Chief priest and two others were arrested for vandalism in Cross River.
A chief priest, Etim Udom, and two others have been arrested by the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC).
They were nabbed for vandalizing the outpost of NSCDC in Akpabuyo Local Government Area of Cross River.
The Public Relations Officer (PRO) of NSCDC, Cross River Command, Mr. Solomon Eremi said this when he briefed newsmen on Thursday in Calabar.
Eremi said that the suspects allegedly stole all the valuables in the NSCDC outpost in Akpabuyo.
He said that following the vandalism, the state Commandant Mr. Samuel Fadeyi ordered a sting operation to be carried out with a view to investigating and arresting the suspects.
The PRO said that the investigation revealed that the chief priest was the one preparing charms for the suspects before they embarked on any case of robbery or vandalism.
He alleged that one of the suspects, Otu Effiong-Otu, a notorious cultist, was involved in the destruction of property during the EndSARS protest in Akpabuyo.
Eremi said that Effiong-Otu stole the items and sold them to the chief priest, from where they were recovered by officials of NSCDC in his shrine.
“This is to let the public know that the NSCDC will always find you whenever you are involved in crime. These items were vandalized from our outpost in Akpabuyo two weeks ago.
“As you can see, we recovered all the vandalized items from the shrine of the chief priest. The items are panel doors, burglaries, toilet seats, a generator, cable wires, and three motorcycles.
“The Commandant-General of NSCDC, Dr. Ahmed Audi, has read out a riot act that every case of vandalism must be handled with utmost seriousness.
“We are going to prosecute the suspects in line with our constitutional mandate,” he said.
He advised young men to channel their energy into meaningful and productive ventures, rather than engaging in vandalism of government assets and infrastructure.
Also speaking with newsmen, the chief priest, Udom, said that he inherited the shrine from his late father, adding that he used the shrine to protect himself from any spiritual attack.
On his part, Effiong-Otu confessed to the crime, saying that poverty led him into the act. He pleaded with the NSCDC to pardon him.
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