Police demolish ritualists shrines, free couple
• 84-year-old alleged kidnapper rescued from angry mob
In an audacious show of force, the Commissioner of Police, Lagos State command, Mr. Edgal Imohimi, yesterday led teams of operatives to shrines suspected to be used by kidnappers and ritualists in Ikorodu area of the state.
At the end of the three-hour operation, four shrines were destroyed in Imota and Agbowa areas of Ikorodu. In one of the shrines, a couple suspected to have been abducted were rescued. Also, a man who operates in one the shrines was arrested.
Speaking with The Guardian, the police boss said, “our crime statistics revealed that records of missing and abducted persons were kept in some shrines in the area. During a town hall meeting in Ikorodu, we were informed of activities of some criminal elements, which prompted the raid. It took us over one hour to trek to one of the shrines in Agbowa.
“The aim of this operation is to destroy shrines used for criminal activities such as kidnapping, ritual killings and 419. Now that it has been destroyed, the crime rate indices in the axis will reduce. We are going to ensure that hoodlums no longer have a place to take their victims to. All we request from Lagosians is to partner with the police by availing us with information that would help rid the state of criminals.” The raid was greeted with jubilation as Ikorodu residents, particularly those living around locations of the shrines, described the action as long over due.
In a related development, beefing up security against the incessant spate of kidnapping in Ondo State, residents have apprehended an 84-year-old suspected kidnapper, Mr. Taiwo Ayinde, who allegedly kidnapped a secondary school student.
According to eyewitnesses, the incident happened at Odosida area of Ondo town yesterday. The octogenarian was trying to escape after he had enchanted the victim with charms around 11:00a.m. but the attempt was foiled and this led to an uproar at the scene, close to the palace of Osemawe of Ondo.
According to a source, the suspicion of the people were aroused and they pounced on the suspected kidnapper, dragged him on the ground and beat him till he confessed to the crime.
“The old man was caught by one of the residents dragging the little boy to an unknown destination. Immediately, an alarm was raised when it became suspicious that the boy does not know the old man judging from his behaviour. He was nearly lynched but thank God for the police who quickly came to rescue him from the angry mob,” he said.
It was learnt that the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) of Enu-Owa Police State, Mr. Express Omoigui, who led some officers to rescue the victim from being lynched, was attacked alongside his team.
Nonetheless, the state Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Mr. Femi Joseph, confirmed the incident and said the suspected octogenarian had been moved to Akure. Joseph revealed that families of the suspect had reported to the police that he was mentally deranged; affirming that command had commenced investigation into the case while Ayinde was kept in custody.