Among the 12 alleged cultists operatives of the Lagos State Police Command arrested at different locations, 20 years old Erede Adebayo cries for help after he denied being a cultist.
Adebayo, who runs a small barbing salon, was paraded alongside 12 guys at the Police Headquarters at Ikeja. He narrated how he was arrested at his shop at Igando.
“I was standing in front of my shop that Saturday at 2pm when the police vehicle drove by. The police looked at my hands. They saw tattoos and said I must be a cultist,” he expressed bitterly.
Adebayo said that was how he was branded a cultist and arrested immediately. “I am not a cultist. I barb hair in my area at Igando. And I was in front of my own shop.”
On his own part, 26 years old Anthony Anokam told newsmen that a man just accused him of being among boys that robbed him once upon a time. “I know nothing about that. He laid false accusations on me.”
He admitted: “Yes, I joined Baga cult as a secondary student at my home town. I was never attending their meetings because my mind was not there. But I came to Lagos in 2016 and been on my own.”
According to Anokam, just last month, he saw a dagger on the football fields in Akesan area of Igando. “I picked it up and threw it away into the bush. Then a man approached and asked me what I threw into the bush. I didn’t answer him.”
Although he stuttered words, he added that the man curiously went into the bush and found the object. Adding, he said immediately, the man claimed he was among the people that robbed his house.
“He lied against me. I did no such thing. I’m not a robber. I don’t know him before,” he pleaded.
But to free his conscience, he confessed to implicating his friend who sold faulty phone to him. “My conscience is judging me because I implicated my good friend, Oghenero Joel.”
He continued: “I took my IPO to his house because he sold me a spoilt phone. I bought a Nokia phone N1,500 naira from him when we were working at OI in 2016. The phone port wasn’t working. So, I took my IPO there.”
As a result, Oghenero Joel, 27, was arrested and paraded alongside alleged criminals and cultists arrested at Bariga, Yaba and Igando areas between June 27 and 29 this year.
When asked how he felt about his arrest, Oghenero remained quiet and stared into the air.