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Sunday, 6 November 2016

Rapists unleash terror on Ikorodu community

Afeez Hanafi reports that Ibeshe; a drowsy area in Ikorodu, Lagos State, is in the throes of vicious crime

For some time, communities in Ibeshe in Ikorodu area of Lagos State have not known peace. Residents sleep with their eyes open.

The fear of a group, Badoo, notorious for raping women and inflicting injuries on their victims, is making them have sleepless nights.

The palpable panic heightened on Thursday when a member of the infamous gang struck again.

This time, a 62-year-old widow identified only as Mrs. Ogunleye, and her two children, Seun and Funlola, were the targets.

The victims, currently in critical condition at the Ikorodu General Hospital, lived in Ibefun in the Owode-Ibeshe area.

SUNDAY PUNCH learnt that the rapist gained access to the family’s apartment and hacked his victims with a cutlass, leaving the family in a pool of blood.

He said “The woman’s husband died long time ago and she has been taking care of their two children alone. The boy that attacked them is a student.A resident, who identified himself only as Seye, said the attack had ritual undertone, adding that the victims could only shout for help after their assailant had fled.

“It was around 7am that the woman and her children cried for help. People rushed into their residence and took them to the hospital. Their faces were covered in blood.”

The PUNCH had reported series of terror unleashed by the gang on communities within Ibeshe.

It will be recalled that one of the group’s members on Friday, October 21, attacked two couples in two separate houses at Oluwoye community, killing a pregnant woman and injuring others, including two kids – Rodiat, 6, and five-year-old Opeyemi.
The attacked sexagenarian
The attacker, it was learnt, gained access to one of the couple’s apartment around 2am that day through the window and killed the 30-year-old pregnant woman, Afusat Yusuf, after a failed attempt to rape her. The deceased’s husband, Kazeem, was also hacked by the assailant when he tried to engage him in a fight.

Not satisfied with his dastardly acts, the assailant went to a neighbouring building and unleashed terror on another couple, 52-year-old Sunday Robert and his wife, before he fled the area.

On June 5, Badoo struck at Oke Ota community, also in Ibeshe, raped and killed a 27-year-old Ghanaian, identified as Obinna. Her nine-month-old baby was rescued by residents in a pool of blood.

About a month after, on July 9, the gang attacked one 60-year-old Francisca and blinded her 10-year-old daughter, Marvellous.

On Saturday, July 23, one of the assailants sneaked into a Celestial Church of Christ in Itesiwaju community – a suburb of Ibese – while a vigil was ongoing and abducted an eight-year-old girl. He raped the girl to a coma but was caught later that day and set ablaze by a mob.

The police had arrested a suspected member of the gang sometime in June.  In the wake of Thursday’s occurrence, SUNDAY PUNCH gathered that residents went out en masse to protest against the incessant attacks.

“It was some community leaders who prevailed on us to stop the protest. We are tired of these attacks. We have cried out to the Lagos State Government but no help is forthcoming. Our lives are seriously in danger.

“We have vigilantes in the community, but this menace is beyond what they alone can tackle. They were on duty when the incident happened. We really need government to help us tackle members of the gang and their sponsors,” one of the protesters said.

A community leader, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the most recent case was reported at the Ipakodo Police Division, adding that the Divisional Police Officer visited the hospital where the victims were admitted.

A resident, who identified himself simply as Adisa, lamented the spate of attacks on residents of Ibeshe community and its environs, saying the government had not made significant moves to address the attacks.

“Residents are moving out of the community because there is no solution in sight to these attacks. Those of us who do not have anywhere to run to are living in fear. The government has not come to our aid despite our outcry,” he lamented.

Another resident, who spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of being hunted by the gang, said the community had petitioned the Lagos State Government without getting meaningful results.

He said, “We have gone to the governor’s office to make complaints but there is no response yet. We also met with the Senior Special Assistant to Governor Akinwunmi Ambode on Community Affairs.”

Commenting on the recent attack in the Ibeshe area by the notorious group, the police spokesperson in Lagos, SP Dolapo Badmos, said there was a directive to the new Divisional Police Officer in the area to arrest those behind the attacks.

Badmos said, “We received the report; good enough there is no death recorded. The Commissioner of Police has directed the new DPO there to fish out the culprit and apply the concept of community policing to end the criminality.”

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