By Damian Duruiheoma, Owerri
There was wild jubilation in Ilile Autonomous Community in Ohaji Egbema council area of Imo State on Tuesday as the Special Anti- Robbery Squad (SARS) Unit of the Police Command arrested a suspected killer cultist in the community, Chukwuemeka Ezerie (aka Small Evil).
‘Small Evil’ was also arrested alongside three of his gang members in the dreaded Ohaji forest, The Nation learnt.
It could be recalled that ‘Small Evil’ with his fellow cult members had, last August, allegedly invaded the community and killed five persons, including a retired police officer, Mr. Ukpabi and the immediate-past president-general of the community, Napoleon Amadi in the presence of his little children.
It was gathered that the remains of the slain community leader were laid to rest last Saturday amidst heavy police presence.
One of the community leaders, who spoke to our correspondent on the condition of anonymity, said the community erupted in jubilation when they heard that the killers of their leaders had been arrested.
“During the burial of our late PG on Saturday, we urged the police officers to arrest Small Evil if they want the community to be in peace.
“To us, it was no use coming here to show force when the perpetrators of evil in the community are walking the streets free.
“To our great surprise, we heard that the boys have been captured alive. So, it’s a thing of joy and great news for all the peace loving people in Ilile,” he said.
Another community leader, who simply identified himself as Donald, urged the police to equally arrest some of the village chiefs funding and supporting the activities of the cultists in the community.
“The police will have no excuse this time not to arrest and prosecute some of the community leaders profiting from the continuous killings in this community since the killers were captured alive.
“We are demanding that the commissioner of police and his officers get to know from these criminals who their sponsors are and arrest the problem once and for all,” he said.
A senior officer in Umuagwo Police Division told our correspondent that the suspects’ arrest was a major breakthrough for the police in the area.
He said the Commissioner of Police, Rabiu Ladodo, had directed that the suspect be charged to court at the conclusion of investigation.
“Already, the suspects have made useful statements confessing to the killings in the community and other nearby villages.
“But, we are still investigating to know their sponsors and other members,” he stressed.
He said efforts were on to arrest other members of the gang, who are currently at large