The 6 division of the Nigerian Army, on Friday, denied claims its men were responsible for the beheading of two slain cultists at Ubima, Ikwerre Local Government Area.
The Army, however, said its men killed the two notorious cultists, Christian Kenjika, aka School Boy, and one of his gang members.
Cult members ambushed a team of soldiers at Ubima on Thursday. However, the soldiers overpowered them killing two of the cult members. A soldier also sustained gunshot injuries during the shootout.
Theportcitynews gathered that the slain cult members were subsequently beheaded after the shootout while the injured soldier was rushed to the hospital.
One of the slain cultist popularly known as school boy was responsible for the shooting of members of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, who were at Ipo on a sensitization tour where the Chairman of Ikwerre Local Government Area, Samuel Wanosike escaped being assassinated.
He was also said to be responsible for torrents of rape, kidnapping and killings in the area, especially the mass murder of merrymakers at Aluu in November.
Clearing the air on the killing of the dreaded cultists, the Deputy Director, Army Public Relations, 6 Division, Nigerian Army, Colonel Aminu Iliyasu, explained that soldiers from 340 Artillery Regiment in Elele killed the cultists during a shootout.
He noted that the soldiers were not responsible for beheading the slain cult members, adding that the act might be perpetrated by a rival cult group.
According to him “Two of them (cult members) were killed by soldiers after an encounter. Yesterday (Thursday), there was an encounter between a cult group and our men of 340 Artillery Regiment that are stationed in Elele. Two cult members were killed while arms and ammunition were recovered.
“The corpses are with the police, but the arms are with us. It was not soldiers that mutilated their bodies. After the encounter, we left for the police to come and recover the bodies.
“It is like the police did not arrive on time. Before the police could arrive, rival cultists came and severed their heads,” the spokesman of 6 Division of the Nigerian Army said.
However, Nnamdi Omoni, the Rivers State Police Public Relations Officer said the cultists were killed during a shootout with soldiers, stressing that a rival cult group carried out the beheading.