The Ogun State command of the Nigeria Police Force disclosed in a statement on Monday that its operatives found four dead bodies in the room of a cult member identified as Bolaji Ogunkemaya.
Ogunkemaya was reportedly involved in the recent chaos in Sagamu town, where two cult groups clashed allegedly over a disagreement on the sharing of commission paid on a land transaction between the Aiye and Eiye gang members.
Naija News learnt that at least 20 people died in the clash, which lasted for days.
While investigating the incident, Ogunkemaya and six others were arrested as suspects.
According to the police statement, the four corpses found in Ogunkemaya’s room were killed in the same place.
Speaking further on the incident, the Ogun Police Command spokesperson, SP Omolola Odutola, noted in the statement that Ogunkemaya confessed to the force following his arrest, that the leader of the cult gang, known as Azubuike aka BETTER, had been arrested by the Sagamu Area Commander a fortnight ago.
He listed the other suspects arrested as Asaiye Omolaja, Azeez Nofiu, and Mathew Adewale.
According to the statement, one Wasiu, who was also a member of cult gangs, escaped arrest by the security operatives.
Odutola said the arrest of the suspects followed a raid conducted by its command in Sagamu led by ACP Shehu Alao in collaboration with the VGN (Vigilante Group of Nigeria) following the lashes that resulted in the death of four individuals at Ewu Iya and Sakura area of the town on Sunday.
The police statement reads: “This operation was carried out in response to a report of a clash between two rival cult groups, namely Aiye and Eiye confraternity resulting in the death of over twenty individuals as at the time of this report.
“Upon receiving the information, the Area Commander swiftly mobilized more personnel to the scene in order to prevent the clash from escalating and to apprehend the cultists involved.
“As a result, seven suspected cultists were arrested, and further investigations led to the recovery of a firearm, three live cartridges, and a criminal charm.
“The suspects apprehended were Asaiye Omolaja, Azeez Nofiu, Mathew Adewale, and Bolaji Ogunkemaya. It is worth noting that Bolaji Ogunkemaya was found with the four deceased persons in the same room where the killings occurred, while One individual, Wasiu, managed to escape before the authorities arrived.
“During the raid, Bolaji Ogunkemaya provided critical information, stating that their leader, known as Azubuike aka BETTER, had been arrested by the Area Commander a fortnight ago.
“This information underscores the commitment of the police to dismantle these criminal networks,” said Odutola in the statement.
The police mouthpiece added that to address the alarming rise in cult-related violence, the Commissioner of Police, CP Alamutu Abiodun Mustapha, personally visited Sagamu on Monday morning to assess the situation firsthand and profile all the suspects apprehended.
“The CP, however, sternly warns all cultists in Ogun State that their activities will no longer be tolerated. He therefore declared a zero-tolerance policy towards senseless killings and vows that none of these cultists would go unpunished.
“With the restoration of normalcy in Sagamu and the diligent efforts of law enforcement agencies, it is evident that the authorities are committed to maintaining peace and security in Ogun State,” the Ogun Police spokesperson concluded.
Earlier, the Nigerian Police Public Relations Officer, Olumuyiwa Adejobi, claimed that most young people in Sagamu, Ogun State, are cultists.
Naija News reports that the Police Spokesman made this known in a post via X while responding to a series of questions on insecurity in the area.
When criticised about the generalisation of such a claim, Adejobi said he is speaking as an authority on the Sagamu case, stressing many elders are aware of it and cannot dispute it.
He added that the case of Sagamu goes beyond mere anti-cultism squad, and the elders, including politicians, know the steps to take.
He said, “We will discuss this with the CP and take the necessary steps. In Sagamu, almost every young one is a cultist. Okada riders, artisans, etc., are into cultism even more than students, and I think the whole town and Remoland, in general, should take action on it.
“I am an authority on the Sagamu case. Ask them, they know. No one from Sagamu can dispute what I have said. So, don’t worry yourself about my statement. Even the elders and sagamites know.
“Sagamu case goes beyond the mere anti cultism squad. The elders know how to handle them. The politicians know what to do. I was in their midst in Sagamu between 2006 and 2008. But no single cult clash before I left in 2008. I worked them with the late Akarigbo, oba Michael Sonariwo and others.”