The resurgence of killings among rival cult gangs in Igbogbo area of Igbogbo/Bayeku Local Council Development Area, Ikorodu Division, Lagos, Southwest, Nigeria, has claimed about ten lives in about eight days.
A suspected notorious killer and member of the Axe cult group, Anuoluwapo Mogaji, a 27 year-old indigene of Ikorodu popularly called ‘Dada Kettle’, and who has been on the wanted list of the Police Command in Ikorodu and the local vigilance team, Onyabo and other community policing outfits, was apprehended on Thursday, May 21,2020.
He was arrested with one Samson Isaac, a 26 year-old indigene of Ondo State who was attached to guard him.
THE IMPACT gathered that security personnel have been on the trail of for some time now and was nabbed at her wife’s place in Igbogbo, where, we gathered, he had gone to give his family upkeep money.
It was further gathered that prior to his arrest on Thursday, Dada Kettle had visited Ladega, a major hotspot in Ikorodu and his birthplace. He was alleged to have terrorised the area and also attempted to kill a guy but was prevented by a member of the Odua People Congress (OPC).
Though, he and his team did not succeed in their mission, but they did not leave the area without creating a scene.
He was said to have shot into the air severally to scare the residents of the area and create panic.
It was also gathered that another wanted notorious Axe cult leader, identified as ‘MTN’, was almost apprehended on that Thursday night when security men led by the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) of Ikorodu Police Headquarters, Mr Balogun, gave the suspect a hot pursue but he was said to have managed to escape.
The source stated that MTN escaped because the new DPO and his men did not recognise him until their attention was drawn to him.
THE IMPACT gathered that the recent resurgence in gang killings started about eight days ago when one Kazeem Allison, a suspected Eiye cult member, was killed at Igbe close to a popular hotel.
The Ikorodu Police Command was reported to have retrieved Kazeem’s corpse.
Two days later, one Apetu, a leader of Axe cult group, was also killed around 8.00pm in what some of his colleagues saw as a retaliation and his corpse was allegedly removed by some of his colleagues before the security team could arrived at the scene.
THE IMPACT also gathered that on Wednesday, May 20, when the cultists went to bury Apetu at Oreta, one Jalo, who was said not to have belong to any of the cult groups, was allegedly killed.
It was gathered that Jalo was mistaken by his killers for his younger brother whom, we gathered, is a cult member being trailed by the Axe cult members.
The killings of the five members of the rivalry cult groups was alleged to have been the reason for the resurgence of the gang war which has once again thrown Igbogbo and Ikorodu into a state of panic.
Also on that Thursday, another suspected cult member was killed at Ibeshe and his corpse was said to have been retrieved by the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) in Ipakodo.
Speaking with Chief Lanre Olabinjo, the Deputy Commandant of Onyabo Vigilance Group, he stated that a combined security team in Ikorodu to man was deployed to man strategic points which are known to be notorious cultists dens to stem further gang war after the deadly attacks last Wednesday.
“We started hearing that they were converging on Macaulay, Agunfoye, Solomade and other areas to launch counter attacks”, he said.
“We have to put our tactical team on ground which led to the arrest of one of the notorious cultists, popularly called ‘Dada Kettle’, and a leading member of the Axe killer squad”.
He confirmed to our reporter that the suspected cult leader, Dada Kettle, went to Ladega to carry out a murder and in the process disturbed the peace of the area but was prevented from carrying out the alleged murder act.
“He went to Ladega on Wednesday and attempted to kill a man with his squad but he was prevented by one OPC guy and that made him shot severally into the air to scare the people away before leaving the area.
“We have been trailing him since then until he was apprehended on Thursday”, Chief Olabinjo said.
When Dada Kettle was taken to Ladega on Thursday after his arrest, our reporter gathered that a lot of people were shouting at him and swearing at him and also prayed that he will never come out of the travails.
They alleged that he has been killing their sons and disturbing their peace.
We also gathered that he was also taken to Ibeshe and other areas where he has been perpetrating heinous acts.
At the police station where he was confronted with evidences of some of his criminal operations, THE IMPACT gathered that he confessed that they have about four killer groups in the Axe cult group, while adding that Derbie, Starlight (presently in prison for cult related activities) and Assignment are among those that are carrying out various operations for the cult group.
THE IMPACT gathered he also listed members of each of the killer squad to the police.
According to our sources, Dada Kettle also confessed that he belongs to Starlight’s killer squad. He also alleged to have said that he’s presently the leader of the group since Starlight is now in prison.
THE IMPACT also gathered that Dada Kettle did not really confessed to the direct involvement in the killings of victims he was accused of but he accepted that he was always with his group whenever they strike.
We also gathered that the leader of the cult gang that normally assigns those to be killed is one Baba (not real name) in Igbogbo. It was gathered that the said leader specializes in harbouring of guns which he allegedly releases to these killer squads whenever he send them out for operations.
Reliable sources within the combined security team, who were present during Dada Kettle’s interrogation, also informed THE IMPACT that he claimed that the said leader does not always tell them the reason for killing other faction members but that they have to carried out such assignments whenever they are asked to.
Our reporter further gathered that the notorious cultist accepted to have killed two guys directly – Gbendu who was killed at the back of Ansar –ul- Deen Mosque in Solomade,Ikorodu, and another guy at the back of Conoil at Ikorodu garage roundabout.
The Onyabo leader, speaking further with our reporter, said: “In fact, he confessed to have participated in many operations long time ago which he could actually recalled because they were many.
“When he was confronted with some of these operations in which he killed many people, he only said, ‘ha ha ha ha’. His memory came back but he found it difficult to deny the killings because he was caught in the act”, Lanre said.
The leader of the community vigilance team also stated that necessary evidences have been given to appropriate authorities to assist them in establishing good case against the suspect, adding that he has also offered himself to testify in court against him.
“I have given necessary information to the appropriate quarters regarding what Dada Kettle has done over the years and l have also told them that I will be available anytime they call me to testify against him. We have so many evidences against him”, Lanre said
“Sometime about four years ago, they killed one Nurudeen called ‘Nero’ who was a Welder and not a cultist. That Nero was close to 40 years old then. We did the Coroner and all necessary tests regarding his murder and eye witnesses said they saw him (Dada Kettle) when the murder took place.
“He killed him at Ladega. That is just one of those evidences against him”.
Our tactical team are still on ground and we are going to get them all. They cannot escape from us”, he stated while referring to other cultists on the run.
“We have arrested many but our major focus are on those that have been involved in the wanton killings. There are some of them that got into the gang ignorantly and are not participating in any dastard act. Even some of them help us with information.
“We know those ones that are involved in killing and once we get those ones out of circulation, we will have total peace in Ikorodu.
Meanwhile, the combined security team, led by the Ikorodu DPO, are on the trail of the cult kingpins and others that are involved in cult related activities in many parts of Ikorodu.
THE IMPACT gathered that the new DPO has been well briefed about how these suspected notorious cultists are easily left off the hook by the police when they are apprehended and he is doing everything to establish a watertight evidences to ensure that any apprehended cultists account for his deeds.
Sources within the police command in Ikorodu also informed THE IMPACT that the DPO is doing everything to rid Ikorodu of cult related activities as ordered by the Commissioner of Police in the State and also ready to work with community security outfits in achieving this.
The new DPO, who has brought sanity into the Ikorodu Divisional Police Headquarters, we gathered, has also given police officers under his command marching order on his new mission failure of which they would get themselves to be blamed.