By Suliat Elemosho
The Divisional Police Officer, DPO in -charge of Igando division, Lagos narrowly escaped death during an attack on him and a team of policemen by cultists around a popular hotel in Igando area of Lagos.
The DPO , Ogoezi Rawlings, who got information that some cultists were forcefully initiating some youths inside the hotel, stormed there with a view to rescuing the defenceless victims, at the weekend.
Vanguard gathered that one of the victims who managed to escape from the initiation, after his phone seized by leader of the cult group identified simply as SS, reported the group’s mission to the Police .
However , on arriving the hotel located at Afolabi bus-stop at midnight, the private guards , some of who were said to be members of the cult group who positioned outside to wade off any intruder, prevented the policemen from entering.
A heated argument said to have alerted other members of the cult group ensued . The suspected cultists were said to have fled into the dark in the process. But one of them as gathered, attempted to disarm the DPO . The suspect was said to have hit the DPO with an iron rod on his right shoulder in a bid to escape. The impact of the iron rod, led to a bone fracture .
As at yesterday the DPO still had Plaster of Paris on his right shoulder.
Police sources hinted that three persons had been arrested in connection with the attack.
But Police sources said : “It was not the cult boys that injured the DPO. He was mistakenly hit with a police baton by one of the policemen who stormed the hotel, in his bid to hit a private guard who did not allow the policemen entrance . But the DPO endured the pain because he did not want his men to attack the private guards, in order not to lead to any harm on those they went to rescue. It was not until he got to the office that he opened up on what transpired .”
An Assistant Manager at the hotel who gave his name simply as Ade , denied allegation that the hotel was being used for criminal purposes.
He said : “This allegation of cult group meeting here is unknown to us. Whenever we see some strange people visiting our hotel, we would ask them to go. Yes, we know two of the suspects arrested. They are Emmanuel and Sandra . But there was no initiation exercise in our hotel.
The DPO was injured while he and his men were dragging Taiwo, our private guard outside . He mistakenly hit his hand on the wall”