Saturday, 14 September 2013

Mushin, Lagos Residents Recount Ordeal In Hands Of Serial 'Cult killer'

One of the late resident of Mushin

Calm seems to have returned to Mushin area of Lagos State after the arrest of a notorious gunman, Adigun Muda,  alleged to be a leader of Black Axe cult. Muda is presently being held at the Homicide Department of the State Criminal Investigation Department, Yaba.
However, our correspondent, who visited the volatile area on Thursday, observed that residents shared mixed feelings.
While some believe the respite is momentary as the crisis will never end until the police arrest those sponsoring the cult war, others say Muda’s arrest is a credit to the fight against cultism and believe that they can now sleep with two eyes closed.
Victims, who relived their experiences in the hands of the suspect, who is alleged to have killed at least 10 people, described him as a stone-cold killer, whose modus operandi was to drive by a neighbourhood in an unregistered Toyota Camry vehicle and open fire, killing those he could and injuring others.
The suspect and his gang are alleged to usually attack their rivals at parties or social gatherings, especially at night or early in the morning.
A resident, Wale Douglas-Somabe, who claims his younger brother was killed in his presence by the suspect and his gang, says the arrest is a welcome development.
He said, “On August 30, 2013, my 27-year-old brother, Ashy, was killed by a gang of thugs led by Adigun (Muda). Other members of the gang include Lanre Pumping, Kaka and Sheriff. On that very day, my brother, who was into Plaster of Paris business, was returning from work when he decided to go watch a football match at a nearby game centre.
“The four culprits, who were wearing bullet proof vests, came in an unregistered Toyota Camry car, parked by Martins/Adeyemi Junction, Olosha and opened fire. Someone was celebrating a birthday party that night and there were a lot of people there.
“Adigun shot my brother in the stomach while Kaka shot him in the hand. He died instantly and we reported the matter at Alakara Police Division.”
Another man, Rasheed Jinadu, whose son was also killed in his presence, said it was not Muda that killed his son directly.
He however said the killer, who was later arrested by the police, confessed that it was Muda who hired him for the job.
He said, “On March 21, 2013, my 28-year-old son, Ismaila, had just gone to say his morning prayers at a nearby mosque in the area and was walking down Martins Street. I sat on an abandoned vehicle and I saw a Keke NAPEP, which drove by; but I did not suspect anything.
“Three guys – Lanre Pumping, Saheed Amala and Danjuma – came out of the tricycle and opened fire. My son was shot in the face and died instantly. I doubt if my son was the target because he did not even live in Mushin, he lived at Sango Ota, Ogun State. He only came to visit me.
“I went to report the matter at Alakara Police Division and Amala was arrested and taken to SCID. He confessed in his statement that it was Muda that instructed them to wreak havoc in the area.”
It was learnt that Amala had since been charged with murder and remanded at Ikoyi Prison.
Saturday PUNCH had reported on September 9, 2013, that Muda had also been arrested and charged to court under controversial circumstances after he had filed for bail from a High Court.
The suspect was said to have gone after those who dared to write statements against him and killed some of them, a scenario which is said to have evoked fear in the minds of those who ought to testify against him should he be released a second time.
Our correspondent learnt that although the killings were as a result of a feud between two kingpins in the area, over a quarter of those killed were victims of collateral damage as they were hit by stray bullets.
One of such cases was that of two-year-old boy, Emmanuel Ahenkorah, who was shot in the heart by a stray bullet while he was being fed by his mother, Tina.
In the same attack, a next-door neighbour to the Ahenkorahs, Mrs. Monsurat Olaonipekun, and her baby, Muiz, were shot.
Emmanuel’s father, Emmanuel (Snr), who spoke to our correspondent on Thursday, said he could not say who exactly killed his son.
He however said the killings in Mushin would not stop until the police were ready to tackle the menace with sincerity.
He said, “On June 3, 2010, I was at my house at No 15, Soremekun Street. My little son said he was hungry and I got him some food and gave it to his mother to feed him. His mother was feeding him on the corridor because of the heat inside the room. Suddenly, we heard gunshots and people ran for dear lives.
“At that time, Mrs. Olaonipekun was looking for her little daughter and she opened the main gate in search of her. The shooters, who probably felt the woman was spying on them, opened fire on her and the entire house. A bullet hit my son in the heart while others sustained bullet wounds.”
Speaking further on cultism in Mushin, he said, “Arrests were made after my son’s murder but no one told me how the case ended. In my own opinion, I feel the police need to be more sincere in their fight against cultism.
“Most times, after a major gang war, an Armoured Personnel Carrier is stationed at the hot spots in order to scare the cultists. However, after sometime, these security agents become familiar with the thugs and they start drinking together.
“We have seen occasions where these hoodlums take these policemen to beer parlours and while the policemen are relaxing, the hoodlums go behind to wreak havoc. The police authorities need to come up with a lasting solution. One person’s arrest is not just enough.”
The Chairman, Mashewele Community Development Association, Fred Kowor, said the police and the government knew those behind the violence.
He said series of letters had been written to the relevant authorities and the police had been trying but the problem was overwhelming.
“Martins Street is usually on the receiving end. These guys come from their area to wreak havoc here. During the last CDA meeting, I was told that boys from Martins Street do not go to the opposition’s area, so I wonder what the problem is.
“The Divisional Police Officer, Alakara, Anthony Okosun, has been doing very well as he virtually sleeps at the station everyday. I think other police formations need to join in this fight because one division cannot handle this matter alone.”
When contacted on the telephone, the spokesperson for the state police command, Ngozi Braide, said the police would continue to do everything possible to make sure that calm was permanent in Mushin.
The PPRO said residents should continue to give relevant information to the police that would lead to the arrest of more cultists.
Braide also maintained that Muda was not released by the police the first time but by the court.

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