A Makurdi Chief Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday ordered that 29 persons be remanded in a correctional centre for alleged terrorism and culpable homicide.
The police charged the defendants, who live at Ikpayongo Town in Gwer-East Local Government of Benue, with criminal conspiracy, act of terrorism, membership of an unlawful society and culpable homicide.
The Magistrate, Mrs Roseline Iyorshe, did not take their plea for want of jurisdiction and adjourned the matter until April 18 for mention.
Earlier, the Prosecutor, Insp. Godwin Ato told the court that on Jan. 30, a team of anti-cultism attached to the state CID, Makurdi led by Ibrahim Addra received a distress call from one Thomas Iti, who is the Youth President General of Mbasombo Village in Ikpayongo.
Iti told the anti-cultism team that the village volunteer guards had called on Jan. 29 to inform him that some group of cult boys were fighting at Ikpayongo.
He said he immediately rushed there and found that a 16-year-old boy, Terkimbi Amu had been killed by the rival cult group and the killers were boastfully chanting cult-related songs.
The Prosecutor said the 29 defendants who were known to be members of Black Axe and Red Skin confraternities were arrested during a police investigation for committing the crime.
He said the offences contravened the provisions of Sections 97 and 222 of the Penal Code Laws of Benue, 2004, 4(2) and 1(2) of the Abduction, Hostage Taking, Kidnapping, Secret Cult and Similar Activities Prohibition Law of Benue, 2017.