Men of the Ogun State Police command arrested a 44-year-old native doctor, Qudus Shodimu, for allegedly helping the cultists by making amulets to deflect bullets aimed at them.
During interrogation, the suspect reportedly confessed to the crime, but said that one of the cultists, whom he strengthened with several bulletproof charms, was later shot dead by his rivals.
He said the charm failed because he accidentally mixed some herbs and concoctions with it.
However, Olanrewaju State Police Commissioner Yomi Oladimeji said in a statement that police arrested a local doctor along with suspected sectarians based on reliable intelligence received on April 30.
He said that that day, the anti-sect division of the state police was told that members of the dreaded Aiye Congregation had gathered in the Elega area in Abeokuta to prepare for a supremacy battle with the rival sect group, the Eiye Congregation.
The police commissioner said that acting on the report, the anti-cult team in collaboration with men from the So-Safe Corps, moved to the scene of the incident.
However, the cultists reportedly started firing when they saw the police officers but were defeated.
According to CP Oladimeji, two of the cultists, later identified as Noah Ayobami a.k.a Anobi 7 and Azeez Ololade a.k.a Bouncing, died during the encounter.
It also led to the arrest of native doctor Chodimu and Oluwasen Adebovale, known as Eko. Recovered from a homemade double-barreled cannon, five local knives, a battle axe, five spent cartridges and some spells.
A police officer and two vigilantes were also slightly injured in the incident.
Before the police encounter with the Aye, the Nigerian Tribune has learned that they shot and killed an Eye immediately after he left his place in Shodimu.
Speaking on his arrest, Shudemu said it was a result of him producing bulletproof and protection charms for cultists.
According to him, “Before I practiced traditional medicine and divination, I was a lumberjack driver.
However, I met with an accident and fractured both my legs.
I started using my master’s hut in the village to serve the clients who came for consultation and strengthening.
I fed on what little I could get out of it.
“It was Adebowale who brought two people to me.
As a biker, he told me the two men were artists and needed protection and a bulletproof charm.
Two years ago I started working as a local doctor.”
“The deceased lived in the same community as other artists. They are all friends.
On the fateful day, he came to my house.
He and others used to play. After he left, other cultists also followed. The next thing I heard was the sound of gunshots.
I asked some children to go and check what was happening.
They came back to tell me that the man who had just left me had been killed and his body was lying by the side of the road.
“I asked to know those who carried out the killing but they said they didn’t know.
Until then, Adebwale aka Eko and the other cults have fled.
It was one of the residents who specifically told me that Adebowale was seen among the killers.”
When asked why one of his clients had been killed despite the bulletproof charms prepared for him, the suspect said that the client had brought some concoctions himself and only asked him to add traditional bulletproof charms to them.
He said he collected ten thousand naira from Adebowale for the charms he did for him, but didn’t collect anything from the deceased prior to his murder, as he just came to play with friends.
“I don’t inherit work from anyone. It was taught to us by our master while driving a log truck in the forest, and I used it after an accident.
“The second suspect, Adebowale, aged 28, told the Nigerian Tribune that he became a motorboy after his primary school education.
“Again, I don’t have a mother, but my father is still alive.
I was arrested for participating in sectarian activities.
I joined Africa’s Neo Black Movement, commonly known as Aye Confraternity or Black Ax, in 2020.
The initiation took place at Ikija in Abeokuta.
An area bro named Azeez a.k.a Bouncing introduced me to the cult.”
Bouncing told me to follow him to a party in Ago Ika area of Abeokuta.
We started late at night and were there until after midnight.
I was told it was time to return home and was asked to hop on a motorcycle.
I noticed that we had gone too far on the road and strayed off the road, and I drew Bouncing’s attention to this.
I asked him where we were going, but he told me to calm down, saying that he had no intention of kidnapping me since we were together. It was around 2am.
“I was taken into the bush, where we met a lot of people. The cult members descended on me, beating me till morning.
They then poured wine into my calebana and invited me to drink, then told me that I had become their member.
I reminded Bouncing the brother I used to live with who belongs to the Eiye sect.
This man is also feeding me, although we are not related by blood. He sold marijuana.
Bounce replied that I was initiated into the Aye cult because of my benefactor so he wouldn’t make me a member of the Eye cult.
They said that I didn’t need to live with him again, but I told them that I had no other place to stay.
They assured me that they would let me live with them.
“I didn’t follow cult members or attend meetings because as a motorcyclist I was always on the road.
“I was chosen when Bounce mentioned my name.
We also named others who belonged to the cult group and took the police to the native doctor who traditionally fortified us.
“I’ve never killed anyone, whether out of rivalry or otherwise. I used to hear about murders, but not all of us have done it.
“The murder that led to our arrest was the murder of the murdered victim in the neighborhood where we were staying in Ikija, recently.
“The man belonged to the Eiye Confraternity.
He came to our naturopath for talismans and information but he was stuck there.”
“I didn’t know what the two sides were arguing about. I just went there that day to smoke weed.
I was not part of the murder. I have been taking medicine for many years.”
The commanding police chief told the Nigeria Tribune after his officers were briefed on the crime situation in the state.
He devised strategies to deal with the criminal elements to ensure that the good people of the state sleep with their eyes closed.
“The command’s tactical team and divisional police were there and gave marching orders to bring the fight to criminals’ doorsteps across the state.
“What we’re showing is the result of a variety of strategic actions taken to weed out criminals,” he said.
He thus warned the criminals that “the rhythm has changed and the dance steps must follow.
It’s time for the criminals in the state to move, because the state will no longer favor them.
“All of our arsenal is being deployed to fight the war against crime and crime and its sponsors. “For law-abiding citizens Rest assured that your safety is guaranteed at all times.
And we ask for your cooperation to deal with the criminals among us.
“This you do by providing us with useful information. This will help us in our efforts to eradicate the state of crime.”