By Dayo Johnson, Akure
SEEKING spiritual assistance from Oladele Ayuba, an lslamic cleric in Arigidi-Akoko area of Akoko North West, Ondo State, after being battered by life challenges, is like jumping from frying pan to fire or, better still, entering the lions’ den to be devoured.
Instead of taking the burden off the shoulders of his clients, the cleric allegedly added to it by defrauding them and having carnal knowledge of some of the women.
He was alleged to have defrauded his clients to the tune of N36m after hypnotising them.
Sunday Vanguard investigation showed that the cleric, nicknamed ‘Young, also allegedly had his hands in kidnapping and ritual killings.
The paramount traditional ruler of the town, the Zaki of Arigidi-Akoko, Oba Yisa Olanipekun, banished Ayuba from the town following reports of his alleged shady deals.
Olanipekun wrote a letter to security agents to lodge a complaint on the alleged criminal activities of the cleric.
The Oba alleged that the cleric had his fingers in nefarious activities ranging from kidnapping to ritual killing, sex with childless women seeking spiritual help and fraud.
According to him, many alleged crimes said to have been committed in the town and environs were traceable to Ayuba.
The traditional ruler was quoted to have said that he did not want to see the suspect in his community anymore.
Ayuba is presently in the custody of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Ondo State Command.
Speaking on the activities of the suspect, a resident of Arigidi-Akoko revealed that Ayuba would instil fear in the minds of those seeking spiritual help from him after they might have been hypnotised and assured of spiritual cleansing.
It was learnt that his victims include those who visited him for solution to spiritual matters ranging from barrenness to lack of husband, spiritual attack, stagnation at work, lack of good job and terminal diseases.
“He would request for money from his clients to help them prepare fetish substances that would deliver them from their enemies”, the resident, who spoke anonymously for fear of reprisal, said.
The cleric reportedly had a shrine where, the moment victims entered, would lose their senses and then remotely be controlled to look for money at all costs.
Ayuba, according to one of the victims, always warned them not to tell anybody failure which their problems would double and they would eventually die.
He was paraded alongside two other suspects for alleged offences, including obtaining by false pretence, illegal possession of counterfeit money and vandalism of transformer, by the State Command of the NSCDC.
The Corps Commandant, Pedro Awili Ideba, gave the names of the two other suspects as Abiodun Oluwaseun and Jayeola Tosin.
Pedro said Ayuba, who claimed to be an Islamic cleric, was involved in advanced fee fraud and had duped many who went to him for prayer of various amounts ranging from N300, 000 to N36m.
According to him, “but he was arrested following a complaint by one of his victims, Tajudeen Ekundayo, who lost N4.3m”.
He went on, “Immediately the complaint was lodged at the Command headquarters, my men swung into action and arrested the man who is alleged to be the kingpin of a syndicate in Arigidi-Akoko while other members are still at large”.
Pedro alleged that several criminal activities, ranging from kidnapping to ritual killing and fraud, had been traced to the cleric who, according to him, hailed from Ilorin, Kwara State.
The Commandant recalled that Oba Olanipekun had petitioned the State Command of the NSCDC to lodge a complaint about “criminal activities, including kidnapping, ritual killing and fraud, traced to Ayuba”.
He added, “Oba Olanipekun has given instruction that he does not want to see the man in his community anymore because he is a bad example to youths”.
Sunday Vanguard was informed that youths of the town equally advised him to return to llorin where he came from.
Petrol said items recovered from the cleric include fetish items, blood stained clothes and a car with customised registration number ‘Young 1’.
Also paraded was one Abiodun Oluwaseun, who allegedly belonged to a gang which specialized in the printing and spending of counterfeit Naira, saying he was arrested after using N 24,000 fake N1, 000 notes to buy goods from a provision seller.
According to Pedro, the woman reported the case to the State Command and the men of the Corps trailed the syndicate and arrested one of its members while others remained at large.
The Commandant added that one Jayeola Tosin, known as Asala, was also arrested in Ikare-Akoko for vandalizing transformer cables.
According to him, the suspect was arrested by men of the Nigerian Army and handed over to the Corps for investigation.
Pedro assured that justice would prevail in all the matters.