was coming to visit him. He said she (Beauty) would be coming back to them soon. The pastor is not willing to tell the family the whereabouts of the lady. The family wants her alive.” The spokesman of 6 Division, Charles Ekeocha, failed to respond to calls and text messages made to his phone.


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