A senior member of the deadly cult group accused of masterminding the killing of some innocent worshippers in Omoku village, Rivers State on New Year day has explained why the group carried out the act.
32-year old father of three, Desmond Okotubo, who hails from Egbenma in Onelga Local Government Area of Rivers State, said their actual targets were the vigilante group in the town who he alleged were responsible for the arrest and humiliation of the mother of their leader, late Don Waney.
He said they were out to teach the vigilante group a lesson for leaking information that led to the destruction of Don Waney’s property in the state.
Okotubo, revealed that their real target were members of the vigilante group but the attack on innocent worshippers was just an operation gone wrong.
The suspect, made the confession when he was paraded before newsmen at the Nigeria Police Force headquarters in Abuja.
“It was Don Waney that did it. We followed Don Waney and he has a group that he gave gun to shoot called Red Squad. I did not hold any gun and I don’t know about it but he has a group called Red Squad,” he said.
“The Red Squad members are from Imo and Rivers states and they are the ones that shoot and kill. I know those that shot and killed those people. I know many people that belong to the party.
“I followed them during the killing. When Don Waney got back, he stopped at Awara village, Imo State and it was there everybody assembled before going to Omoku. I followed them to Omoku but they did not give me gun. Don Waney had problem with the vigilante group because they arrested his mother and also destroyed his house. That was why he came back to take revenge and kill those people at Omoku. I did not feel fine as they did not give me gun”
“I was at Mpape in Abuja before I was arrested. I travelled to Owerri on December 28 and came back January 3. We were not given money after the attack and nobody promised to give me money. We have over 15 to 20 members in the gang. I don’t have a position in the group; I am just a member and all I do is to follow the executives of the gang.
“We have one Tuga, who is in charge of our armory and we have over 20 guns and I am the only member of the gang living in Abuja. It was when I traveled for the Christmas that I was told Don Waney was back and that he wanted to take revenge on how they burnt his property. I met them at Owerri, where all the Red Squad gathered and he shared the guns amongst them. After that, we proceeded to Awara village and stayed there for sometime before traveling to Omoku to kill.
“I met Don Waney in 2015 through one of his brothers, Pruchukwu. The brother used to live in Owerri but I don’t know where he is now because I have not seen him since his brother died. I cannot tell whether or not the killings were politically motivated. I cannot speak on that. May be it was Don Waney that did that negotiation, not me.
“We, in the group, have not reached the level of negotiating with politicians. It is Don Waney and his executives that do that. All the meetings we had before the attack were held at Awara.
“Before the Omoku attack, we had carried out an attack after the 2015 elections. Even before the elections, many things happened in the state because we carried out many operations. I am married and I have three children. My wife is in the village at Egbema.
“We actually went to attack the village and not the church but Don Waney changed the plans when we got there and I feel so bad that so many people died. But from the way I am now, I am ready to work with government and help them to fish out all the people that are members of the gang.”
The Force Public Relations Officer, Jimoh Moshood, said the suspect was arrested by men of the IGP-Intelligence Response Team attached to the Joint Police Special Investigation Team, which engaged some of the suspects in their hideouts in Awara forest, a boundary between Imo and Rivers states, in a shoot out that lasted several hours.
Jimoh said six of the suspected criminals were killed in a shoot out with the police while others escaped with bullet injuries and are still been trailed by the police team.