Suspected cultists set police station ablaze in Bayelsa

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Burnt Police Station. Photo: Pulse.ng

Bayelsa State Police Command has confirmed that suspected cultists, yesterday, attacked and set ablaze the divisional headquarters of the Nigerian Police Force in Oporoma, the headquarters of the Southern Ijaw Local Government Area.

This was even as the state House of Assembly commenced the process to amend the Secret Cult Bill to include a 20-year-jail term for anybody found guilty of cultism.

Investigation revealed that a notorious cult leader, who is being interrogated at the Oporoma Police Station,  planned with his fellow cult members to attack the station to aid his escape.

Police sources said the cultists invaded the police station to prefect the plan and added that the police were able to resist their plot and, out of frustration, they set ablaze the station.

Spokesman of the state police command, Asinim Butswat, said a preliminary report of the incident has been received by the command headquarters.

“Report  indicates that a suspected cultist who was on police wanted list for various heinous crimes such as kidnapping, sea robbery, armed robbery and pipeline vandalism, was arrested and detained at the Oporoma Police Division, Southern Ijaw council, preparatory to his being transferred to the State Criminal Investigation Intelligence Department (SCIID), Yenagoa.

“The suspect, on March 21, 2018, attempted to escape from lawful custody and was shot by the police officer on duty. Other members of the suspect’s cult group mobilised and attacked officers on duty at the police division, and set it ablaze. Additional policemen were deployed to restore normalcy in the community.

“There seems to be emergence of cult cases in Bayelsa state, we call on the public to volunteer useful information and assist the police in curbing trend of cultism among our youths,” he said.

Meanwhile, motion for amendment of the secret cult bill, which was moved yesterday on the floor of the Assembly by the leader of the House,  Peter Akpe, also included the legal backing to the Nigerian Police to search and arrest any vehicle suspected to carry illegal arms and ammunition, and the magistrate to remand any suspect arrested for cult-related activities for 30 days.

The amendment read on the floor of the House also empowers the governor to revoke the certificate of occupancy of any property or premises used to hold meetings of suspected cult groups in the state.

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