The Lagos State Police Command has arrested four militants and two herbalists for their alleged involvement in kidnapping, armed robbery and ritual killings.
While the militants were arrested for kidnapping three persons and collecting ransom from their relatives, the two herbalists were nabbed for buying kids for ritual sacrifices.
However, the militants who were paraded on Monday at the command headquarters in Ikeja, Lagos, alongside other suspects, accused the federal government of betrayal.
One of the kidnappers, Ekiowemi Mebizel, told journalists that they had initially keyed into the government amnesty programme and surrendered their weapons but the government failed to fulfill their promise of rehabilitating them.
He said: “It is true that we are militants. We are based in Ijegemo creek in Lagos. Last time the government pleaded with us to surrender our weapons which we did.
“We took our weapons to Majidun police station where they were collected from us. We wrote down our names and the government said they will reach out to us.
“Since six months, we have not heard from the government and we have been borrowing money to feed. We borrowed to pay our children’s school fees and take care of our parents but right now we are no longer credit worthy.
“So our leader, Pasco, got angry and asked us to go back to the business we know how to do well. He armed us again and released a speedboat for us which we used in kidnapping and robbing people to raise money for our upkeep.
“It was while we were returning to the creek after collecting ransom that the police arrested us. You can see that the government betrayed us.
“It was their betrayal and unfaithfulness that pushed us back to business. We are however begging the government to forgive us and fulfill their promises.”
The Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Edgal Imohimi, who paraded the suspects, said aside from the militants , 19 notorious cultists cum armed robbers who were terrorising Ogombo, Sangotedo, Elemoro, Ikota, Ajah and other parts of Lagos were also arrested, adding that some of the suspects were also involved in gunrunning.
He said: “You may recall that on July 24, 2017, one Juliana Taiye, a 4-year-old was kidnapped and killed for ritual purpose at Iwaya to appease a family shrine. After extensive investigation the chief priest, Alatise has been attested.
“He has confessed and named one Kazeem as the person that committed the dastardly act. We are trailing him and another female suspect.
“The two native doctor were also arrested for using little children for ritual purposes. They are held for kidnapping infants and young persons.
“One of them kidnapped the infants while the other person bought the children and used them for ritual purposes.”
Edgal also said within the period under review, six vehicles of different brands stolen at gunpoint from Lagos and sold at Enugu were tracked and recovered from hoodlums.
He also said the command succeeded in arresting 10 suspects in connection with the car snatching.
He said: “We recovered six vehicles; a Toyota Camry with registration number FKJ 715 ES, another one with number plate FGG 636 MC and Toyota Matrix No. EP 429 DJ.
“Others are Mecerdes Benz 4matic with registration number KRD 68 ES, Acura MDX with registration number EKY 534 BS, Toyota Camry with registration number LSR 742 EW, Toyota Sienna with registration number AGL 626 DS.
“We also recovered a Toyota Corrola with registration number kRD 581 AA, KIA Rio with registration number BDG 376 EP, Honda Accord with registration number KSF 204 BS and an unregistered Toyota Sienna. They have all been returned to Lagos.”
While calling on parents to advise their children against engaging in criminal activities he called on the owners of the recovered cars to come forward with their proof of ownership.