The Kwara state police command last week paraded one Olagunju Abdulfatai Tijani a leader of one cult group known as Eiye Confraternity who confessed to killing at least three members of a rival group in his bid to become number one in Ilorin zone. UMAR BAYO ABDULWAHAB chronicles the major breakthrough recorded by the command between March and April 2023.
Shock and disbelief
As they filled out from the police cell to be paraded at the state police headquarters, Ilorin, Olagunju Abdulfatai Tijani who dorned a blue shinning jalabiya appears most innocent amongst the six suspects paraded by the police.
He appeared clean and, of course, the most handsome amongsts the suspects.
In fact, some people have almost concluded by saying that, ‘this fine boy might be an innocent judging from his look and appearance’.
Contrary to this assertion, Tijani turned out to be the prime suspect and most calous amongst those paraded after listening to his self confession and charges preferred against him by the police.
From a humble beginning to cultism
According to the information provided by the police, Tijani is a son of a late retired major in the Nigeria Army, but the suspect said his father was a captain.
Tijani had dropped out from the University of Ilorin where he confessed to had been initiated into the cult group as far back as 2019.
He now occupies number two position in the Eiye- Confratenity in Ilorin, but now had to carry out a tall order if he must move up to number one position in the group.
To attain this exalted position in the confraternity, Tijani was therefore appointed as the ‘hit man’ (killer) of his constituency and would have to kill more people in orderto become the number figure.
This desire propmted him to kill three members of a rival cult group in different parts of Ilorin in recent times.
Parading Tijani and other suspects in Ilorin last week, the state Police Public Relatoins Officer (PPRO), Okasanmi Ajayi, said the suspects was initially arrested for belonging to a gang of thieves but said further investigation into his activities revealed he is a member of a secret cult.
“The suspect confessed that he belonged to Eiye Confraternity and that he is in the No 2 hierarchy in Ilorin zone. He stated that, during one of the cult’s escapades, himself and the other suspects whose names were withheld (for now) at large, armed with one English pistol and a locally- fabricated pistol went and attacked and killed one Ismaila Alabi (AKA Abbey), a barber at his barbing shop in Agbooba area of the city on 21/4/2022.
“Olagunju further confessed that sometimes in February 2021 he had also shot and killed one Emmanuel ‘M’ surname unknown, a student of Human Kinetic Education, University of Ilorin, in a bid to fast tracking his ascension to the top position in his cult group.
“Upon enquiry as to the source of his weapons, he confirmed that he took possession of his late father’s pistol, (a retired army Major) which he used in the killings he participated .
“The pistol, according to him, is currently with a member of the Eiye Cult group presently at large. Investigation into the matter is ongoing for possible arrest and prosecution of the suspects,” the statement said.
Blueprint gathered that the command also paraded one Mumuni Baba ‘M’ for Illegal possession of fire arns and belonging to member of secret cult with one English pistol, one live ammunition and one locally made pistol recovered from him.
Baba told reporters that he was invited as an external to carry out the killings of marked persons.
He said he had perfmed similar operations in Abeokuta Ogun state capital before being invited for the operation in Ilorin where he met his water loo.
According to the police spokesperson, the suspect was arrested by operatives on 6/5/ 2022 while on routine stop and search patrol along Gambari area of Ilorin.
“A team of police men attached to C Division, Oja Oba Ilorin sighted an approaching motorcycle; in an attempt to evade search, the rider jumped off the motorcycle and took to his heels. He was given a hot chase, eventually arrested and searched. The above listed fire-arms were recovered from him. On interrogation, he stated that he was invited by one Abdulahi ‘m’ of Okolowo area of Ilorin presently at large for a killing assignment. Efforts by Anti- Kidnapping unit to arrest other members of the gang are in progress,” he said.
End of road for 3-man gang
The command also paraded three suspects namly Abdulsallam Abubakar ‘M’, Olamide Boluwatife ‘M’ and Olayemi Ismaila ‘M who specialise in defrauding unsuspecting members of the public by stealing and swarping POS machines from their operators. One POS Terminal Machine was also recovered from the suspects.
He said the three-man gang, whose speciality is stealing and fraudulently exchanging POS Terminal Machines in Ilorin and its environs were arrested on 9/5/2022, at Baruten Motor Park Agric area, Ilorin in the process of perfecting the act of swapping and stealing a POS machine from an an unsuspecting operator.
“Investigation of the case revealed that the suspects have successfully operated, swapped and stolen about 35 POS Terminal Machines within Ilorin and Offa alone. “The affected POS operators have identified the three suspects to have separately stolen their machines and a total sum of #1.7miilion naira converted from the stolen machines to their personal use.”
Ajayi said the command had between March and April 2023 arrested and charged to court 15 members of different cult groups in Ilorin and are presently remanded in Correctional Centres across the state.
He said, “Seven different cartigories of fire arms were recovered within the period under review.
“Five confirmed shop- breakers and criminal -recievers were arrested and charged to court with stolen items ranging from deep freezers, elepaq generators, motorcycles, television sets, home appliances including rolls of Ankara and several pairs of shoes recovered from them.”
Similarly, the PPRO said during the period under review, four suspected ritualists with human parts were equally arrested and charged to court.
“Suspects in all the cases would be charged to court as soon as investigation into the cases are satisfactorily concluded”, he said.