The Lagos State Police Command yesterday arrested and paraded five suspected killers of an official of the Lagos Neighbourhood Safety Corps (LNSC) and 67 others for acts bordering on cultism.
The five suspects were arrested for the murder of LNSC official, Bolaji Monsuru, who was killed last week during a minor scuffle.
Five of the suspects-Muyideen Bello aka 17; Wasiu Adio aka trouble; Nurudeen Odofin, Rokeeb and Balogun Adebayo-were said to have led others, still at large to murder the deceased last week in Surulere.
Meanwhile, the 67 alleged cultists were arrested after the command raided their hideout during their initiation at Elemoro area of Ajah.
According to the state Commissioner of Police, Imohimi Edgal, the suspects of the Black Axe confraternity would also be charged with armed robbery and illegal possession of fire arms.
While appealing to parents and traditional rulers to prevail on their wards to renounce their membership of cultism, he said the command had commenced massive clampdown on such cultists.
The Commissioner of Police said: â€œIt is no more business as usual as we are serious in this issue of war against cultism. We have started pressing for stiffer punishment.
â€œBefore now, it used to be lesser charges against cultist but now we are going to charge them with armed robbery and illegal possession of fire arms.
â€œWe want to appeal to parents to advise their children to shun cultism as we are serious in charging any suspect for armed robbery and we will not take any plea from any parent.â€
Continuing, Edgal said he was satisfied that the killers of the LNSC were caught within five days after he gave the assurance.
According to him, â€œThe deceasedâ€™s enlistment into the Corp sent jitters down the spine of most cult members because he knew most of them.
â€œHence the arrested suspects and other accomplices now at large attacked and killed the deceased at Umunede Bar, Mallam Isa Close, Aguda, Surulere, where he had gone to watch soccer at the close of work.
â€œThe suspects have confessed that they participated in the killing of Bolaji. An axe and a knife with blood stains were recovered from the suspects, and have been sent to the forensic unit of the police for analysis.â€
Edgal said Adio also confessed to being a senior member of Eiye confraternity, adding that his group killed one Timothy last October.
On the suspected Aye members arrested, Edgal said: â€œBased on credible intelligence that members of Aye confraternity were performing their initiation rites at a shrine in a forest at Ajah, the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) mobilised his men.
â€œThey were assisted by undercover operatives of Area J, Elemoro, and men of the Anti-cultism unit of the command, stormed the area and arrested 67 members.
â€œTwo locally made guns, three live cartridges and 22 expended cartridges were recovered from the suspects.
â€œOther items recovered from them were two Suzuki mini buses marked LND893XV, and EPE189XV; one Volkswagen bus with number plate EPE580XA; a Mitsubishi space wagon with registration number SMK455AL, and two Toyota Camry cars.
â€œThe suspects would be charged to court at the conclusion of investigation.â€