By Ifeanyi Okolie
Three members of the Black Axe confraternity, also known as Aye, terrorising residents of Ijanikin, Iyano-Ishashi and Ojo areas of Lagos State, have been arrested by operatives of the Inspector General of Police Special Tactical Squad, STS, for killing no fewer than 11 persons in the last two years.
Vanguard gathered that the suspects, identified as Nasiru Bashiru, Kenneth Dike and Power Michael, were rounded up when they hacked a middle-aged man, identified as Walter, to death at the entrance of a popular hotel at Iyano-Sashi area of the state on July 21.
Police sources said the suspects and members of their cult, were arrested following a petition written to Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris.
It was learned that the IGP, acting on the petition, deployed a crack team of operatives of STS, led by an Inspector, Akan Smith, and the suspects were trailed to their hideout and arrested.
When Vanguard interviewed the suspects, they confessed to have taken part in killing of 11 persons in Ajegunle, Magbon and Ijanikin areas of Lagos State and admitted to have been present on the day Walter was killed.
I killed 6 rival cult members—Bashiru
30-year-old Bashiru, who is married with a child, confessed that he joined Aye Confraternity in 2012 after he was humiliated by some cultists in his neighbourhood.
He said: “As a trailer driver, I was always beaten up by some cultists and my money taken from me. Those boys used to extort me and called me a jew, meaning I was a nobody.
“When a member of our group, Destiny, was killed by members of Eiye confraternity, I was part of the group that retaliated. We killed three members of Eye at Magbon area.
“I held one of our victims as we shot all of them. They died on the spot before we left. After those killings, I ran to Ghana and learned internet fraud. When I returned to Nigeria, I also carried out three more killings.
“But on the night Walter was killed, I was at the hotel. I tried to warn him that members of our cult were laying ambush for him, but he did not listen. Walter was a member of Vikings cult and had killed several Black Axe members in the past.”
I killed 5—Power
Narrating his story, Power, 28, said: “I joined Aye in 2011 while in university. But I was expelled from the school over cult-related activities. When I came back home, I regrouped with members of my confraternity in Ojo and have carried out five different killings.
“My first mission was at Oko-Afor area of Badagry. I do not know the name of the person because I was invited to do the job. The second person was at Ijanikin, known as Badmos.
“He was a member of a rival cult group and I was assigned to kill him. The third person was at Kasidi area of Okokomiko. I was also invited to kill him. The fourth person I killed was one Asumo living in my area at Ketu. Asumo was a member of a rival cult group and had once attempted to kill me.
“The last person I killed was one Yusuf, who was also a friend to Asumo. After they attacked me, Yusuf ran to Ibadan to hide. I trailed him to Ibadan and I killed him. I didn’t take part in the killing of Walter, but I knew that he was going to be killed.
“Walter was the head of Arobaga, also known as Vikings operating in Alaba International Market. He killed one Theophilus two months ago who was a member of our group. The killing made us declare war against Arobaga.
“When he came to that hotel, which is in our area, I went to him and warned him to leave because there was plan to kill him. He also bought me a bottle of beer.
“But he was killed by one Bobo and some others whose name I don’t know. If Walter had listened to me he wouldn’t have been killed.”
Deputy Commissioner of Police in charge of the STS, Kolo Yusuf, insisted that STS would not relent in its effort at battling violent crimes.
He added that those arrested would be transferred to the homicide section of the Lagos State Police Command Criminal Investigation Department for prosecution.