Twenty-three persons have been arrested in Ukanafun Local Government Area, Akwa Ibom State, for cult-related violence and killing, the police have said.
The police said in a statement issued on Wednesday that the suspects were arrested on July 9 through a sting operation carried out by its Special Operation Unit.
The statement coincided with the fatal shooting on Wednesday of a vice principal of a community school in the area.
The police spokesperson in the state, Chukwu Ikechukwu, gave the suspects’ names as Akan Monday Emos, Walter Johnson Mendie, Unyime Aniekan George, Uyo Samuel Unah, Nyakno Friday Abraham, Iboro Archibong Usenideh, Unyime Sunday Unah, Ofonasak Ufonime Dick, Aniekan Moses Ebeowo, and Udim Monday Udo.
Others are Promise Debas Johnson, Bassey Isaac Udo-Usoro, Isaac Sunday Johnson, Hope Michael Udo, Emmanuel Sunday Unah, Godsgift Odudu Sunday, Emayak Friday Udoudo, Utibe Aniekan George, Uwemedimo Udo, Ofonime Aniekan George, Joel Sunday Unah, Ofonime Friday Ohayi, and Anietie Monday Johnson.
One suspected stolen LG plasma television, eight expended cartridges, 28 rounds of pellets, a Techno cell phone, and the sum of N5, 300 were among the items recovered from the suspects, according to the police.
The Commissioner of Police, Don Awunah, the statement said, appealed to the public to continue come forward with credible information that would help the police in crime-fighting.
Ukanafun of late has become notorious for cult-related violence and killings.
The Chairman of the local government, Abasiono Udomfu, was sacked by the state government for his alleged involvement in the brutal killing of the local council secretary.
The sacked chairman has been remanded in the prison custody after being charged to court for murder.
Two persons, a lawyer and a youth leader, were also shot dead in the local government area on July 1 by yet-to-be identified gunmen.