The mystery behind the reign of terror of killer cult group known as badoo in Ikorodu area of Lagos, is gradually unfolding following the recent arrest of five suspected key members of the sect.
The group started its operations late 2016 with pockets of killings in different communities within Ikorodu. By 2017, its name, badoo was not only established but the gruesome murder of defenseless and helpless residents also established the killing as ritual purpose related.
Its members killed at will, without consideration to the age or sex of victims. In one of the instances, a grandmother with her two grandchildren were murdered in cold blood in their sleep. The entire members of several families were also wiped out by these evasive killers.
The sanctity of worship centres like the church were disregarded as members of the blood thirsty group killed some victims right inside the centres. One baffling aspect of its operation was that none of its victims nor members of the neigbourhood where they invade was usually awake during the operation.
Residents only woke up to discover the lifeless bodies of victims in their rooms with their head smashed. At a point, residents concluded badoo members were invincible beings.
But with the latest arrest of Igwe Chibuzor (20), Obamoyegun Omotayo (45), Samuel Ameze (38), his wife Gift, and Adebayo Fatai (34), it has been established that members the group are human beings after all. The arrest however, revealed the use of diabolical means in the group’s operation.
What gave the gang away
From the confessional statements of the arrested suspects, it was revealed that badoo members operated only at midnight while every one would have retired to bed. Also, during operation, they would spray a powdery substance within the targeted building. The powdery substance which was given to them by their herbalist was expected to put victims to deep sleep.
The powdery substance was also sprayed close to buildings around the targeted building to avoid any intrusion during operation.
Thereafter, they would smash their victim’s head with a grinding stone, and dab their white handkerchiefs in victim’s blood before leaving the scene. But Vanguard gathered that the only antidote to this charm is when a victim wakes up at the time members storm the apartment, or sets his or her eyes on members.
On December 30, 2017, the trio of Omotayo, Chibuzor and Ameze stormed a building at Alajo close , Abule Osoru in Ibeshe community in Ikorodu to carry out their usual operation. They had succeeded in smashing the head of the breadwinner, Shakiru Yekini (38) with their arsenal- the grinding stone.
Unfortunately for them, his wife who had gone to ease herself was just entering the room when she beheld the assailants. Her scream alerted neighbours, particularly members of a vigilante group established by the Commissioner of Police, Lagos State Police Command, Imohimi Edgal.
They also used the same stone on the woman and her 11-year-old son, Samat and dabbed their white handkerchiefs in the victims blood before leaving the scene. However, in their rush, one of them, Chibuzor was abandoned while others zoomed off in their operational vehicle. He was subsequently apprehended and handed over to the police, while the victims who were found in the pool of their blood were rushed to the hospital.
Sadly, the breadwinner was confirmed dead on arrival but his widow and son were still being treated at the Lagos State Teaching Hospital, Idi-Araba, following the severe bodily harm inflicted on them.
Another starling revelation about these killers is that they usually performed rituals before, during and after each operation. This was disclosed by Chibuzor in his confessional statement to the Police. Determined to put an end to the reign of terror of the sect, Chibuzor, on the directive of CP Edgal, led an advance party of operatives of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad , SARS, including the Commander, CSP Muhammed Sanusi, to identify the shrine where members were fortified spiritually.
Thereafter, Edgal with a joint operatives of the Rapid Response Squad and Lagos Task Force personnel, stormed the shrine in Imosan area of Ijebu-Ode, Ogun state, Tuesday. The native doctor alleged to be carrying out the spiritual work on the suspects, Adebayo Fatai (34) was subsequently arrested and his shrine demolished on the directive of the CP with the consent of the community leader.
Some grinding stones similar to that used by members of the group were recovered in the shrine. Crime Guard reliably gathered that members got the grinding stones, took them to the shrine where rituals known as ipakuare were performed on them. The ritual, as gathered, was meant to snuff life out of victims immediately. However, any victim who was able to sight members of the gang before they were attacked were likely to survive it except their heads were smashed more than four times.
Members also went through series of rituals to enable them escape scenes of operation whenever alarm was raised. Before the operation, members were advised to abstain from having sex with their spouses, as that could erode the potency of the rituals and thereby give them away.
In an interview with Chibuzor who claimed to have joined the group in June 2017, he revealed that an oath of secrecy was also taken inside the Imosan, Ogun state shrine. Blaming his indulgence on his desperation to eke a living, he said :”never in my wildest imagination did I envisage I would be involved in this. In my search for a job, I approached Mr Omotayo. He told me to be patient that he would get one for me. But he said that before he would give me the job as a driver, he would first take me somewhere for an oath of loyalty.
“We drove to Ogun state, where three of us: myself, himself and Samuel were administered the oath. Thereafter, we went through another round of rituals. Part of the ritual entailed drinking of water used to wash dead bodies.
Thereafter, the priest would say some incantations before rubbing some oily substance from a calabash on us. We were also made to drink concoctions prepared with animals’ blood. I was told that the rituals were meant for protection. The water used to wash dead bodies was meant to prevent the spirit of those killed from harming us.
“The first operation I went with them after the rituals was the house of a man we later learnt was a Pastor, on December 25, 2017. After the operation, I was given N20,000 and the deceased’s phone. But I gave the phone to my elder brother, Uche. Few days later, we went for another operation where a woman saw us and raised the alarm. I was arrested not because I violated any of the instructions given by the herbalist but because I was left behind and I did not know the terrain.”
Vandal turned badoo leader
During preliminary investigation, suspected leader of the gang, Obamoyegun Omotayo, according to Police sources was discovered to be a former pipeline vandal. He was however forced to stop the illegal activity when the heat by security operatives became unbearable, as well as the resultant death of several vandals during the bombardment of their creeks in Arepo, Ogun state and Ikorodu, Lagos by the Nigerian Air Force, last year.
His arrest and alleged involvement in the killings of several residents within Ikorodu axis came as a rude shock to many. This is because the 45-year-old father of two was well known in Agbowa community, as he owns a block industry there while the street where he lived was named after him.
Saturday Vanguard was reliably informed that he usually went out between 9pm and 10pm whenever there was an operation, to a pub where other members converged before setting out for their target’s abode as from midnight. At times they would meet in a hotel around Ikorodu from where they set out. On his way back from the operation, he was usually allowed passage within the area because of his popularity.
Badoo Chief Herbalist, Fatai Adebayo alias Alese arrested by the Lagos Police at his shrine in Imosan Village, Ijebu-Ode, Ogun State, on Tuesday
Information also revealed that after the last operation, where Chibuzor was left behind, he found his way back home owing to his mastery of the terrain, driving past members of local vigilante whom he cheerfully greeted and hailed for their effort at keeping the axis calm. To cover his track, when the heat on the group was getting unbearable, Saturday Vanguard learned that he sold his Pathfinder jeep which was allegedly used during the operation, sometimes last year
How he was arrested
When he got wind of the arrest of Chibuzor, his driver, he reportedly went into hiding on the water around Ikorodu, pretending to be a fisherman. His wife was said to have contacted him, informing him that the Police came looking for him. From his hiding place, he reportedly contacted one of the community leaders to ascertain the reason for the Police visit. The community leader (names withheld) revealed that it was in connection with the attack on a family by badoo members . He also advised Omotayo to show up if he was sure that he had no hand in the attack.
Policemen were said to have been deceived by the suspect’s wife who said that her husband had gone for a burial ceremony in Ogun state when they visited his home. But his telephone was tracked to the river, where under cover SARS operatives on the directive of the CP , eventually arrested him while attempting to escape.
During interrogation, Police sources disclosed that he admitted to being a member of the deadly group. He also confessed that his role during any operation was to spray the powdery substance which puts victims to sleep. He further stated that it was his responsibility to dip handkerchiefs on victims blood.
But he also claimed to be a mere errand boy and that the handkerchiefs were given to some persons whose names he did not mention. Earlier investigation revealed that the handkerchiefs were sold to some politicians and eminent personalities within and outside Lagos State. The blood stained handkerchiefs were thereafter used for money rituals and protection. Each handkerchief reportedly sold for N500,000 to the end user.
Impeccable security source disclosed that some names had been mentioned as ‘big boys ‘ behind badoo cult. Already, some of them had left Lagos and the country in order to evade likely arrest by the police.
A resident in Ikorodu who gave his name simply as Tunde revealed that during the naming ceremony of one of Omotayo’s children, three human skulls were found in his apartment. But when asked how the skulls found their way to his apartment , he told detectives that they were for his Ifa oracle
Woman also involved
A woman, Mrs Gift Ameze was also one of the arrested suspected badoo key members. She was paraded alongside her husband, Samuel Ameze alias Samito. Samuel’s role during operation was to break victims burglary after the powdery substance would have been sprayed. Samuel, a welder, who also has a street named after him in Agbowa village, confessed that he usually went for operation with his welding machine and iron cutter.
On the part of his pregnant wife, she confessed to be responsible for sourcing victims. Police sources said : “She would leave in the day time, look for houses that were isolated and those which terrain were difficult to access by vehicles. When she got one, she would inform the group. But she would not join them in the operation proper. When approached, the pregnant woman only gave this reporter a blank stare, refusing to speak .
We will get those behind this -Edgal
In his determination to end the reign of badoo terror in Ikorodu, CP Edgal said that investigation was still ongoing with a view to arresting everyone, no matter how highly placed they were. As first step, he has held several meetings with traditional rulers in Ikorodu, where he sought their support at eradicating the killer cult , threatening also, that he would not to spare any of them that would be found culpable.
The effect of that meeting led to the renunciation of cultism by some youths in Ikorodu and surrendering of arms and ammunitions in their possession to the Police. Also, some shrines in that axis were demolished with several arrests made during raids of the groups hideouts by operatives led by Edgal.
At the moment, a suspected badoo kingpin, Alhaji Abayomi Alaka has been declared wanted . He however claimed in a telephone conversation with Saturday Vanguard, Thursday, that he did not have any link with the killer cult group and therefore had no question to answer. But the CP insisted that he should report to the nearest police station to clear himself and also have his day in court.