Tension in community as notorious cultists escape from Police custody
Residents of Ajegunle community in Olodi Apapa LCDA of Lagos are reportedly living in fear following the escape of notorious cultists from police custody.
It was gathered that the suspects, including leader of Aiye cult in Ajegunle, Daisy Aiyenero, and his armourer, Taiwo Hassan, escaped from the custody of the Lagos Police Command’s Anti-Cultism base, Surulere, on May 31, few days after the community’s Crime Prevention Project (CPP) with the help of Police operatives from Layeni Division and Area B Command, arrested the suspects and handed them over to the unit.
The Nation reported that while in the custody of Anti-Cultism Unit, the leader of the gang allegedly contacted some members of the CPP and threatened to kill them and their families for giving the police information that led to the arrest of his gang and recovery of arms, ammunition.
Sources anonymously said some members of the community had already begun to relocate following news of the escape of the suspects.
They said the police have not been able to give the community any good explanation as to how the suspects escaped from lawful custody, adding that the officer-in-charge of the unit claimed that he released one of the suspects on bail but could not account for the other three.
It was gathered that members of the CPP have been put under several pressure and had gone into hiding as a result of threats from the suspects.
“We have been asking the Anti-Cultism unit what happened? But no tangible response has been provided. How was it possible for the suspects to escape lawful custody? As I speak with you, people have been fleeing the community and taking their families to safety.
“No one wants to be killed or have their family members killed by those murderers. They are known killers and the police also know this. Daisy even confessed to the police the number of people he has killed. Taiwo was arrested with many arms, ammunition in his possession. So, they are quite deadly,” the source added.
Disturbed by this development, CPP on Friday, June 2, petitioned the Commissioner of Police (CP) Idowu Owohunwa, in a letter titled:”Matter of urgency; threat to life and unrest in Ajegunle, Apapa community.”
They requested an expanded security coverage for Ajegunle Apapa people, especially members of the group who assisted the police during the operation, noting the threats they were currently facing.
Ojobaro said they volunteered themselves to ensure their community was safer, peaceful and that every known cultist faced the law so that justice would be done for the eight victims that died during cult clashes in March.
He said the cult clash which was between Aiye and Eiye groups, led to the death of eight young people including a child at a hairdressing shop and a woman who was inside a fashion shop.
“From March till date, the state and the local police division couldn’t and have not made any single cultist arrest, until our team took up the challenge and assisted all and sundry to apprehend four suspected cultists with arms and ammunition recovered given some backup from the Area B Police Command, Ajeromi and Layeni Police division, on May 24 and 25.
“They were taken over by the Lagos State Anti-cultist Team in Surulere for further
investigation, arresting and prosecuting everyone that is involved in the cult killings inside Ajegunle Apapa.
“It is alarming to hear from the street on Thursday, June 1, that the killer cultists our team handed over to the police have escaped after seven days in their detention.
“We are requesting for an overhaul of the state’s Anti-crime Squad especially those officers that have worked with the disbanded SARS team.
“An expanded investigation to the police officers and other high profile personalities in town, that have been giving all these cultists cover, funds, weapons and guidance.
“Lastly, we are requesting an expanded security coverage for Ajegunle Apapa people
because our hope is fading gradually,” the petition said.
Contacted, Police spokesman, SP Benjamin Hundeyin confirmed that two suspects escaped from custody but assured that operatives were already on their trail with a view to re-arresting them.
Hundeyin declined further comments on the issue.