suspects

The suspects

…stops gang from carrying out reprisal over dead leader

…arrested members for shooting rival called, ‘Ojo Lion’

…initiations take place at parties, say Police

Juliana Francis

The 27 suspects trooped out to the parade ground, at the Lagos State Police Command Headquarters in Ikeja, meeting the full stare of different journalists from different media organisations on the 14th of July 2023.

They were mainly suspected cultists and as they filed out, they looked like butter will not melt in their mouths.

Among like is a single female, who police said was arrested for aiding and abetting her lover, who is a suspected cultist.

The police could not understand why she would continue to love and stay with a man known as a cultist. She was identified as Adebanke Bello, and she could have become anything she wanted in life, but love appears to have done her in. In her silver blond tinted hair and fresh looks, she could not go unnoticed.

Like Bello, most of these suspected cultists are in their prime, with the oldest being 38 years old and the youngest just 21 years old.

There are at least 17 suspected cultists at the parade ground and they have been identified as Tobi Robert 23, Opeyemi Adeosun 22, Jenkeo Olumide 20, Toheed Tajudeen 25, Nurudeen Kazeem 27, Lukmon Odunsi 25, Junior Peter 21, Segun Ishola 31, Auwal David 21, Adejare Oyelade 29, Oyekanmi Paul Kolawole, 27, Omotosho Tunde 31, Moses Ishola 36, Wasiu Ojo, 28, Tolutope Adebisi, 38, Ifeoluwa Izokpu 23 and Adebanke Bello.

Others were held for murder, robbery, and vandalism.

Although Police said that most cultists also vied into armed robbery and murder.

According to information, the boys planned to engage themselves in killings for supremacy and reprisal in different parts of the state, but detectives from the Lagos State Command, working assiduously undercover, got the information and nipped most in the bud and even rescued suspected cultists that succeeded in carrying assassination of one Ojo Lion but were pounced upon by stressed and tired residents, who were simply tired of the unrest and killings in the community.

One such arrest took place on 30th of June 2023, at about 2:PM, based on credible intelligence that some group of boys suspected to be members of Kesari Confraternity planned to retaliate their leader’s death on other rival cult members in Mushin area of Lagos State.

The Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Benjamin Hundeyin, who paraded the suspect, said: “Police operatives of the command swung into action and arrested Tobi Robert, Opeyemi Adeosun, Jenkeo Olumide, Toheeb Tajudeen and Nurudeen Kazeem.  Investigation revealed that they are a notorious armed robber, cultist gang terrorising Mushin and its environs.  The suspects confessed to being active members of the Confraternity. The investigation is ongoing to apprehend other fleeing members and recover more of their operational arms.”

The image manager further explained that similarly on the 11th of July 2023, at about 11:am, based on credible intelligence some group of boys suspected to be cultists brandishing arms were attacking rival cult members in the Ebute-meta area of Lagos State.

Hundeyin said: “Operatives of the command were dispatched to the area where Lukmon Odunsi, 25, and Junior Peter, 21 were apprehended with one jackknife. The suspects confessed to being members of the Eiye confraternity. The investigation is ongoing to arrest other members of this syndicate.

“On 28th of July 2023 at about 3: 30PM, credible intelligence was received on an ongoing jungle justice incident happening in Aratunmi area of Iba Okokomaiko, Lagos State. Police operatives of the command swung into action and rescued the suspects namely Segun Ishola aka Bouncer, and Auwal Daud aka Blessign Boy, who were being mobbed for shooting one Ojo Lion to death.

“One locally made single Barrel pistol and one expanded cartridge was recovered from the scene. The suspects confessed to being members of Eiye confraternity.

“Further investigation led to the arrest of AdejareOyelade, 29, Oyekanmi Paul Kolawole, Omotosho Tunde, Moses Ishola, Wasiu Ojo, Tolulope Adebisi, Ifeoluwa Izokpu and Adebanke Bello. Four locally made single barrel pistols with two live cartridges were recovered from them.”

Hundeyin, who said cultism has become one of the greatest and most worrisome violent crimes in Nigeria, urged parents and guardians to monitor their children and wards.

This was even as he stated that most young people continue to yield to peer pressure. He said that checking cultism, if not completely eradicated, will take a collective effort.

His words: “Stopping cultism is a collective effort. Parents and guardians should go the extra mile to ask their children and wards what happened in their schools and what happened to them in schools. If they go to school parties or any party, they should ask them what happened at the party because most initiations take place at parties.

“Our mandate is to detect and prevent crimes, but a lot also lies in the cooperation of the member of the public. We hereby used this opportunity to take Lagosians that have been giving us vital information in fighting crime.

“We urge others to join. Suspects or criminals do not fall from the air, they stay with parents and guardians. These parents and guardians know these children have been killed, but they keep quiet rather than report them to the police, they tell themselves that he was just being a naughty boy.

“We want to tell members of the public that information given to us will be treated with the utmost confidentiality.”

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