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Suspected Ritualists, Kidnappers Killed, Arrested in Lagos

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By Tajudeen Balogun

LAGOS, NIGERIA (AFRICAN EXAMINER) – About five suspected ritualists were burnt to death Tuesday at an underground where they operate by Obadeyi bus stop, in Ojokoro LCDA along the Lagos-Abeokuta expressway.

The syndicate met their waterloo when they dragged a nursing mother Tuesday morning into the basement, but raised alarm by shouting ”help! help!! help!!!” as she struggled to escape from the suspected ritualist and kidnappers.

AFRICAN EXAMINER correspondent who visited the scene gathered that the noise made by the victim drew the attention of the Lagos State Waste management Authority (LAWMA) highway sweepers, after which they also mobilized for help from the residents and passers-by.

It was gathered that the mob first captured the suspect whose task is to attract the attention of the unsuspecting victim close to the basement which is on the Lagos-Ogun Toll-gate inward Abule Egba/Iyana Ipaja side.

Another suspect said to be on operation was also captured by the mob. It was leant that angry mob immediately set the first suspect on fire.

However, our Correspondent gathered that before being set ablaze, a team of Policemen was passing by and stoped when they saw the crowd with the suspects. The policemen instead of supporting the mob to apprehend other members of the gang, as well as prevent ”jungle justice” from being meted out to the victims allegedly shot into the air and left.

It was gathered that immediately after the team of policemen left, the mob set the first suspect on fire.

Again, as the suspect is being set ablaze, a team of OP MESA was also driving by and they stopped to find out what was going on. It was learnt that the OP MESA and another team of RRS from Area G called the Lagos Fire Service, which quenched the fire on the suspect.

Later, the first suspect was finally burnt to death by the mob as the Police and army declined to carry him.

The second suspect being captured by the mob was taken away by a team of Policemen from Ojokoro Police Station.

AFRICAN EXAMINER spoke with the RRS men who were at the scene of the incident. They explained that they were on patrol when they saw the crowd and stopped to find out what was going on.

Other suspects, who at different times captured by the crowd in the basement were also burnt to death.

RRS operatives told our Correspondent that it was difficult for them to prevent the first suspect form jungle justice, adding that there was nothing Police was going to do with the ritualist and suspected kidnapper since he has been burnt.

It was gathered that at the point of capturing him, the burnt suspect (before being finally set ablaze) swallowed an object believed to be talisman and vowed that he would not confess no matter how severe the situation might be.

While AFRICAN EXAMINER Correspondent was still at the scene, the crowd shouted that another member of the gang has been captured inside the big canal. The suspect was also taken away by the policemen.

The suspect allegedly confessed that the underground has been in existence for about 21 years ago, while they have killed 24 victims in the underground.

It was said that the clothes, ID cards, uniforms and passports of the victims were later found in the basement which extends to Ajala, the next bus stop to Obadeyi bus stop. It was gathered that there are many entrances which lead to the underground.

The woman who raised the alarm was said to have been rescued and since left the scene.

AFRICAN EXAMINER witnessed when an Army officer and an official of the Nigeria Security Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) jumped into the basement in search of other syndicate members, but after about three minutes, came out without any result.

Our Correspondent leant that the Ojokoro Police Station DPO earlier made a brief visit to the scene and left shortly after without speaking to the journalists who sought his attention.

AFRICAN EXAMINER also called him on his mobile line as well as sent message to him, but without any response.

Another team of RRS on the order of its Commander ACP Olatunji Disu also visited the scene of the incident while our Correspondent was still at the scene.

The incident caused traffic snarl on both side of the road, while the combined team of traffic Policemen and other security operatives had a tough time in controlling traffic and crowd on the express.


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