The Police in Lagos said on Wednesday that it had arrested two suspected members of a dreaded cult gang (Alye) operating in the Ebute Meta area of the state capital.
A dependable source, who sought anonymity, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the gang had been robbing, attacking and killing people and raping ladies in Ebute Meta, Oyingbo, Costain, Iponri and Ijora areas of Lagos for some time.
Those arrested, according to the source, included one of their leaders, simply identified as Francis (a.k.a. Champion Boy), and one other, yet to be fully identified.
The two suspects were arrested on Saturday, Aug. 13 by a police team from the Iponri Division at about 9.30 p.m. at a car wash, near the Costain round-about.
“They were arrested while molesting law abiding members of the public. The police has been on their trail for some time.
“A few weeks ago, their gang killed two persons at the Railway Crossing between Iponri and Ebute Meta. In the same area, the gang, led by Champion Boy, also attacked the son of a policeman.
“They attacked the boy with a machete all over his body, but for the timely arrival of some soldiers, who saved him and while the suspects attempted to escape,’’ the source said.
He added that the Iponri police division was transferring the suspects to the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), Ikeja, for further investigation.
The spokesperson for the Lagos State Police Command, SP Dolapo Badmos, confirmed the arrests, stressing that investigation into their activities had commenced.
Commending the police for the arrest, the National Coordinator of Network on Police Reforms in Nigeria (NOPRIN), Mr Okechukwu Nwanguma, urged the police to go after those suspects now at large.
Nwaguma said that they have written to the Commissioner of Police, Mr Fatai Owoseni, to ensure that the arrested gangsters do not escape justice.
According to him, the suspects have for a very long time terrorised members of the public.
“Before this recent development, NOPRIN had received information about the brutal attack on one Umar Yusuf (22), a resident of the Iponri Police Barracks, by members of this same gang known as “Kogbagidi Boys’’.
“The leader of the group, simply identified as Tayo, has been arrested many times in the past, including last year, when he was arrested twice over a murder case.
“The case was transferred to the Lagos State CID, Panti, but surprisingly, he found his way out. His gang members had continued to terrorise residents of the area,’’ Nwanguma added.