‘I got illegal firearms to protect myself’

A fourth year student of Medicine and Surgery at 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, 27, 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.

Speaking with reporters, he 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 own 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.”

Police Commissioner Austin Agbhonlahor told reporters that the command was not unmindful of the recent cult clashes in the state, especially in Calabar, as well as incessant communal crises around the boundaries areas.

The police chief said they were receiving attention from the command as it works with the state government.

He said they have “assiduously strategised an onslaught on these cultists and criminals across the state and will never renege no matter whose ox is gored”.

Agbhonlahor said the command will continue soliciting the support of the traditional institutions, religious leaders, youth/community leaders, the Judiciary and political class to jointly fight crime in the state.

“At this juncture, I want to reiterate that part of the command’s challenge in dealing with criminal elements may not be unconnected with people’s reluctance to give information on the whereabouts of these cultist/criminals.

“It is on this note that I still crave the indulgence of the public that information is key to solving security issues in any society. Everyone should see himself as a stakeholder in security business.”

Items recovered from the suspects include firearms, vehicles, ammunitions, cartridges and cash.

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