Lagos: Ritualists arrested in tunnel burnt to death

The tunnel where the ritualists were hiding
The tunnel where the ritualists were hiding
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Lagos was yesterday in a frenzy, following the discovery of a den of ritualists in a tunnel at Obadeyi Bus Stop, Ijaiye-Ojokoro, along the Lagos-Abeokuta expressway.

Two suspected ritualists smoked out from the tunnel were burnt alive, while two others were arrested by policemen and soldiers.

Daily Sun gathered that at about 6am yesterday, some staff of Lagos State Waste Management Authority (LAWMA), responsible for sweeping the road, heard a woman shouting for help in a canal leading to the tunnel.

Concerned about the woman’s plight, the LAWMA staff alerted passersby, who attempted to enter the tunnel but could, as it was dark. The police and members of the vigilance group, Oodua Peoples Congress (OPC), were alerted.

An eyewitness, Wasiu Abiodun, told Daily Sun: “When we looked through the carnal, we saw pants and clothes believed to be from victims of ritual killings. There is a tunnel that links the two sides of the expressway.

“We called the police, who arrived in company of soldiers attached to OP MESA. When the security agencies came, some of us entered the tunnel, and heard footsteps of people running further into the tunnel under the expressway. We were able to catch four people in there.

“Two of them were of set ablaze. The other two were rescued from the crowd by the policemen and soldiers, who took them away.

“While the crowd was beating the two suspects, who were later set ablaze, one of them confessed that they were ritualists, who abducted people, killed them and used their body parts for rituals.”

He revealed that this confession infuriated the crowd, which descended on the suspects and set them, ablaze.

A member of the OPC, Jasmine, said the police were afraid to enter the tunnel, and boasted: “We entered, the tunnel was dark. We saw some charms and fetish objects; we also saw people’s clothes, but we did not see the woman who was crying for help.

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“One of the suspects who was set ablaze told us that they were 28 in number. Four suspects have been found. The police and Army took away one suspect each alive. So, we still have 24 in the tunnel. We will see to their end; if it is going to take a week, we will remain here until we fish them out.”

The DPO of Meiran Police Division, Chief Superintendent of Police Okoi A. Akpama, confirmed that a distress call was made to his station yesterday morning, prompting the dispatch of policemen to the scene.

He said before policemen arrived, one of the ritualists had been lynched and set ablaze.

He disclosed that the first detachment of policemen, seeing the mood of the crowd, called for reinforcement.

Daily Sun gathered that the Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Fatai Owoseni, has detailed the canine section to deploy sniffer dogs to the tunnel.

A senior police officer said two suspects had been lynched before the police arrived.

“We rescued one other, as he was about being lynched. There was a mammoth crowd at the scene, which caused gridlock on two sides of the expressway. The crowd chanted: ‘All we are saying, the ritualists must be fished out and their captives set free.’”

He said the police authorities had ordered some personnel to remain at the scene till the canal was fully accessed.

A resident of Odushola Avenue, Oduwole Adebayo, said he entered the tunnel with others, revealing: “There is no contradiction about it. The people seen and burnt were rituals. What will people be doing in a canal and a tunnel? I pass through the place daily. Why won’t I rejoice that they were arrested? It could have been me.

“If ritualists had been operating there without people and security agencies discovering it, then nobody is safe.”

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