Suspected cultists, on Tuesday, killed seven people during an attack at Mmaahu community in Ohaji Egbema Local Government area of Imo State, South-east Nigeria.
The police spokesperson in the state, Michael Abattam, who confirmed this in a statement Wednesday afternoon, said the masked gunmen, numbering about 20, were led by one Ossy, an escapee from the Imo State correctional centre, Owerri, the state capital.
He said a preliminary investigation by the police revealed that the killing has elements of cultism.
Abbatam said, “Ossy,” the leader of the group, is a suspected member of a cult group known as ‘De-Gbam’ while the people killed are suspected to be members of another cult group known as ‘De-Well.’
He identified the victims of the attack as Charles Mgbarahor, Funky Anane, Charity Nwachukwu, Edeme Okoro, Isaac Ojenya, Ndubuisi Nwabusi, and Junior Ifeyinwoke.
He said the state police command has deployed additional ‘tactical units’ to the community to support the operation of the Egbema police division and area command to forestall possible reprisal attacks.
“The divisional police officer on receipt of this information immediately mobilised his men and other patrol teams to the area. On arrival at the scene, the hoodlums have deserted the place, leaving seven persons dead,” Abbatam said.
He said the state Commissioner of Police, Rabiu Hussaini, has directed the Deputy Commissioner of Police in charge of the State Intelligence and Investigation Department “to immediately commence a discreet investigation” into the incident with the mandate to arrest the perpetrators.