Cult clashes claim four lives in Lagos

Four persons reportedly died in clashes between two rival cults in the Odogunyan area of Ikorodu and Itire in Lagos State on Friday and Saturday.

In Odogunyan, it was learnt that three persons were killed around the Power Line area, near the First Gate.

A tricycle rider was said to have been hit in the arms by bullets from the hoodlums.

A source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said she did not know what triggered the clash between members of the Aiye and Eiye confraternities, but noted that the area was under siege for the period the clash lasted.

Another source told one of our correspondents that the fight had not ended as both groups had vowed to deal with each other.

The source stated, “The fight has not ended. On Saturday, the police and local vigilantes in the area recovered three bodies. Many of the Aiye and Eiye members were arrested on Saturday in connection with the killings and the unrest in the area.

“About 74 of the cult members have been arrested and are being detained at the Sagamu Road Police Station, Ikorodu, since the crisis started. A police source told me that the operation is continuing as many of the cult members are being picked up daily.

“The operation is being carried out by the police and the Onyabo local vigilante group. Since the crisis started, about  14 persons have been killed. But those killed on Friday were three.”

In the Itire area of the state, a suspected cultist, Aliu Lamidi, was reportedly stabbed to death by a member of a rival group during a supremacy battle on Saturday.

According to PUNCH Metro, the clash between members of the Aiye and Eiye confraternities also led to the burning of three vehicles and escalated tension in the area.

It was gathered that Lamidi was stabbed in the neck allegedly by the son of the owner of a hotel in the area during an argument  that broke out between members of the rival cults, who were said to be drinking at a bar in the hotel.

The state Police Public Relations Officer, Bala Elkana, said in a statement on Sunday that the suspect, who stabbed Lamidi, absconded after perpetrating the crime, adding that the victim died while being rushed to hospital.

He stated that 10 suspects had been arrested in connection with the crime, adding that men of the command had been deployed to restore normalcy in the area.

Elkana said, “On Saturday, September 21, 2019, around 10.50pm, the police received a distress call about a fire outbreak at the Chukwuma Hotel by Babashola Street, Itire. A combined team of policemen and firefighters were mobilised to the scene. The fire was eventually extinguished. Preliminary investigation revealed that the fire was ignited by some members of the Eiye and Aiye confraternities, who clashed at a bar in the hotel.

“Trouble started around 10pm when an argument ensued between members of the two rival gangs at the bar. The son of the owner of the hotel, who is now at large, was said to have stabbed a member of a rival gang, Aliu Lamidi, 29, in the neck. The victim was rushed to hospital where he eventually died.

“Three vehicles that were parked by the roadside were also burnt. Ten suspects were arrested in connection with the incident. Security has been beefed up in the affected area. Investigation is ongoing and the suspects will be charged.”

In another development, a pastor, David Daniel, has been arrested for sexually assaulting a woman under the pretext of delivering her from spiritual problems in the Ejigbo area of the state.

Elkana said Daniel, during a visit to the victim’s shop, claimed that she had spiritual problems and sexually assaulted her while delivering her at her residence.

The PPRO stated, “On Tuesday, September 17, 2019, around 8.45pm, the victim, a resident of No. 31 Olarenwaju Street, Ejigbo, Lagos, reported at the Ejigbo Police Station that one David Daniel, 41, came to her shop at No. 2 Ailegun Road, Ejigbo, under the pretext of being a prophet sent to her by God. Daniel claimed that he saw a vision that she was having spiritual problems and fibroid would grow in her womb in the future.

“He collected N3,050 from her and a bottle of perfume worth N1,000 for the spiritual cleansing. She stated further that the suspect followed her to her house and ordered her to remove her clothes for him to rob anointing oil on her buttocks. She became apprehensive when she noticed that the suspect was masturbating when robbing the anointing oil on her buttocks. The suspect was arrested and charged for indecent assault and was remanded in the Kirikiri Prison.”

In another development, personnel from the Traffic Division of the Ejigbo Police Division have arrested two suspects, Gift Michael and Nkem Douglas, for selling babies in the state.

According to Elkana, Douglas, who is an unregistered nurse, runs a maternity, Flofidel Clinic and Maternity Homes, at two locations in the state, and was arrested alongside Michael, when an angry mob, who were suspicious of their activities, found a newborn baby in their possession.

He said, “On Monday, August 26, 2019, around 3.30pm, a police officer attached to the Motor Traffic Division of the Ejigbo Police Division, while controlling traffic at the Jakande Estate gate, noticed a sort of commotion close to her traffic point. She intervened and discovered that a woman, Gift Michael, 24, was found with a suspected newborn baby. In her company was her madam, Florence Douglas, 50, both of the Ijegun area of Isheri.

“They were about to be mobbed due to the alarm raised by those, who had been trailing them from their residence in Ijegun, as the whole community had been suspecting them for being in the business of buying and selling of babies at the clinic.”

Elkana said during interrogation, Douglas confessed that the baby found in their possession was brought from Gombe State, adding that they were on their way to Akure, Ondo State, to sell the baby for N500,000 when they were accosted by the mob.

He said, “Investigation revealed that Florence Douglas, a native of Igueben in Edo State, who is not a registered nurse, operates two maternity clinics, Flofidel Clinic and Maternity Homes, with branches at No. I82 Shosanya Street, Ijegun Road, and Okunola Ijagemo area of the state. On interrogation, Florence admitted to have been in the business of selling babies for a while and that a baby girl was referred  to as ‘Pink’, while a baby boy was called ‘Blue’, with both sexes were being referred to as ‘Market’.

“The rescued baby, who appeared sick with symptoms of jaundice, was promptly taken to hospital for medical attention. Worthy of mention are pictures of about 50 different babies on the phones of the suspects, who were suspected to have already been sold off. Babies are usually sold for between N500,000 and N1m, depending on their sex.”

In a related development, two suspected armed robbers, Seyi Ogundele and Ogunmola Akintola, have been arrested by men of the Ejigbo Police Division for robbing residents of the area of their valuables.

Elkana said the suspects were arrested during a raid on their hideout at Coker junction, Ejigbo, adding that Ogundele and Akintola would be charged.

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