By Robert AKPAN, Senior Investigator Reporter, Lagos.
SOLDIERS on routine patrol and some residents of Ladipo, a suburb in Lagos metropolis yesterday uncovered a tunnel allegedly used by ritualists. Six persons, ostensibly members of the killer gang were apprehended and pulled out of the tunnel by the soldiers stoutly helped by some lionhearted curious residents. Items recovered from the tunnel during search include military uniforms, camouflage, schools uniforms and clothes belonging to persons suspected to have been declared missing and who may have been slaughter for ritual purposes. CrimeWorld scooped that the lid was blown open yesterday morning after an unnamed woman escaped while being dragged into the tunnel and raised the alarm adding that her shout for help attracted passersby who promptly alerted some soldiers on patrol of the area.
An eyewitness who would not want his name in print said: “I was going to work because I work in a hospital when I saw a woman shouting for help. The woman is a street sweeper. I joined some sympathizers who ran towards the woman. She was panting and gasping for breath; we calmed her down and asked her to explain to us what happened to her. She told us that as she was going to work, a man approached her and pretended to be asking her questions while another man started dragging her towards the tunnel, but she managed to escape. We tried to enter the canal, but we were discouraged because we don’t know whether they were armed and how formidable they are. We called a patrol vehicle, but the policemen said they were on special duty. We raced to Oshodi where we saw some soldiers who entered the tunnel and brought our two suspects. Four other persons were picked, but after explanation, they were not connected to the tunnel. The soldiers recovered many things in the tunnel, showing that the ritualists have been in the tunnel for a long time.”
An unconfirmed report claimed that the suspect told the soldiers that they used to drag early morning road users and those coming home at night into the tunnel.
One of the soldiers fumed: “I think the suspects are ritualists. If they were ordinary thieves as they claimed, they would have been arrested since because victims would have narrated their ordeals to security agents and they would have been killed. With what we recovered in the tunnel, it shows that they are ritualists. They used to kill their victims for rituals. The police should do a thorough investigation to unravel if they are responsible for the stories of missing persons in the state. The angry mob wanted to kill them and burn them alive, but we want to hand them alive to the police for proper investigation”.
It was possible to get the comment of the Lagos State Police Command’s public relations officer, DSP Bala Elkana as of the time of this report as a call put to his GSM handset rand out. But a source close to his office said the arrested suspects were handed over to Policemen attached to Akinpelu Division for onward transfer to the Command Headquarters.
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