Suspected members of Badoo cult moved from their Ikorodu base on Tuesday, attacking two churches in Owode Onirin.
Two babies and a woman were killed in the latest attack .
This is just as five residents were crushed to death by a car in Isiwu , Ikorodu , while trying to administer jungle justice on a suspected Badoo member.
In Owode Onirin, the cult members were said to have attacked two orthodox churches – Cherubim and Seraphim Church , Crystal Church of Christ parish ; and Celestial Church of Christ, Orisun Ayomi parish – both on Anibaba Street , Weigh Bridge , Owode Onirin.
PUNCH Metro learnt that in the C& S church , the assailants killed a woman , identified simply as Iya Dabira and her nine- month- old baby , Dabira. A one year – old boy , Ayomide , was killed as well.
Ayomide ’ s mother , who was also attacked , was said to be in a critical condition at the General Hospital, Ikorodu .
It was gathered that the victims had attended a vigil at the church . They were said to have slept off in the church after the prayer ended at 2am .
The hoodlums reportedly scaled the church ’ s fence, which bordered an uncompleted building and entered the house of God , smashing a big stone on the heads of the four victims.
A member of the church , Tayo Moses, said Dabira died on the spot.
“ The three others were admitted to the general hospital. Dabira ’ s mother and Ayomide have been confirmed dead. The only survivor is still unconscious , ” he added .
Our correspondent learnt that the pastor in charge of the parish, Pastor Rotimi Ajidara , who lived in one of the apartments on the premises , became aware of the incident around 6am and alerted other residents.
Our correspondent , who went round Ajidara’ s church , observed footprints of the suspects on the fence and on the wet ground at the back of the fence.
A resident , Mrs . Tolulope Adelaja , said she participated in the vigil , adding that she retired to her apartment when the prayer ended around 2am .
“ Around 6am , the pastor alerted me to the incident. We took the victims in my car to Elam Hospital. A doctor at the hospital confirmed Dabira dead and referred others to the general hospital . It was a special vigil and the congregation was few , ” she added .
Another resident, Oluwadare Anibaba, noted that members found a stone beside the victims, adding that policemen from the Owode Onirin division took away the stone.
“ When the pastor alerted us , we rushed to the church and met the victims in a pool of blood, ” he added .
The pastor in charge of the second church attacked by the gang, Prophet Taiwo Adesanya , said the invaders stole some members ’ property .
He noted that attacks by the gang might escalate to other parts of the state if stringent security measures were not taken by the government .
He said , “ We discovered in the morning that strangers had entered our church and stole mobile phones . Nobody was attacked , but we saw traces of engine oil on the ground .
“ We were wondering about who the robbers were when we saw a crowd in front of the nearby church . The Lagos State Government should take proactive measures against these criminals . The gang members are gradually moving away from Ikorodu .
“ They attacked Owode Onirin today, people in Mile 12, Agege, Ikeja and even Victoria Island should be on the alert . ”
The Chairman , Idera Tuntun Community Development Association , Owode Onirin, Ganiyu Ogundipe , urged the police to station a patrol van at a strategic junction so that they could quickly respond to distress calls .
A resident, Ayo Folarin , said the attack could have been averted if some landlords had not stopped a vigilance operation initiated by some youths on Monday .
He said , “ At about 12pm on Sunday, we accosted a boy who was wandering. When we queried him , he said he was going to visit his brother on Ketu Estate. We checked a small bag with him and found a handkerchief, lighter , kitchen knife and four ATM cards .
“ As we were questioning him , somebody came and said the boy was not a Badoo member and that we should release him . A few minutes after we released him , it occurred to us that we should have handed him over to the police. We looked everywhere, but we couldn’ t find him . We decided that we would guard the community at night .
“ In the evening , we knocked on the gates of all the residents to come out for the vigil . Only a landlord came out to encourage us . We made bonfires on the road and secured the community till dawn. In the morning ( Monday ) , people blamed us for the bonfires and told us to stop the vigil . ”
As the neighbourhood dicussed the attack , a man who identified himself as a mechanic was accosted by a mob.
He was accused of being a
Badoo member and beaten to a pulp .
He was later rescued and handed over to the police at the Owode Onirin division.
The Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer, ASP Olarinde Famous -Cole , confirmed the attack , but said the command had a record of one casualty.
In Ikorodu , no fewer than five residents of Isiwu community were crushed to death by a car on Sunday on Itokin Road , Isiwu Junction, while trying to lynch a suspected member of the gang.
While two persons died on the spot, three others were said to have been confirmed dead in different hospitals .
Our correspondent gathered that many others were injured in the accident .
Policemen from the Imota division were said to have deposited the corpses in a mortuary.
A resident , who spoke on condition of anonymity , said a motorcyclist ( okada rider) in the community had raised the alarm that he was being attacked by a thief .
He said , “ The okada rider had picked the man along the road around 8. 30pm on Sunday . They were on Itokin Road , Isiwu , when the okada rider suddenly stopped , abandoned his motorcycle and started screaming, ‘ thief, thief, thief ’ . He said the man brought out a knife to stab him .
“ In a jiffy , a mob gathered . However, the story quickly changed as people started shouting , ‘ Badoo’ , which drew more crowds .
“ The man was taken to the expressway, close to a filling station in the community and they put tyres around his neck .
“ A motorist , who was speeding on the expressway, ran into the mob, killing two people on the spot, while many were seriously injured . ”
The resident said policemen from the Imota division were alerted to the incident.
A community leader , Chief Lateef Ogunbanwo, told PUNCH Metro that the death toll reached five on Tuesday as three other residents later died .
Ogunbanwo, who is the Lapini Awo Opa of Isiwu , said he believed that the Badoo members were land grabbers who had been terrorising the community for some time.
He said , “ Our community has been under siege for a long time. The ajagungbales ( land grabbers ) have taken over our community and they invade our homes at will. Appeals in the form of letters and protests to the state secretariat, Alausa , Ikeja, have gone unheeded .
“ It is these people that became
Badoo. They killed four people . When it became unbearable , traditionalists came together to pronounce curses on them .
“ When I also saw the suspect , I confirmed that he was indeed a
Badoo member. When he was hacked with a cutlass , he was not hurt. I have been told that five people are now dead . ”
The community leader said the suspect’ s corpse was not removed from the road until late Monday , adding that there was tension in Isiwu .
The Commanding Officer of the Ikorodu North Neighbourhood Safety Corps , who did not want his name mentioned, said the case was not brought to his office .
A top government official , who resided in the area , said the tragedy could have been averted if the youths did not take the law into their own hands .
“ I don’ t know why they could not contact the police to handle the case . With what is going on now in Lagos State , many innocent people will lose their lives. The government must take immediate control of the situation , ” he said .
The official , who spoke on condition of anonymity , noted that although Isiwu hosted the headquarters of the Ikorodu North Local Council Development Area, it lacked police presence.
He explained that efforts to build a security post for operatives of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps in the community were frustrated by some residents.
The state Police Public Relations Officer, Famous – Cole , did not pick his calls and had yet to respond to a text message on the incident.
However, the command in a statement by the PPRO directed residents of Ikorodu to always move around with valid identity cards to avoid being restricted or arrested.
The statement read in part, “ The Lagos State Police Command will like to inform members of the public , especially residents of Ikorodu and environs that henceforth , everybody moving around that part of the state – residents , students or workers – should always have on them a valid form of identification .
“ This has become necessary because of the series of police operations lined up in the area by the command . The command is deeply concerned about the criminal activities in the area, which is not only unlawful , but also affecting the integrity of the state. ”
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