Parading the suspects, the Commissioner of Police, Hosea Karma, said the cultists, aged between 14 and 16 years, were students of Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, and the Federal Polytechnic, Oko.
Karma told newsmen that the boys, arrested at Obosi, were members of the Black Axe and Vikings, among other cult groups, insisting that the criminals found the town a safe haven to operate because of the recurring land crisis in the community.
Meanwhile, 48 youths from Obosi, who were brought to the police station during the parade, renounced membership of their various cult groups.
They were brought in 5 buses by the Obosi President General, Dan Igbokwubile. They also pledged to assist the community, the police and the state in fighting crimes. Karma disclosed that the suspects snatched 3 cars, while one of them was behind the kidnap of the personal assistant to the former commissioner for works in the state.
The police chief, who disclosed that “the other suspects specialised in vandalising communication masts and electricity cables,” commended Governor Willie Obiano for his support to the security agencies, also thanked the public for their cooperation, especially with useful information.
He listed some of the items recovered as locally-made shot pistols, cutlasses, axes, black and red candles (reportedly used for rituals), drums for their music, a lot of Indian hemp and handsets, among others.
Meanwhile, Karma said the police were now more determined to flush out criminals from their hideouts in order to maintain the existing peaceful environment in the state.
He urged students and young people to face their studies instead of resorting to crime, which does not pay, warning that the long arm of law would always catch them.
Stressing the collective need for government, communities and leaders to rid the state of all undesirable elements, he enjoined parents to monitor the activities of their children.