Wale JAGUN & Jare OLUKOTUN
-Suspects are members of Black Axe, not Eiye, says renounced Eiye Confraternity leader
-Soldiers warn public to be wary of fake soldiers working for ‘landgrabbers’
-7military imposters, pipeline vandals arrested
The Nigerian Army troops in Lagos and Ogun states recently arrested 23 suspected cultists in the Eginrin Depression area of Ikorodu Division of Lagos State, Southwest, Nigeria.
The arrest was made while over 50 suspected cultists from “Eiye” confraternity were conducting physical training and initiation for new recruits as well as planning robbery/kidnap attacks.
A statement, also signed by Lieutenant Colonel Daudu, stated that the arrest was made possible following an intensive surveillance and intelligence report to uncover the locations and activities of the cult group.
Daudu explained that there was a shootout between the troops of 174 Battalion Ikorodu and the cultists after which 23 of the suspected cultists were arrested while others escaped.
He said: “Two of the suspects sustained varying degrees of gunshots wounds, one of the suspected newly recruited cultist died as a result of injuries inflicted on him during the cult initiation.
“However, one of the gallant soldiers while combatting the cultists sustained a gunshot wound on his left leg during the encounter and was immediately evacuated.
“The soldier and the two wounded cultists are receiving treatment at the Battalion’s Medical Reception Station”.
According to the statement, 1 locally made double barrel pistol, 5 live cartridges, 5 machetes, 4 Jack knives, 2 table knives, 3 locally fabricated axes with nail-like edges, 5 mobile phones and 1 parcel containing substance suspected to be Indian hemp.
Others are 2 ATM cards, 8 identity cards, 9 passport photographs, packets of condom, rings and a variety of charms.
Meanwhile, the arrested suspected cultists are undergoing preliminary investigations after which they would be handed over to the Nigerian Police for further investigations and prosecution.
In another raid by the troops of 81 Division of the Nigerian Army, operations of suspected pipeline vandals were intercepted at Ilara and Imagbon areas of Ikorodu to stop their sabotage activities on the Nation’s pipeline.
It was revealed that the soldiers acted on a tip off from well-meaning citizens.
The statement issued by the Division’s Army Public Relations stated, “The suspected vandals armed with AK-47 rifles fired sporadically and fled on sighting troops. During the operation, sabotaged portions of the NNPC pipelines were observed in the General Area of Imoro Creek in Imagbon.
“Although, no suspected vandal was arrested, items which included 1 wooden boat, 40 empty 50 liters Jerry Cans and a 1000m long laid hose ostensibly used in siphoning products by the suspected vandals were recovered and destroyed.”
The Army Public Relations Director of the 81 Division also revealed that the troops of the 174 Battalion in Odogunyan in Ikorodu on April 17, 2018, while on Anti-Bunkering patrol along Imoro Creek in Ikorodu , discovered sabotaged points along the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation pipeline including a loading area in the Creek for siphoned products .
According to the statement, 8 suspected vandals were arrested with items recovered from them including; 10 Vehicles (7 Saloon cars, 2 Wagons, 1 J5 Ford bus).
Other items recovered are 31 Jerry cans loaded with refined products, 77 empty Jerry cans, 3 Coolers, 9 mobile phones and substances suspected to be hard drugs. Another set of 1,320 empty Jerry cans were also discovered and destroyed.
“The suspected vandals are undergoing preliminary investigation after which they will be handed over to the appropriate security agency for further investigations and prosecution” the statement stated.
Meanwhile, the Nigerian Army has warned the general public to beware of the activities of the ‘land grabbers’ who have been engaging fake soldiers to disposed unsuspecting public of their land
“The authorities of 81 Division Nigerian Army also wish to bring to the awareness of the general public the obnoxious activities of some so-called land grabbers who deliberately contract the services of impostors across the state to forcefully take over plots of land that do not belong to them.
“For instance, in the recent past, troops of 81 Division on Operation “CHECKMATE” received a tip-off from some concerned residents that some soldiers who accompanied one of the parties in a land dispute were beating up the other party in the dispute and causing pandemonium in the general area. The troops immediately responded and arrested 6 of the alleged military personnel involved, all dressed in military camouflage uniform. It is interesting to note that, on investigation, all the soldiers involved turned out to be impostors and were accordingly handed over to the Nigeria Police for further investigation and prosecution”, he stated.
In what the military has described has Operation “Checkmate”, Lt. Col.Daudu, the Acting Deputy Director, 81 Division Army Public Relations also revealed that many fake soldiers were arrested from different points in Lagos and Ogun States.
While thanking the general public in Lagos and Ogun State, the Nigerian military also called for further assistance and cooperation to serve the public better.
“The General Officer Commanding 81 Division Nigerian Army, Major General Enobong Okon Udoh, wishes to use this opportunity to thank the general public and indeed the people of Lagos and Ogun states for their continued cooperation and urges them to always give timely information that will help the Division in its operational efforts on day to day basis”.
Meanwhile, a renounced leader of the Eiye Confraternity in Ikorodu has protested that the suspected cultists paraded by the soldiers were not members of the ‘Eye’ Confraternity as alleged.
In a phone conversation and text message to THE IMPACT, he stated that the Eiye Confraternity have renounced their membership of cultism and embraced peace.
“I earlier called on the issue of those boys arrested by the 174 Battalion. They are members of Neo Black Movement (Black Axe) and not Eiye Confraternity” he clarified.
“We (Eiye Confraternity) have renounced our membership, and we are for peace and harmony. We don’t constitute unnecessary nuisance anymore”.
“Those arrested are members of Neo Black Movement in Odogunyan , Odo-Kekere, Odo-Nla, Fakale and Igbogbo among other communities in Ikorodu division”, he clarified.