From Paul Osuyi, Asaba

Twenty-eight persons have been arrested by the police in Delta State while undergoing initiation into the Aiye confraternity, commonly known as the Black Axe cult.

They were rounded up at about 3 am in the forest around Ogume in Ukwuani Local Government Area of the state by agents of the State Anti-Cult Unit (SACU).

Four of the suspects, according to the acting Public Relations Officer of the State Police Command, DSP Bright Edafe, had already begun the initiation rites before agents stormed the grounds and foiled the process.

Edafe said two locally made single barrel guns, eight vehicles, six motorcycles and charms were recorded.

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According to him, operatives of the Command’s Rapid Response Squad also arrested five suspected armed robbers and cultists.

He gave the names of the suspects as Prince Onotanare (22), Gift Ogbeje (19), Lucky Egere (22), Charles Eungu (25) and Joshua Omatseye (22), adding that were intercepted along Otokutu bridge Udu Warri during a routine patrol.

‘The operatives of RRS who had reasons to suspect them, subjected them to search, openly searching them.

‘A fabricated Barretta pistol with 9mm live ammunition was recovered from the first suspect.

‘They all confessed to being members of Aiye and JVC confraternities. The cases are under investigation,’ he added.