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Masquerade, herbalist held over sergeant’s death

A 52-year-old head of a local masquerade group, Igunuko, based at Ifako-Ijaiye area of Lagos State, Ariyo Elegbede, is among 10 suspects arrested over the death of one Sergeant Collins Esiabor.

Esiabor was allegedly lynched on August 29, at Ifako Ijaiye by suspected members of a secret cult gang, over an ‘unprovoked’ reason. One 82-year-old herbalist, Babatunde Rufai, who treats gunshot victims, is also among those arrested.

While the leader of the Igunuko was arrested for allegedly participating in the actual lynching of the policeman, the herbalist was said to have administered first aid to a member of the gang, who mistakenly shot himself on the leg with a police rifle.

Although, the head of the masquerade group denied his involvement in the murder of the policeman, the Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Imohimi Edgal, said Elegbede along with the herbalist treated the suspect of gunshot wound before he fled to Ondo State.

Edgal, who paraded the suspects yesterday at the Command Headquarters, Ikeja, said all the gang members were arrested from their various hideouts at Ifako-Ijaiye.

He added that on the day of the incident, at Haruna bus-stop, Ifako-Ijaiye, Ogba, a mob, for no reason and without any provocation, attacked a police patrol team and vandalized a patrol van, stationed to provide security in the area, leading to the death of Sergeant Collins Esiabor.

“I promised then that the command would do all it can to unravel and prosecute those behind the dastardly act.

Investigation launched into the incident led to the arrest of the following key actors in the crime: Adewunmi Suleiman, 28; Olorunda Michael, 21; Omoba Idowu, 27; Olarewaju Hammed, 20; Ransom Adewuye, 27; Ayo Adeyanju, 27; Anu Akinola, 24; Ige Paul Akanbi, 29; Babatunde Rufai, 82; and Ariyo Elegbede, 52.

“Investigation into the case revealed that the suspects are cultists as attested to by one of them, Ayo Adeyanju, who conveyed the body of their late member to the burial site.

On their way, they decided to avenge the death of the deceased on the police patrol team even though it is clear that the police had no physical contact whatsoever with the deceased,” he said.

Edgal further stated that the suspects narrated how their deceased friend died. He said their deceased friend sighted policemen within his vicinity after snatching a phone from someone, attempted to scale a fence believing they were after him but that unfortunately, he put the wrong foot forward and fatally injured himself.



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