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Alleged killers of aide to Lagos legislator in police net

Three men the Lagos police described as members of a cult gang that last month killed four persons, including an aide of a Lagos legislator at Shomolu, in the Lagos metropolis, have been arrested.

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Gunmen had stormed a beer parlour on Abiodun Street, Shomolu, about 10pm on Tuesday July 25, 2018 and assassinated Tunde Awokoya, 36, alias Chop-Up, a personal assistant to Mr Rotimi Olowo, a member of the Lagos State House of Assembly.

Olowo, a member of the All Progressives Congress aspiring to contest for the party’s House of Representatives primary this year, had himself left the beer parlour, his regular hang-out, barely 10 minutes earlier, when the killers arrived.

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Besides Awokoya, the assassins, some of them masked, also that night killed a hairstylist called Gabriel, a boy on his way to church and a woman selling bean cakes (akara) in the area. Several other persons were seriously injured during the shooting and rushed to hospitals.   

The police said that the suspects – Onwuka Uchenna, 28; Oluwaseyi Elijah, 38; and Abayomi Opeyemi, 30 –  whom the police described as members of the Black Axe, a deadly secret cult gang in Lagos, had confessed to the killings.

The three suspects were among 120 persons the police arrested at Ikorodu this month.

Our correspondent reports that Uchenna yesterday confessed at the Special Anti-Robbery Squad office at the Lagos police command, Ikeja, that he, Elijah, Opeyemi and about three others still at large killed Awokoya, whom the suspect said was a leader of the Eiye cult gang in the Lagos mainland area. 

Uchenna said some leaders of the Black Axe in the Ikorodu, Ajah and Lekki areas of Lagos State had recruited them in 2015 to kill certain persons suspected to have been passing information about their activities to the police.

He said that the cult leaders gave them a long list of persons they must eliminate before the end of 2019, adding that they had actually killed a good number of the persons under the guise of one fracas or the other.

The suspect said, “One of such attacks was targeted at one Clement Ojie Osas believed to be a top informant to the police. The gang believed he had been passing information about the gang’s activities in Ikorodu to the police at Owutu and was, therefore, marked for killing.

“In 2016, we cornered him at the Owutu area of Ikorodu. He was with some of his friends. Abayomi macheted him. He pleaded and pleaded to no avail.  He, however, managed to escape as the headlight of an approaching vehicle suddenly spread light at the corner where we were. We staged a manhunt for him the next day but we met his mother. We had, after that, killed, at least, 10 persons. That was in 2016.”

Osa’s mother, Mrs Felicia Ojie, identified Uchenna, Elijah and Opeyemi at the SARS office as the men who stormed her Ikorodu apartment to abduct her son in 2016. Mrs Ojie told our correspondent her son had since been missing.

“I am begging the police to compel the suspects to produce my son. I don’t know if he is alive or dead,”she cried.

The Lagos State Police Commissioner, Imohimi Edgal, confirmed the arrest.

Edgal gave names of some of the cultists who had staged an attack on Osas and in police custody as Nifemi Fadairo, Okunlewe Habibat, Musiliu Taiwo, Olanike Lasisi, Sulimon Kabir, Olarenwaju Zainab, Oyedele Elezabeth, Alima Olowu, Abosede Popoola, Ebele Joseph and Onuwka Uchena.

Others are Olawaseyi Elijah, Abayomi Opeyemi, Boluwatife Akionla, Henry Ikuesan, Ibenewa Femi, Muize Onabanjo and Lawal Mumuni.

The police boss said many dangerous weapons were recovered from the suspects. 

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