By Evelyn Usman & Joseph Undu
LAGOS—Another suspected ritualists’ den was uncovered, yesterday, at Ile Zik Bus Stop, along Lagos/Abeokuta expressway, barely 24 hours after a similar discovery was made along same axis, during which two persons suspected to be operating in the den were set ablaze.
But for the swift arrival of policemen, led by the Commander, Rapid Response Squad, RRS, Assistant Commissioner Olatunji Disu, and his Operations counterpart from Lagos State Police Command, and other security agents, five persons suspected to be operating in the den would have been lynched.
Like the first discovery, yesterday’s den was said to be located in a manhole.
A lunatic with iPhone
Vanguard gathered that a suspected madman was found around the manhole making calls with an iPhone. Eyewitnesses claimed that he was heard saying ‘the people are there,’ a statement that arouse the suspicion of curious passers-by.
Eyewitnesses further stated that when accosted, the madman attempted to run inside the tunnel, but was apprehended and beaten to a pulp before the arrival of security agents, who rescued him from the mob.
It was gathered that he revealed that there were other members in the dark tunnel.
To ascertain his claim, Disu and other policemen went into the tunnel. While the search was on, three other persons, who reportedly ran out from different directions, were apprehended by the mob that threatened to lynch them, on the suspicion that they were ritualists.
The fifth suspect, who also escaped death by the whiskers from the mob, was a vulcaniser, who had his stand around Ile-Zik.
The wall of a warehouse close to Ile-Zik Bus Stop was brought down by the mob that alleged that ritualists used the place to perpetrate their atrocities. This compelled security agents to conduct a search on the building and also prevented the mob from setting it on fire.
The five suspects have been taken to State Criminal Investigations and Intelligence Department, Panti.
After the search that lasted hours, nothing suggestive of the allegation was found in the building, with a mammoth crowd taking over the expressway, hindering the free flow of traffic.
However, the Commissioner of Police, Lagos State Police Command, Fatai Owoseni, described claims that the tunnel was a ritualists den as false.
He said rather that destitute resided there.
His words: “We have to stop this culture of jungle justice and allow the law take its course. This matter is a pure case of destitute and not ritualists.