I armed cult group for N30,000 – 65-yr-old blacksmith

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…My wife is aware I am a cultist — Suspect

By Esther Onyegbula

A 65-year-old, arrested alongside three others for allegedly indulging in cult activities, has claimed poverty led him into selling arms. The suspect, who identified himself as Najim Bakare, said: “I got involved in selling guns because I was poor and needed to make ends meet.”

Sunday Vanguard gathered that the police have recovered one of the guns Bakare allegedly sold to a cult group.

Bakare’s co-suspects, arrested for allegedly fomenting trouble in the Mobil Road area of Ajah, Lagos, are Adewale Odusote, TairuTairu Idris and Dare Ayetoba.

It was learned that 22-year-old Odusote, who hails from Epe, Lagos, was apprehended by the police attached to the Rapid Response Squad (RRS) after a tip-off on a robbery incident. He was reportedly heading to deliver a gun to a robbery gang in a hideout.

*Najim Bakare (right) with other suspects
The gang took the police to Bakare’s house after they were nabbed by operatives.

Apart from the double-barrelled short gun, the police, according to a source, recovered one live cartridge and one jack knife from the gang.

Bakare, a father of fire, it was learnt, told the police the gang members lied to him that they were security men and needed protection. “I sold the gun to the gang for N30,000 and used the money to meet some domestic needs”, the source quoted the suspect as saying.

“I am a blacksmith. I make hoes, cutlasses and other metal appliances. I also make guns. It is true that I sold the gun to the gang. I sell guns because I need to meet domestic needs. I sold it to the boys for N30,000. They did not tell me they were cultists.

That was why I sold the gun to them”.

According to the second suspect, Odusote, who confessed to belong to the Aye cult, more than 50 persons were initiated in March 2012 when he joined.

“I dropped out of secondary school in 2012, and became an apprentice barber. It was a friend, Lukman, who introduced me to the cult. We were initiated in a bush around Epe. It was at about 9.30pm.They were beating us inside the bush. There were seven masters who flogged us with Koboko. We also drank some hard drink. That is all.”

Idris, 25, from Ajegunle and married with two children, said he joined the cult to protect himself from attacks, adding that his wife knew he was a cultist.

He said, “We do not see any big deal in cults. We joined to protect our area and ourselves because hoodlums were always invading the Alaguntan area where I stayed.”

Sunday Vanguard learned that another member of the gang, identified only as Asunmo, was still at large.

Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Kenneth Nwosu, confirmed the arrests, adding that investigation was ongoing.

He said, “It is confirmed, and we are continuing investigation.”
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