Some of the 120 alleged cultists paraded by the Nigerian Police Force in Lagos have denied the offence, saying they were raided miles away from the venue of the purported cultism intuition was being conducted.
Imohimi Edgal, the Lagos State Commissioner of Police, on Monday paraded 120 suspected cultists allegedly arrested during their initiation at a hotel in Igbogbo, Ikorodu, Lagos.
Edgal said the Lagos Command had on Thursday warned cultists against their plans to initiate new members but in defiance the group went ahead on to hold the initiation ceremony on Saturday.
Edgal said: “The command had on Thursday, 5th July, 2018, warned cultists preparing to observe the sacred day they call seventh day of the seventh month not to converge on any part of the state. We also encouraged good Nigerians to give information about these sets of people anywhere they are seen.
“Based on credible intelligence, which was communicated to my office, I ordered area commanders and officers in charge of anti-cultism unit of the Lagos State police command to move into certain locations where I got credible Intel that these cultists were converging and were doing initiation ceremonies under the guise that they were celebrating birthday parties.”
Edgal said these cultists took over a hotel in Ikorudu where the initiation was being conducted before the Police rounded up the venue and arrested all of them.
However, some of the suspects said they were arrested away from the undisclosed hotel.
One of the suspects, who identified himself as Hakeem, said he was arrested on his way from a festival organised at the palace of the Igbogbo king but was driven to the hotel where more people were then arrested.
“We left Oba’s Palace; we wanted to board a bike when the police arrested us and put us in their van. We were taken to the hotel where they arrested more people. It was from those they brought into the van that I got the blood stain on my cloth.
Another suspect, Adeoye, aged 45, said he was raided on his way home. He also said he had been arrested and kept in the police van before the Police arrested the alleged cultist.
A young girl who claimed to be 18 years old said she was going to call her sister when she was arrested by the police.
Many of the suspects also claimed they had not been able to reach their family members to inform them of their arrest.