Six suspected members of the Black Axe cult group were among the 24 suspects the Oyo State Police Command paraded yesterday at its Eleyele, Ibadan headquarters.The suspected cultists, who are graduates of The Polytechnic, Ibadan, the state capital, were rounded up on July 1 at the Ijokodo part of the state capital on their way to a robbery operation.
Though the suspects denied going for a robbery when they were arrested, they confessed to being cult members since their undergraduate days. The suspects said they possessed dangerous weapons, such as a double barrel pistol, axes, charms and five handsets, among others.
Deputy Police Commissioner Clement Adoda said his men stopped the suspects when they were travelling in a Honda Accord car, with registration number (Lagos) LJ 902 AAA, following a tip-off from concerned citizens. The suspects gave their names as Oluwatayo Oluwafemi, Boboye Ayeni, Aderemi Babatunde, Godwin Sunday, Akeem Kasali and Emmanuel Asada.
Oluwafemi, 27, claimed he has a National Diploma (ND) in Mechanical Engineering from The Polytechnic, Ibadan. He confessed to the ownership of the gun. He said another member of the gang, Asada, gave him the gun during last year’s election for protection.
Oluwafemi denied robbing at gun point, saying it is one of the normal weapons members of the Black Axe. Adoda said the gun was concealed in the car’s spare tyre. He added that the suspects would soon be charged to court.
A former worker of an Ibadan-based firm, Basco Nigeria Limited, Dauda Odebunmi, was paraded for allegedly stealing 60 motorcycles. The suspects robbed the company 10 days after he resigned.
Addressing reporters in Ibadan, the state capital, Adoda said: “On July 7, Odebunmi led some hoodlums to burgle the warehouse of Basco Nigeria Limited. At the wee hours of the day, he and his cohorts were busy loading unassembled motorcycles into a standby truck when the Seven-Cities Patrol team attached to Sango was alerted. The patrol team sped to the scene and met the hoodlums in action. Sixty unassembled Jincheng motorcycles, already loaded in the truck were recovered, while six suspects were promptly arrested, including Odebunmi.” The suspect told reporters that he committed the crime.
The command also recovered 10 vehicles from robbers. They are: Nissan Urvan, with registration number (Lagos) EPE 65 XA; Mercedes Benz 190 saloon car, with registration number (Lagos) CK 26 KJA; Honda Pilot, marked (Lagos) LND 299 AA; Mazda E2000, marked (Ondo) XC 490 KTP; Mazda Bliss, with registration number (Lagos) KB 20 KJA and a Toyota Carina wagon, marked (Lagos) RB 10 AAA.
Others, which the police said had no registration numbers, are a white Nissan Maxima, a green Toyota saloon car, a red Mazda 626 car and a grey Toyota Lite Hiace bus.