Nigerian police chief said on Tuesday that 454 suspects in connection with the recent sectarian crises in the country had been arrested and would soon be prosecuted.
Inspector General Sunday Ehindero, who made this known in the capital Abuja at a meeting with senior police officers from across the country, said that the suspects were arrested from eight states engulfed by the riots that killed more than 100 people last week.
"It is not a case of sending them to magistrate courts, they will be prosecuted in a high court and they will face the wrath of the law," he said.
Ehindero gave the breakdown of the suspects arrested as 205 in the northeastern state of Borno, 116 in neighboring Yobe, 33 in Katsina, 10 in Anambra, 20 in Niger, 48 in Bauchi and 22 in Gombe.
Trouble erupted on February 18 in Maiduguri, capital of Borno State, when protests by Muslims over cartoons depicting the Prophet Mohammad turned violent, leaving at least 18 Christians dead.
The violence later spread to other states in northern Nigeria and in a quick response, Christians in the southern state of Anambra launched reprisal attacks, killing at least 80 people, most of them Muslims.
Nigeria has a history of bloody clashes between Muslims and Christians. Its 130 million people are roughly equally divided between Muslims in the north and Christians in the south.