Members of the deadly ritual cult, Badoo, yesterday, struck again, killing three people in a church at Owode-Ajegunle area along Ikorodu Road, Lagos.
The cultists were said to have attacked Crystal Church of Christ (C&S) Aladura, at 4, Victoria Anibaba Street, Owode Weighbridge, along Ikorodu Road.
They were said to have attacked the wife of founder of the church, Mrs. Ajidara, her two-year-old daughter and another woman, who lived in the church with her daughter.
An eyewitness said one woman and the two girls were killed during the attack.
The menace of Badoo cult group in Ikorodu area of Lagos has forced residents to adopt 'jungle-justice' method.
Three suspected Badoo members were lynched in Ikorodu two days ago by angry residents who felt the police were not doing enough to secure their lives.
On Sunday, the police claimed it arrested over 100 suspected Badoo members in raids in several areas of Ikorodu in conjunction with the Oodua Peoples Congress, OPC.
Threat to communities
A new twist was, however, added to the Badoo boys menace, yesterday, as two Ikorodu communities - Gbaga and Omitoro-- were allegedly written to by members of the cult to prepare for imminent attacks.
But residents took the development with a pinch of salt since almost all previous attacks had element of surprise
Latest church attack
Before yesterday's attack, it was learned that the head of the church, simply called Prophet Ajidara, had an outside engagement on Monday, leaving the church activities to his members, but the unfortunate incident reportedly occurred after the night vigil when all present had retired to bed.
Vanguard learned that the male members, who were mainly instrumentalists, reportedly retired to one of the rooms, which is about 10 metres from the church auditorium, leaving two children and two female adults inside the church.
Nobody could ascertain the cause and actual time of the incident but neighbours claimed the vigil lasted till 3 a.m. and no unusual noise was heard in the premises until the arrival of the prophet at about 5 a.m.
He was said to have arrived the scene at about 5 am, shouting for help on sighting the gory sight of murdered people.
Sympathizers were said to have rushed to the scene only to find the lifeless body of one of the children, while the other child and two female adults were unconscious and were rushed to the hospital for medical attention where two of them later died.
The victims were said to be under the church protection (Abe-Abo) before the incident.
At the scene of the crime, there were characteristic symbols of blood stained grinding stone and engine oil on the floor, indicating that the dreaded Badoo cultists were the perpetrators. This caused palpable fear and apprehension in the area such that residents were scared to talk to the press.
However, an insider, who pleaded anonymity, said she was led at about 3 am to check on the worshippers, who were busy with the vigil but at about 5 am, the prophet's distress call woke her up before neighbours and sympathizers rushed to the scene.
Interestingly, the fenced bungalow is with an iron gate at the entrance and relics of a bonfire was sighted in the neighbourhood, an indication that the residents were alert all through the night.
Many residents were scared to discuss the development but some of them claimed the area is well secured, that no stranger could have easily accessed it without encountering the security.
During the visit to the church, it was discovered that a bed spread and some other clothings had blood stains and engine oil stains but no grinding stone was found.
Also, the church was intact but the prophet could not be reached at press time.
At Owode-Ajegunle Police Division, a senior Police officer, who did not want his name in print, showed Vanguard a blood stained grinding stone, claiming it was retrieved from the scene of the incident. He said some exhibits were removed for proper investigations as it could not be ascertained if the assailants were cultists.
Residents were divided over the development as some were of the opinion that the incident was carried out by Badoo members while others disagreed, saying it was an insider's job and the perpetrators just left Badoo symbols to deceive residents.
Suspected female kidnapper lynched in Ikorodu
Meantime, a suspected female kidnapper was yesterday, burnt to death in Ikorodu, Lagos.
The incident occurred at Etunrenren, near Benson bus-stop, at about 3.45pm.
According to eye witnesses' account, some youths from Ladega suspected the woman's movement at about 2 p.m. while she was in possession of a hand bag and forcefully dragging a child. Also, she was said to have feigned insanity as the child wept consistently.
Without wasting time, the youths approached her but she tried to outsmart them claiming she resides at Etunrenren.
Not satisfied, the inquisitive youths followed her to Etunrenren for clarification and that was where her claim was disproved.
As this was ongoing, a woman was wailing and crying over her missing child and she was led to the scene where the child jumped at her.
Immediately, the mob decided to search the suspect's hand bag and a document was allegedly found stating the ages and sex of children with corresponding price list.
However, Policemen from Ikorodu Division were said to have got wind of the situation and arrived the scene to rescue the woman but they were resisted and the suspect was burnt to death at exactly 3.45pm.
Ogun CP parades five Badoo suspects
Following the revelation by one of the suspected members of Badoo cult group that they have 10 new camps in Ogun State,the state Police command said it would write Lagos Police command to have access to the suspected Badoo member that made the claim.
The state command, however, denied the claim on the existence of 10 badoo hideouts in the state, saying, there is no hiding place for the gang.
Commissioner of Police in the state, Ahmed Iliyasu, stated this, yesterday, while parading 37 suspects, including five suspected Badoo cultists, at the state headquarters, Eleweran, Abeokuta.
The CP said the Ogun Command, reinforced with community policing, had made tactical deployment and improved on its intelligence network towards taming criminal activities in the state.
While reacting to Vanguard's story on the Badoo new camps in the state, the Commissioner of Police said he has ordered that a letter of request be written to the Lagos command to have access to the Badoo suspect that has the information with a view to clamping down on the fleeing dreaded cult members.
He said the command has arrested five members of the gang and on the trail of others that might want to make the state their refuge .He said: "It is a matter of nomenclature. Crime is crime. Crime is dynamic. Crime has no map. Whether Yahoo, Badoo or any other mythology you come, we are going to demystify you. We will get you and we have been getting them."
Whistles, machetes now household necessities in Ikorodu
In another development, residents of Ikorodu now sleep with machetes and whistles as survival strategies against the dreaded Badoo cult terrorising the area.
An investigation by the News Agency of Nigeria in the area, yesterday, revealed that virtually every household in Ikorodu now has whistles and machetes and other implements for self-defence.
A resident in distress is expected to blow the whistle many times to signal the presence of Badoo cultists.
Mr Kazeem Yusuf, Chairman of the Egba-Otun Community Development Association, CDA, in Itaolowu, Ikorodu, said that residents had resorted to self-help. He said able bodied-people in families are being drafted by the CDA to participate in vigilance-keeping during the night.
He said: "It is the government that asked every CDA in Ikorodu to sensitise its members on the need to have whistles and machetes ready at hand, especially at nights. The whistle when blown for long will indicate the presence of those terrorising us.
"It will urge close residents to come to the aid of the whistle blower so that the bad people can be over-powered."
According to Mrs Yemisi Tolulope, the Vice-Chair of Ereko-Central CDA at Muti, Ikorodu, residents are now united in their battle against the Badoo group.
She commended the government of Lagos and Ogun States for working assiduously with the CDA to combat the menace of the group.
"The CDA structure is the best way to get the people involved in their safety and survival," she said.
Police orders residents to wear identification cards
Also, the Lagos State Police Command has ordered all legitimate residents of Ikorodu and its environs to, as a matter of urgency, possess valid forms of identification to enable them move freely in the area. The order took effect from yesterday.
A statement by the Police Public Relations Officer, Lagos State Police Command, ASP Olarinde Famous-Cole, stated that all residents, including students and workers moving around that part of the state, should always have on them a valid form of identification.
Famous-Cole noted that this has become important and necessary because of the series of police operations lined up in the area by the state police command led by Deputy Commissioner of Police in charge of operations.
"The Lagos State Police Command is deeply concerned about the criminal activities in the area, which is not only unlawful but also affecting the integrity of the state.
"The planned police operations demands residents to carry on them a valid form of identification which will be verified, in order not to be restricted or face apprehension as adequate security arrangements have been put in place for the safety of every Nigerian throughout the state by the police and other security agencies.