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Rivers police arrest notorious cultist for murder

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The Rivers State Police Command has successfully apprehended a notorious cult leader, Barikui Amanyie, commonly known as ‘Lawyer,’ who is allegedly involved in both cultism and the murder of an individual named Lioneda Lebari.

Barikui, a 35-year-old native of Kaani community in Khana local government area of Rivers State, has been a subject of police scrutiny for reportedly terrorizing residents of Eleme local government area.

The Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Grace Iringe-Koko, provided details on the arrest onn Wednesday, stating, “The Rivers State Police Command has arrested a notorious Iceland cult leader, terrorising Eleme Area, a 35-year-old Barikui Amanyie, aka ‘Lawyer’ in Eleme.”

The arrest was carried out in response to a directive from the Commissioner of Police, Olatunji Disu, urging tactical units and divisions to intensify efforts to apprehend all wanted criminals on the watchlist of the Rivers State Police command.

According to the statement, Barikui had been on the police watchlist since December 31, 2021, following his alleged involvement, along with five other gang members, in the murder of Mr. Lioneda Lebari.

Providing details of the crime, Iringe-Koko explained, “On the fateful day, the deceased was tracked by the gang after withdrawing his annual savings of NGN150,000 from a local thrift collector. He was tracked to the Oil-Mill junction, where he was attacked by Barikui and his gang and stabbed multiple times. He was left to die of his wounds while they fled the scene of the crime.”

The suspect, who had been in hiding and changing hideouts regularly to evade arrest, was finally apprehended on Friday, December 20, by the Anti Kidnapping Unit of the Rivers State Police in Eleme.

Items recovered from the suspect included locally made pistols and items suspected to be charms.

Barikui has confessed to the crime and is now facing charges of murder and cultism. Investigations are ongoing, with efforts to apprehend other members of the gang.

The Commissioner of Police, Olatunji Disu, expressed satisfaction with the prompt response of the Rivers State Police Command and encouraged them to persist in the campaign against crime, noting the command’s progress in tackling criminality in the state.

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