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22 Nov 2018

Suspected Cultists arrested for terrorising Lagos community with murder

The residents of Iju Ishaga community of Lagos State have heaved a sigh of relief following the arrest of four suspected cult members said to be terrorising the area by the police.

PUNCH Metro gathered that the suspects: Tobi Popoola, 24; Collins Osobase, 25; Babajide Ishola, 28; and Abraham Amos, 24, were members of the Eiye confraternity, which is notorious for disrupting the peace in the Iju Ishaga area.

It was learnt that the suspects as well as other members of their gang still at large, often engaged in supremacy fights as an opportunity to rob people of their belongings at gunpoint.

A petition written to the police by the Iju Ishaga Security Association alleged that the suspects had killed eight security personnel over the years.

One of the residents, Ibrahim Olugbode, said the activities of the cultists had given the community sleepless nights until they were eventually arrested.

The 70-year-old Oyo State indigene said, “I live in the Abekoko area of Iju, Lagos. I was once robbed in my residence by these cultists. On October 26, 2o17, the head of the vigilante group of our area was killed as the cultists  hit him with a sledgehammer on the head.

“The whole community has not been able to arrest the killers and we have had to report the case at various police stations around our area. After the vigilante was killed, the boys have been committing series of robberies and killings in the community.

“All these incidents were  giving us sleepless nights, and that was why we had to  petition the Lagos State Commissioner of Police to help in bringing these boys to justice.”

It was gathered that one of the suspects, Popoola, was arrested following a complaint by a resident, who was robbed.

Popoola reportedly confessed to the crime and revealed the identities of the other members of his gang.

Upon his arrest, Ishola stated that he was the leader of the group and admitted to the crime of murder.

He reportedly said, “I became an armed robber three years ago. I became the leader of the gang when I defeated the former leader in a duel. I am also a member of the Eiye confraternity. Each time we went to rob, we would start a fight. We seized the opportunity to rob people at gunpoint.

“I have been to prison three times and the last time I was remanded in the Kirikiri prison, I spent nine months there. I was the one who killed one Kunle at Ajuwon alongside my gang members. We all escaped and we were not arrested for the crime. Some of the other murder cases happened when I was in prison and I do not know anything about them.”

The suspects were subsequently arraigned before an Ogba Magistrates’ Court on four counts bordering on armed robbery and murder.

The charge read in part, “That you, Tobi Popoola, Collins Osobase, Babajide Ishola, Abraham Amos and others still at large, on June 12, 2018, at around 5.30am along the Balogun Iju Ishaga area of Lagos, in the Lagos Magisterial District, did conspire among yourselves to commit felony to wit; armed robbery.

“That you, Tobi Popoola, Collins Osobase, Babajide Ishola, Abraham Amos and others still at large, on July 5, 2017, between 1am and 5am at Ajibose Street, Iju Ishaga, Lagos, in the aforementioned magisterial district, whilst armed with one locally-made pistol, one double-barrelled locally-made pistol loaded with three cartridges, a dagger, a cutlass, one battle axe and other weapons, did unlawfully killed one Adetunji Balogun a.k.a Baba Elehoro.”

The police prosecutor, Abiola Adewale, said the offences contravened Sections 299, 297 (1)(2)(a)(b), and 223 of the Criminal Laws of Lagos State, 2015.

The presiding magistrate, W. A. Salami, ordered that the defendants be remanded in prison pending the advice of the state’s Director of Public Prosecutions.

He adjourned the case till December 13, 2018.

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