Residents of Ire Akari Crescent, Pipeline, Ajuwon Akute, Ogun State, were confused on Friday when operatives of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad, Lagos State Police Command, stormed the area and marked a fenced bungalow in the community as a kidnappers’ den.
On the structure was boldly written in red, ‘Armed robbers/ Kidnappers/ murderers’ den. Please keep off, SARS, Ikeja’. The inscription on the gates added to the puzzle of residents, but they later got to know that the remains of a missing woman and her daughter were exhumed from the structure by men of Lagos State SARS.
PUNCH Metro learnt that a suspected kidnapper, Alhaji Olatunde Azeez, allegedly killed an ex-customs officer and her adopted 10-year-old daughter, and led the SARS operatives to the building. The suspect was also said to have confessed to be the owner of the building.
It was further learnt that the ex-customs officer, Angela Kery, and the young girl, simply identified as Obiagulum, had been declared missing from home since May 10.
It was learnt that after a series of investigations which led to the arrest of Azeez, the suspect confessed to have killed the missing woman and her daughter and buried them in the structure.
When our correspondent visited the area on Saturday, residents were seen at the building.
The structure is a white bungalow, while its gates are painted in grey. It also has a barb-wired fence around it. Our correspondent also observed a heavy presence of policemen. Three patrol vans which belonged to the Ajuwon, and Ojodu Abiodun police divisions, were parked on the street.
A policeman explained that many of them were deployed in the building to ensure that angry youths did not raze it or loot the structure.
Many residents in the area said they had never met the owner of the structure, adding that the gates of the compound were always locked.
A landlord in the area, who craved anonymity, said, “We never knew who the owner of the house was. It was usually locked and I have yet to observe any form of human presence. Now it is shocking to realise that it is a kidnappers’ den. That means all of us are not safe.
“We learnt that the victims had been buried in the sitting room. They said ritual killers had killed a woman and her daughter and buried them.”
Another resident, who identified herself simply as Mrs. Adedotun, claimed that the suspect owned a hospital and a petrol station in other areas of Lagos and Ogun states.
“I heard he is also called Doctor because he runs a hospital. Some people call him Alhaji. He scarcely comes to stay in the house. We never knew it was because he had buried two human beings in his compound,” she noted.
Till about 2pm when our correspondent left the area, crowds continued to troop into the area as motorcyclists had a very busy day conveying the anxious people.
The Lagos State Police spokesperson, Ngozi Braide, said she would call our correspondent back, which she had yet to do as of the time of going to press.
But the acting Police Public Relations Officer, Ogun State Police Command, Abimbola Opeyemi, confirmed the incident.
He said, “Actually, it is not our case. The case belongs to the SARS of the Lagos State Police command. But we brought our men from Ajuwon to ensure that people in the area do not burn the structure. They are still patrolling the area as I speak to you.” Punch