Army Arrests over 25 suspected cultists, pipeline vandals

Folake Sokoya

Troops of the 81 Division Nigeria Army apprehended 23 suspected cultists at the Egirin Depression area of Ikorodu on April 16, 2018, where over 50 suspected cultists of the “Eiye” confraternity were conducting physical training for new recruits.

The new members were being initiated to be able to plan and carry out robbery and kidnap activities,according to the Army.

Their arrest, which was preceded by a shootout between the troops of the 174 Battalion Ikorodu and the cultists, followed an intensive surveillance and intelligence report to uncover the locations and activities of the cult group.

According to the GOC 81 Commander, Major General Enobong Udoh, who was represented by the 9 Brigade Commander, Brigadier Commander Moundhey Ali, two of the suspects sustained varying degrees of gunshot wounds while one of the newly recruited died as a result of injuries inflicted on him during the cult initiation.

He added that one of their gallant soldiers (name withheld) while combating the cultists, sustained gunshot wound on his left leg and was immediately evacuated.

The soldier, he stated further, with the two suspected cultists, are receiving treatment at the Battalions Medical Reception Station.

Recovered from the suspected cultists include one locally made double barrel pistol, five live cartridges, five machetes, four jack knives, two table knives, three locally fabricated axes with nail-like edges, five mobile phones, one parcel containing substance suspected to be Indian hemp, ATM cards, eight identity cards, nine passport photographs, packets of condom, ring and various charms.

In a related development, acting on a tipoff from well meaning citizens, troops of the 81 Division raided some suspected pipeline vandals who have been sabotaging activities on the nation’s pipeline at Ilara and Imagbon areas of Ikorodu, Lagos State.

“The suspected vandals, armed with AK-47 rifles, fired sporadically and fled on sighting the troops.

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Sabotaged portions of the NNPC pipeline were observed in the general area of Imoro Creek in Imagbon, while items recovered during the operations are one wooden boat, 40 empty 50 liters jerry cans and a 1000-metre long laid hose ostensibly used in siphoning products by the vandals.

“Similarly, while on Anti Bunkering patrol along Imoro Creek in the same Ikorodu on April 17, 2018, troops of 174 Battalion discovered sabotaged points along the NNPC pipeline including a loading area in the creek for siphoning products.
Eight suspects were arrested while 10 vehicles, seven Sallon cars, two Wagons and one J5 Ford Bus, phones, 1,320 empty jerry cans, jerry cans already loaded with refined products and substances suspected to be hard drugs are items recovered from them,” Brigadier Commander Ali said.

Ali said that on the same date as mentioned above, while on operation CHECKMATE, THE 174 Battalion Ikorodu arrested one Mr. Bello Kasimu, a dismissed soldier wearing a camouflage T- shirt while escorting trucks to all parts of the country, parading himself as serving personnel.

The suspect,Bello, confessed to specialize in the illegal business but laid emphasis on the fact that he started the act after his dismissal from the Army. Recovered from him are fake Military ID card, a mobile phone, ATM cards and a wallet.

“In yet another development, troops of 35 Artillery Brigade Alamala Barracks, Ogun state while on OperaTION checkmate, arrested an imposter by the name Taiwo Ayomide at Ademola Hotel beside Yasim Mosque Sagamu. Dressed in Military camouflage, Ayomide was extorting money unsuspecting citizens before his bubble was busted by the troop. He is undergoing preliminary investigations before he will be handed over to the Nigerian Police. Items recovered from Ayomide are Camouflage uniform, Identity card, Green Beret and a Military belt. ” Ali added.

Other imposters arrested by troops are Ale Victor Michael of no 3, Tony Marshall Street, Ajasakoma Ipaja. He was arrested along Iba road dressed on Military Camouflage T-shirt and dessert both. Olanrewaju Yusuf of no 5 Idowu close, Ojo Alaba Road was in possession of an Army camouflage cap, claiming to be an Air force personnel. Adetileyin Segun of block 2, flat 1, camp 3 was also arrested. Others are Ibrahim Isa a.ka. Malaika and Ibrahim Abdulahi, a dismissed soldier who was arrested while impersonating as a serving officer and assaulting unsuspecting civilians.

The General Officer Commanding 81 Division Nigerian Army, Major General Enobong Udoh thanked the general public and the people of Lagos and Ogun states for their continued cooperation and urged them to always give information that will help the Division in its operational efforts on day to day basis.

He pledged not to relent until the Area Responsibility of his Division is completely rid of all forms of cultism, vandalism and other violent criminal activities and criminal elements. He further enjoined members of the public to continue to reach out with useful information.

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