Barely six hours after the Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Edgal Imohimi, read the riot act to the Badoo gang operating in Ikorodu and its environs in the state, the gang struck again on Sunday morning.
The attack came after the late night meeting, which was held at the palace of the Ikorodu monarch, Oba Abdulrasheed Shotobi, which THISDAY witnessed.
The meeting which started by 10p.m. and round off at 1a.m., was necessitated by the recent ritual killings by suspected members of the Badoo gang in Ikorodu.
Imohimi had during the meeting, which had leaders of different faith, security operatives, local vigilantes and community leaders in attendance, blown hot against the perpetrators.
Calling the bluff to the CPâ€™s threat to curb the menace of ritual killing, the gang struck that same morning at Offin area of Igbogbo, one of the many suburbs in Ikorodu town.
The ritual gang killed a Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) pastor, one Victor Kanayo, and also brutalised his wife and child, rendering them unconscious.
His wife and 10-month-old baby were said to have been rushed to Ikorodu General Hospital by policemen from Igbogbo Division.
It was gathered that the assailants smashed the head of the pastor with two big stones, which were said to have been found beside him.
The gang had cut the iron bars on the window of the bungalow where the family lived to gain access into the house.
THISDAY gathered that the clergyman and his family were the only ones living in the building because the landlord moved out some months ago as a result of increased insecurity.
Confirming the incident, the state police spokesman, SP Chike Oti, said the deceased was the head of Fingers of God Parish, RCCG, Igbogbo.
He said: â€œHowever, the command has made a couple of arrests, and suspects are being questioned with a view to discovering the author of the heinous crime.
â€œThe state Commissioner of Police has also dispatched a team of crack detectives to unravel those behind the murder; dig into the past of the victim and see if there is a correlation between his past and his fate.
â€œThe issue of his past before he became a born-again Christian is of interest to the police because of a human skull tattoo drawn on his left arm which gives the victim away as one who may have belonged to any of the cult groups.
â€œMeanwhile, investigation into case is ongoing, findings will be made public as usual by the CP.â€
Meanwhile, during the dialogue at the traditional rulerâ€™s palace, the CP sought the collaboration of stakeholders in the community to sustain the peace being enjoyed in Ikorodu and environs.
He disclosed that majority of the ritual killings recorded took place within church premises, adding that in most cases, the pastors would have concluded their prayers, left before they attack vulnerable women and children.
Decrying the bail granted five out of seven suspected key members of the ritual gang by the court last week, Edgal expressed worries that they could wreak havoc if checks were not put in place.
To achieve that, the commissioner announced curfew between 1a.m. and 4a.m. across the district, urging the traditional ruler to prevail on his chiefs and youths to commence patrols and ignite bonfires to wade off the killers.
He said: â€œVigilante groups should be strengthened and given mandate to question people moving around by that time. Anyone without a good reason should be arrested and handed over to security agents. I will not tolerate jungle justice.
â€œThe bad news is that out of the seven principal suspects charged to court in connection with the ritual killings, five of them have been released from prison. They were granted bail by the court and they have gone underground.
â€œRecently, a case of murder at Agbowa that resembles their style of ritual murder was recorded. Investigation had gone to advance stage and details would be given.
â€œWe are tracking the five major suspects and I can assure you that we would get them soon. With their release, there is need for vigilance. We must immediately restore all security measures that chased all hoodlums and criminals away from Ikorodu.â€
In response, the traditional ruler pledged the support of his people to the police in ensuring that the peace already achieved in Ikorodu by the CP is sustained.