The war on the Badoo cult group by the Lagos State government paid off at the weekend, as 100 suspected members have been arrested.
The suspects were nabbed by a joint security operation led by the Deputy Commissioner of Police in charge of operations in the Lagos State Police Command, Mr. Edgal Imohimi.
Joined in the combined security operation were the Department of State Security (DSS), the Rapid Response Squad, led by ACP Olatunji Disu, Lagos State Task Force, local vigilance group, Oodua Peoples Congress (OPC), led by the national coordinator, Gani Adams.
Daily Sun gathered that the suspects were picked up in Ikorodu, Ibeshi, Ita Maja, Ijede, Ikpakodo and other areas.
For some time now, members of the Badoo cult group have been terrorising the people of Ikorodu area of the state, killing over 25 persons in the most horrific manner.
Following the gang’s activities, residents of Ikorodu and nearby suburbs have been living in fear, to the extent that many have relocated from the axis.
Confirming the arrests, Lagos State police PRO, Mr. Olarinde Famous-Cole, said: “We can confirm the arrest of 100 suspected members of the dreaded cult group, Badoo, and they are helping the police with ongoing investigation into the activities of the gang.
“The combined operation was led by DCP Edgal Imohimi. We carried out the operations on Saturday morning. Government is on top of the situation and we like to use this medium to caution the people against jungle justice. Members of the public should go about their normal duties, as security agencies are poised to make the state uncomfortable for criminals.”
Meanwhile, a police officer has revealed why the end may not be in sight to the menace of the Badoo cult group in Ikorodu.
The top police officer told Daily Sun that the group sells handkerchiefs, which its members use in cleaning the blood of their victims for N500,000 each to some highly-placed Nigerians for rituals.
Said he: “We heard they sell one handkerchief dabbed in the blood of their victims for N500,000 to highly placed Nigerians, especially politicians who use it for ritual in preparation for the 2019 election.
“We are investigating the veracity of the claim. That was why we engaged in joint operations with the commander of the RRS, DSS, Lagos State Task Force and vigilance groups. DCP Edgal Imohimi led the operation. We raided the group’s black spot at Igbobo/Bayeku, Ibeshe, Ijede, Imota and Ikorodu.
“At the appropriate time, the police would unmask the prominent Nigerians who are behind the dastardly and shameful act.”
He confirmed that there was a meeting between security agencies and local vigilance groups at Ipakodo division before the raid kicked-off from Ibeshe, where majority of the suspects were nabbed.
An OPC member, Mr. Abiodun Akerejola, aka Ojolebua, who spoke to crime reporters, said the raid on Bodoo hideouts was a welcome development.
According to him, “a few days ago, there was a closed-door emergency meeting of officials of Lagos State Police Command and OPC members, led by Gani Adams, and other vigilance groups over the security challenge in Ikorodu axis.
“The issue of Badoo and other cult activities in Ikorodu and environs should give everyone concern, not only the police. We do not know the next family or person they may attack. We appreciate the Lagos State governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, over his support and assistant.”
Balogun Moses, a resident of one of the communities, said: “If such raid is maintained on a monthly basis in our community, crime rate would reduce. We commend the efforts of all the security agencies and local vigilante. Everyone can have peace and sleep with two eyes closed. For the past eight months, Ikorodu has been in the news on a daily basis.”
On how residents’ crackdown on the gang started, an eyewitness, Tony Ayim, said some local vigilance group members stopped a SUV with some occupants who looked suspicious.
He said: “The occupants were dressed in boxers and when they were questioned they claimed they were going to tow a vehicle, but could not say the specific area where the vehicle was parked. This prompted the vigilantes to search the vehicle and they discovered some grinding stones similar to the ones used by Badoo cult members in hacking their victims to death. When the stones were discovered, the vigilance group members raised the alarm, which attracted other passers-by.
“The angry mob lynched the suspects and set them ablaze. This was after a mob also set ablaze some suspects three days ago.”
In a related development, the Lagos State government yesterday cautioned residents to desist from carrying out jungle justice on suspected members of the Badoo gang and other criminals, as government would leave no stone unturned to bring them to justice.