Jungle justice on suspected members of Badoo continued on Wednesday at Ebute, Ipakodo, Ikorodu, Lagos, when a yet-to-be identified man was set ablaze by residents.
This is just as the state police command says it has screened over 100 arrested suspected members of the gang and arraigned those found culpable before the Lagos State Mobile Court.
Also, residents of Magbo, Ogijo, in the Sagamu Local Government Area of Ogun State, set ablaze a middle-aged man suspected to be a member of Badoo.
PUNCH Metro learnt that the Ebute residents were keeping vigil in the community when they accosted the man around 2am at Police Post bus stop, some distance away from the Ipakodo Police Division.
They reportedly noticed that oil was rubbed over his body and concluded that he was a member of Badoo, descending heavily on him.
It was gathered that a senior police officer, who rushed to the scene, tried in vain to stop the mob from lynching the suspect.
They reportedly put tyres on him and set him ablaze.
A resident, who identified himself simply as Olaniyi, said he was going to the office around 8am when he saw the remains of the victim.
He said, “I saw the deceased in the middle of a bonfire.
“The scene was not far from the Ipakodo Police Station. It was a gory sight.
“The police and the government should talk to residents to stop jungle justice. I know people are angry because of the havoc this gang had wreaked on many families. People are taking the law into their own hands because they don’t have confidence in the police anymore.”
Another resident of the community, Abiodun Hay’Cube Odunuga, who posted about the incident on a Facebook forum, Ikorodu Ambassadors Group, said the suspect confessed that he had two accomplices.
He wrote, “Another suspected Badoo gang was caught in my area, Ebute Ipakodo, Police Post bus stop precisely. He was caught at 2am today (Wednesday) by the people of the area as nobody goes to sleep again.
“He said they were three in number and they had been in town since afternoon, watching where to strike. There was oil all over his body. The angry mob didn’t listen to anything again as they have seen enough evidence to burn the suspect to death.”
While discouraging lynching, the police spokesperson in Lagos, ASP Olarinde Famous-Cole, said some of the suspects arrested during raids on communities in Ikorodu had been screened.
He said those who were found innocent had been released, while others suspected to be members of the gang had been arraigned, adding that 53 accused were remanded in the Kirikiri Prison.
He said, “The suspects have been screened. I don’t have the actual figure now, but about 80 suspects were arraigned before the mobile court. Fifty three of them were remanded in the Kirikiri Prison.
“We have increased police visibility and we are practically going from one community to another, identifying with stakeholders. We are not concentrating on Ikorodu alone.
“The security measures being deployed in Ikorodu are being extended to other parts of the state.”
Meanwhile, the National Leader of the Oodua Peoples’ Congress, Gani Adams, has said members of the Badoo cult are being sponsored by influential people in Lagos State.
Adams, who accused the state government of playing politics with the lives of residents, said members of the cult were usually lured through job opportunities after which they were recruited into the gang.
The OPC leader said his group refrained from intervening in the matter despite having information about the activities of the men because it didn’t have the permission of the government.
He said, “For about two and half years, our coordinators in Ijede have been giving us a lot of information about Badoo. We realised that some highly-placed personalities were involved.
He said, “They use vacancy adverts, among others, to lure would-be Badoo members and they put up some (telephone) numbers. When you call the numbers, they will call you to come to their office and they will give you money for empowerment, like N250,000.
“From what we have gathered, they normally buy the (bloodstained) handkerchiefs for N500,000, N1m or N1.5m. A common man cannot afford that money. It is being organised by some prominent people.
“The Lagos State Government plays partisan politics with the lives and property of people whereas the first duty of government, whether federal, state or local, is to make sure the lives of the citizenry are protected.”
In a related development, an irate mob on Wednesday at Magbo, Ogijo, in the Sagamu Local Government Area of Ogun State, set ablaze a middle-aged man suspected to be a member of Badoo.
The suspect was allegedly accused of being in possession of the severed head of an infant.
The state Commissioner of Police, Ahmed Iliyasu, whose convoy was heading for Ogijo on surveillance, ran into the mob.
On sighting the police, the mob fled.
Policemen on the CP’s convoy immediately disembarked from their vehicles and took away the remains of the suspected cult member.
The state police spokesperson, Abimbola Oyeyemi, had yet to react to the incident.Punch