By Evelyn Usman
The Police in Lagos State have arrested 32 suspected cultists in different parts of the state, recovering various weapons used during cult clashes.
Among those arrested was 25-year-old Ismaila Rasaq, who was alleged to also be leader of a notorious robbery gang that had been terrorizing owners of restaurants, bars and shops in Okokomaiko, Ajagbandi and Ojo axis, using motorbikes.
The suspect, who confessed to be Second-in-Command of Eiye within Ojo area, also disclosed that members of his group had launched an attack at a college of education in Ijanikin area and was also responsible for the death of a suspected member of a rival group at Ojo, earlier this year.
Asked why the rival member was killed, Rasaq said: “He was killed in retaliation over the killing of one of our members by his group. During any clash, we use guns and axes on our victims. Some of them die in the process.”
How CCTV exposed Rasaq
Vanguard gathered that Rasaq was arrested following a closed circuit television, CCTV, footage of him during a robbery operation at a Naija Bet shop at Iba area of the state, last month. In the footage, he was seen holding a gun alongside three other members of his gang.
Confirming that the person in the CCTV footage was him, Rasaq said his gang only collected cash and telephones from their victims during the operation, adding that no one was shot or injured.
Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Elkana Bala, who confirmed the arrest, said he was arrested by policemen attached to Ilemba Hausa Division, led by the Divisional Police Officer, CSP Kazeem Abonde, over the weekend.
Bala said: “The suspect confirmed that his gang members were killed by SARS operatives in a shootout during another robbery operation at Iba. The suspect has been on the wanted list of Police.
“The state Commissioner of Police, Zubairu Muazu, has ordered SARS to take over the investigation and prosecution of the suspect. ”
Similarly, Bala said, operatives of the Anti-Cultism Unit of the command arrested a suspected member of Eiye confraternity, Suleiman Afeez, 32, yesterday, at Mosafejo Amukoko Street, Ajegunle, with a locally-made single-barrelled pistol with a live round of cartridge.
The suspect, according to him, confessed during interrogation to be a member of Aiye confraternity, adding that he and members of his group were responsible for series of violent crimes in Ajegunle.
He said all suspects would be charged to court.