31 sus­pected cultists ar­rested while pre­par­ing for initiation cer­e­mony

Daily Trust - - CRIME - From Eu­gene Agha, Lagos

Dipo Ojeg­bayi, 27, Mo­hammed Haruna, 26, Ba­batunde Afo­labi, 27 and Us­man, are all un­der­grad­u­ates of the Univer­sity of Lagos (UNI­LAG), Akoka, Yaba.

They are among 31 sus­pected cultists ar­rested re­cently dur­ing a raid on their hide­out by po­lice­men in Lagos.

The Com­mis­sioner of Po­lice, Lagos State Com­mand, Fatai Owoseni, said the sus­pects were rounded up by de­tec­tives while they were pre­par­ing to go for an initiation cer­e­mony for new mem­bers.

Owoseni ex­plained that the ar­rest was part of the com­mand’s ef­forts at clamp­ing down on sus­pected cult groups and their spon­sors.

Po­lice in­ves­ti­ga­tions re­vealed that the sus­pects were mem­bers of the Eiye Con­fra­ter­nity.

In his con­fes­sional state­ment, Us­man, who is the leader of the group, said, “I was in­tro­duced to the group by a girl I met at a party. Af­ter the party, some guys came to my hos­tel and gave me the beat­ing of my life. At the end of the beat­ing, which I thought would not end, they warned me never to go near the girl again. I be­came an­gry and called my friend who was a cultist. I told him I was ready to be one of them. That was how I joined and rose to be the num­ber one.

“I have gone for sev­eral mis­sions and beaten up many ri­val cult mem­bers, but I never killed. I stopped be­ing a mem­ber and th­ese guys only came to meet me that day to as­sist them with the initiation.”

How­ever, an­other mem­ber of the group, Dipo, de­bunked his state­ment, in­sist­ing that Us­man is the leader of the gang. He said that mem­bers of­ten met to dis­cuss press­ing is­sues in a pri­mary school around Akoka area.

“We are all mem­bers, and he is the Capon. I joined them re­cently and never knew there was go­ing to be an initiation that night,” he said.

An­other mem­ber of the group, Haruna said, “It was Us­man, also known as Capon that in­vited us. I was ini­tially re­luc­tant, but when I saw the out­line of cut­lasses and guns in a poly­thene bag, I agreed to go with them,” he said.

The po­lice said that dur­ing in­ter­ro­ga­tion, one of the sus­pects ad­mit­ted that the guns and cut­lasses were stolen from a shrine at Oko­rodu, where he had gone to wor­ship.

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