Men of the Lagos State Neighbourhood Safety Corps have arrested six suspected cult members for allegedly gang-raping three secondary school pupils in the Agarawu area, Lagos Island.
The suspects – Laguda Kamal, Muyideen Aigoro, Kayode Damilare, Quadri Ajayi, Idoogun Yinusa and Yinka Adewuyi – were arrested following an intelligence report.
The victims were said to be Junior Secondary School 3 pupils and identified as Maryam, 15; Sulia, 13; and Alimat, 13.
It was gathered that Damilare, and the gang leader, identified simply as Wakilu, were assigned by their cult, Eiye Confraternity, to recruit new members – males and females – from secondary schools in the state.
The suspects allegedly forced the victims out of their schools and took them to a hideout in Agarawu, where they initiated them into the gang. They were said to have subsequently took turns to sleep with them.
They reportedly perpetrated the act at the residence of the gang leader, said to be at large.
The Chairman of the LNSC, Israel Ajao, a Deputy Inspector-General of Police (retd.), while parading the suspects on Thursday, said the cult members usually visited the schools of their target victims with weapons.
“They would force them to a hideout and then gang-rape them. One of the victims was held for four days. The cat was let out of the bag by a neighbour who reported the matter to the operatives after an alarm by the victim’s mother.
“The corps has been working tirelessly in conjunction with the police, adopting both overt and covert strategies, to ensure that criminals do not have a place in Lagos State,” Ajao said.
The LNSC boss noted that cultism had become a breeding ground for criminals, noting that efforts would be made to curtail the trend.
“From cultism they graduate to kidnapping, rape and other heinous crimes, and that is why we have changed our strategy to focus on cultism.
“We will begin to visit schools to sensitise principals to the need to be conscious of the activities of their pupils,” he added.
One of the victims, Maryam, in her statement to the corps, said Damilare and Wakilu gang-raped her and Sulia after forcing them to their hideout at gunpoint.
She said, “Dare came to meet me in school with a gun that I should follow him to Agarawu. He said his members were going to initiate me or else he would kill me.
“When we got there, they formed a circle and asked me to kneel down in their midst. They tied my face and sprinkled some things on my body. They asked me to undress and raped me countless times for four days.”
Two of the suspects, Kamal and Quadri, reportedly confessed to “having fun with the victims,” but denied gang-raping them.
But Damilare allegedly said he witnessed the moment Wakilu and Yinka gang-raped Maryam, adding that he was not involved in the act.
The suspects had been transferred to the State Criminal Investiogation and Intelligence Department, Yaba.