Three notorious cultists have been arrested by men of the Zone 2 Police Command for allegedly being responsible for several killings in the Ijoko area of Ogun State.
The cultists identified as Moses Anthony, Kabiru Ajao and Samson Adagun were arrested by operatives of the Zonal Intervention Squad after a tip-off.
They were said to have also killed a welder, identified only as Lanre, who was shot dead about a week ago, according to the police. The police added that operatives recovered three cut-to-size guns and four live cartridges from the suspects during a search of their hideouts.
However, the men, who admitted to being members of the Eiye Confraternity, said their action followed the killing of their leader, Olakunle Adelabu, aka Callous.
According to a Punch report, Adelabu was a 400-level student of Animal Science and Livestock Production of the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta. The suspects noted that they joined some of Adelabu’s undergraduate friends to unleash mayhem on the community during which the welder, Lanre, was shot dead.
Anthony, a national of Cotonou, Benin Republic, said the crisis in the Ijoko community started after the son of a traditional ruler, Next Turn, who was a member of the Eiye cult decamped to Aiye.
He said the prince accused the Eiye members of betraying his father by taking sides with a rival traditional ruler.
He said, “Because of that, the prince and his group started killing every Eiye member in the community, and at a point, we fled to Ifo, a neighbouring community, where Callous (Adelabu) was managing a site.
“Callous, who was our number one, went to Ijoko on April 19. He was leaving for school the following day when the gang led by the prince broke his skull with stones.
“After Callous was killed, some of his undergraduate friends joined us in launching a reprisal.
“Those that joined us to carry out the operation were undergraduates of FUNAAB and they were seven in number. They are Shakur, Sikiru, Sola, Wale, Joshua, Taju and Kehinde.”
Asked how the gang came about the arms and ammunition, Anthony said they belonged to Adelabu, adding that he didn’t know how he got them.
Another suspect, Ajao, who hails from Ede, Osun State, denied following the gang that shot the welder.
“When they killed our brother, Callous, our gang members went to retaliate. Those that killed Callous were led by a prince. When the police barge into my house while I was asleep, I told them I was a cult member, but I didn’t join them for the reprisal,” he said.
The third suspect, Adagun, a 25-year-old indigene of Kogi State, urged the police to arrest other members of the rival gang, saying without that, there would be no peace in the community.
“The Aiye members have chased Eiye members from Ijoko because they have the support of the prince. The killings will not end until the police arrest the prince,” he added.
The Zonal Public Relations Officer, SP Dolapo Badmos, said the suspects were among many others that the police had declared wanted for cult-related activities and killings in Ogun State.
She explained that the Assistant Inspector-General of Police, Adamu Ibrahim, had ordered that they be smoked out of their hideouts, which led to the operation.
She said, “We got information that these men and others still at large are members of a killer squad and also members of a secret society. The ZIS operatives moved into the community and three of them were apprehended. During a search of their hideout, three cut-to-size guns were recovered, as well as four cartridges. They confessed that their leader was killed by a rival gang and they went on a revenge mission, during which they killed one Lanre. They will be arraigned in court for offences bordering on cultism and murder.”