Six days after the Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Mr Fatai Owoseni, disclosed that a notorious cult member, nicknamed Anarchy, was killed in gun duel with the police, the suspect’s father is now crying foul.
The father of the deceased, Pastor Olumide Balogun, alleged a police sergeant mowed down his son in cold blood.
But addressing journalists on Wednesday, Owoseni said that policemen killed one of the most notorious cult members, operating in the Bariga area of Lagos State. He said: “Anarchy was killed on Tuesday at Bariga area during a gun duel with policemen. Anarchy’s group was about to engage a rival group in supremacy when scared residents suddenly put a distress call across to the police.”
According to Owoseni, police raced to the scene. On sighting the policemen, Anarchy and some members of his group, rather than take to their heels, engaged the policemen in a gun battle. He added: “Anarchy had been on police wanted list for long. Police responded to a distress call at Bariga.
Anarchy engaged policemen in a shootout. One of the cultists was arrested and weapon recovered. Anarchy, however, suffered bullet injury and died on the way to the hospital.” However, Balogun the said Anarchy was never a cult member.Balogun gave his son’s name as Abiodun Balogun, 33. According to him, Abiodun was shot dead by a police sergeant identified as Adekan Adesola at Ilaje Bariga area of Lagos. He said: “The sergeant trailed and shot my son at the spot where he went to collect Sallah ram from a politician in the community. I was in the church when I received the call that my son had been killed.”have been to the Lagos State Command Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) cell to search for my son, but I could not find him. All I was given there was his case file.
“I learnt that the policeman that shot him took my son’s necklace and his N400,000. I want the Commissioner of Police to summon the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) in charge of Bariga and probe the role played by the sergeant in the murder of my son.”
Balogun, who is also the secretary of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Odiolowo, Mushin branch, said: “I raised my son in a godly way. If he belonged to cult a group, as a father, I would have known. The policeman took away my son’s money. Nigerians should not allow the sergeant that killed my son to go away with his corpse.
They should give me my son’s corpse!” When our correspondent visited Ajileye Street, where the Baloguns lived, sympathisers gathered at their home, mourning Abiodun. Abiodun’s mother, Mrs Adenike Balogun, said: “The police sergeant is a cult member.
He belonged to Eiye Confraternity. He wanted Abiodun to join his group, but my son refused. Since then, he had been hunting my son. “I was still with my son on Monday. We discussed how we would celebrate the Sallah. I didn’t know that evil was lurking. It was around 8am on that fateful day that someone called me.
The person said that the sergeant had shot and killed Abiodun. The police are now spreading lies that my son was a cult member.” Adenike claimed that ev-eryone in the area knew that the police sergeant belonged to Eiye Confraternity. According to her, the sergeant had been shooting and killing rival group members, under the guise of policing. Adenike said: “The sergeant had been shooting people and claiming they were cultists. But Abiodun was not a cultist. They had been luring him to join them, but he refused. I don’t know the fate of my son presently.
I have not been allowed to see him at the police division. I was barred from entering the police station to see my son.” Workers and friends of the deceased at his block industry said that Abiodun was murdered in cold blood by the policeman. Mrs Omowunmi Adebisi, a resident of the area, said: “The victim did not belong to any cult group. People that killed him, believed that killing him was the only way they could have access and control the whole community.”
Another resident, Taye, said: “Abiodun was never a cult member as claimed by the police. What we do is selling of sand and moulding of blocks at the shore of Lagos Lagoon at Bariga. To get to the root causes of the crisis in our community, the former Baale should be summoned by Owoseni, because he had used his boys to kill innocent people who are not in support of his style of government.
“What we are saying is that the police should give us Abiodun’s body for burial.” The state Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), DSP Joe Offor, said Abiodun was a wanted cult member. The PPRO added that the suspect was shot dead during an exchange of gunfire. He said the matter had been transferred to SARS, Ikeja, for further investigation.