Angry residents of Ikorodu, Lagos State, went berserk in the early hours of Sunday, lynching three suspected members of the notorious ritual cult, Badoo, in the Odogunyan area.
This is just as the police said over 100 persons suspected to be members of the cult had been arrested during raids on Bayeku, Ipakodo, Ibeshe and Odongunyan, among other communities in Ikorodu.
The arrest followed The PUNCH’s report on the spate of killings by the cult that had murdered no fewer than 26 residents and injured several others within a year.
The casualties were recorded in 15 attacks from June 5, 2016 to June 28, 2017 and the story published on Friday, July 30.
PUNCH Metro learnt that the residents, who had decided to keep vigils in securing themselves and their families, flagged down a Honda-Compact Recreational Vehicle with three occupants at about 2am on Sunday on Oduyebo Street, near Odogunyan bus stop.
Our correspondent gathered that a big stone and some quantities of diesel were found in the vehicle.
The vigilantes reportedly asked them where they were heading for and the reason for having the objects in the vehicle, especially the stone, which Badoo members usually used to smash heads of their victims.
It was said that when the occupants could not give convincing answers, the residents beat them up and eventually set them and the CRV ablaze.
A resident of the area, Olakunle Wahab, said the suspects confessed to being members of the cult before they were lynched.
He said, “The three persons were in a CRV without a number plate. They were stopped and asked where they were going to, but they could not give a satisfactory answer. A big stone was found in the vehicle. As they were being beaten up, they demanded to be handed over to the police.
“But the vigilantes claimed that they would be freed if they were handed over to the police. In fact, the mob chased away a police patrol team that came to rescue the suspects.”
A member of Onyabo, a local vigilance group in the community, Morufu Ojoge, told PUNCH Metro that the suspects said they were going to tow a vehicle, which broke down somewhere.
“They were asked to call somebody they knew on the telephone, but they could not do so. When their vehicle was searched, a big stone and some other objects were found there. They had been lynched before my colleagues and I got to the scene,” he added.
A Facebook user, Eniola Jackson, posted on a forum, Ikorodu Ambassadors, on Sunday, saying the gang had wanted to strike at Ojogbe, Ikorodu, but the attack was foiled by the barks of a dog.
He wrote, “The people of Ojogbe (Beach Road), Ikorodu cannot sleep. Youths, women, and the entire people of Ojogbe are outside their house currently; they can’t sleep. They are outside their rooms securing their lives with weapons.
“They are having sleepless nights just because of this notorious killer-cult, Badoo. Information got to us that Badoo gang visited the community, but was unable to successfully execute their task. Baba Obina’s dog did not allow them. The dog barked so much that everyone in the community rushed out with weapons.
“Before the notorious killers ran away, they hit the dog with their weapons and this morning (Sunday), the dog died.”
Meanwhile, the Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer, ASP Olarinde Famous-Cole, who confirmed the lynching, said the command had arrested more than 100 suspected Badoo members during raids on Ikorodu on Saturday.
He said the raids were carried out by a joint team of operatives of the Rapid Response Squad, the Lagos State Task Force and men of the command, as well as vigilance groups.
The PPRO urged residents to desist from jungle justice, adding that the police would go after perpetrators and bring them to justice.
He said, “Apart from the overt raids, there were also covert raids and over 100 suspected Badoo members have been arrested.
“It is a continuous operation and we will rid Ikorodu of criminals.
“We will screen the suspects to determine those who are likely to be innocent and those that will be charged to court.
“Also, our operatives responded to a distress call from some residents of Odogunyan in the early hours of today (Sunday) that some suspects were apprehended. Before we got there, they had been lynched.
“By so doing, the information needed has been destroyed. It was also possible that innocent persons were lynched.”