Rivers: Four Arrested As Police, Cultists Clash
Men of the Rivers State Police Command, on Wednesday, arrested four members of a suspected cult/group in Choba, Obio/Akpor Local Government Area of the state.
The operatives had engaged the suspected cultists in a shootout that lasted for over 40 minutes before they succeeded in apprehending four of the bandits.
The incident occurred around 8.30am near the Rumuoajaka and T-Job junction in Choba, even as residents, including business owners, took to their heels.
It was gathered that though no life was lost, some of the cult members, who escaped the crossfire, sustained gunshot injuries.
A source told our correspondent that the suspected cultists had come out for their usual operation in the area when a team of policemen intercepted them and engaged them in a shootout.
The source, who identified himself simply as Ikechi, stated, “The two places where the incident took place in Choba were deserted as people ran away.
“Though I learnt that some of the cultists were arrested, I am not sure about that, because we ran away from the scene immediately the first shot was fired.”
Choba and its environs have been experiencing cult clashes in recent times, which have claimed several lives, including that of a young man suspected to be a cultist, who was set ablaze by his assailants.
Confirming the gun battle between the police and the cultists on Wednesday, the state Police Public Relations Officer, Nnamdi Omoni, said the hoodlums were overwhelmed by the superior firepower of the security agents.
“I confirm to you that there was a shootout this morning between the men of the state police command and a group of cultists. We overpowered them and as I speak with you, we have arrested four of them,” Omoni said.
Anambra Assembly passes bill to stop expensive funerals
The Anambra State House of Assembly on Wednesday passed a bill to stop expensive funerals in the state.
The bill, which was sponsored by the representative of Anaocha II Constituency, Charles Ezeani, now makes it an offence to hold funerals for more than one day in the state.
Before the bill was passed, communities held funerals for at least three days.
Ezeani said, “The Burial/Funeral Control Bill is aimed at cutting down the cost of burials in the state.”
The bill says in the event of death “no person shall deposit any corpse in the mortuary or any place beyond two months from the date of the death, while burial ceremonies in the state shall be for one day”.
The bill makes it an offence to destroy property, fire gunshots, block roads during funerals in the state.
The bill also says “no person shall subject any relation of a deceased person to a mourning period of more than one week from the date of the burial”.
It added that during funerals the family of the deceased “shall provide food for their kindred, relatives and other sympathisers at their own discretion.”
Ezeani told reporters that a monitoring and implementation committee would be set up by the Assembly to enforce the law after Governor Willie Obiano had signed it.