A fourth-year student of Medicine and Surgery in the University of Calabar (UNICAL) arrested for alleged cultism and illegal possession of firearms and military uniforms, Ikezue Nnamdi Kingsley, on Thursday said he acquired the guns for his protection.
Kingsley, who was paraded by the Cross River State Police Command along with 24 other suspects for various crimes ranging from armed robbery and kidnapping to fraud, said he got the firearms from a friend.
The 27-year old said, “I was a student of the Nigeria Military School Zaria and deserted in 2014 before I came to do Medicine in UNICAL. That is where I got the military uniform. The firearm is what I used to protect myself.
I got it from a friend. It is not licensed. I know it is wrong to own an unlicensed firearm. I owned it because I am a cultist. I am a black axe member. It was the devil. It was not my intention. My intention was to be a good boy. I have never shot anybody,” he said.
Commissioner of Police, Austin Agbhonlahor, earlier told reporters that the Command was not unmindful of the recent cult clashes in the state especially in Calabar and incessant communal crisis at the border areas, presently receiving attention in partnership with the state government.
He said they have “assiduously strategized an onslaught on these cultists and criminals across the state and will never renege no matter whose ox is gored.”
The Police Commissioner said the Command will continue soliciting the support of traditional institutions, religious leaders, youth/community leaders, judiciary and political class to join hands with the police to fight crime in the state.
“At this juncture, I want to reiterate that part of the Command’s challenge in dealing with criminal element may not be unconnected with peoples reluctance to give information as to the whereabouts of these cultist/criminals, it is on this note that I still crave the indulgence of the general public that information is key to solving security issues in any society. Everyone should see himself as a stakeholder in security business,” he said.
Items recovered from the suspects include firearms, vehicles, ammunition, cartridges and cash.