A self-confessed member of Baga confraternity, who was identified by a resident in Igando area of Lagos as one of the burglars that stormed his home recently, has said his friend is not a member of his cult.
The suspect, Anthony Anokam, 26, was among 11 other suspected cultists arrested between June 27 and 29 by the Anti-Cultism Unit of the Lagos State Police Command.
Anokam was apprehended by the man whose apartment was burgled, after he (suspect) went to hide one of his weapons in a bush in Igando area of the state.
During interrogation, he gave names of some youths, among who was his former friend, Ogenero Joel, as members of his cult. However, during an interview with Vanguard, Anokam broke down in tears immediately he sighted Joel in handcuffs, saying he (Joel) was innocent. Asked why he mentioned Joel among members of Baga confraternity, Anokam said: “I implicated him because of a lingering grudge I have against him. Joel is not a cultist and he is not a member of Baga. I only mentioned his name to take my pound of flesh, over what he did.
“He sold a faulty phone to me, while we were casual workers in a factory and has refused to pay me back. Instead, anytime I asked him for the refund, he would tell me to do my worst.
“But since I was arrested, my conscience has been pricking me.”
Asked how he was arrested, the Owerri, Imo State-born Anokam said: “I joined cultism in 2007, while in secondary school. But I have not attended their meeting since, because I have started losing interest in it after I relocated to Lagos in 2015.
“But last month, I saw a dagger on a football pitch in Igando. I picked it and threw it inside a bush. When I was coming out, a man asked what I threw inside the bush and I said nothing. By the time he picked the dagger, he raised the alarm, that I was one of those that invaded his home.”
Other suspected cultists arrested alongside Anokam were Orji John, 20; Toheeb Ojo, 21; John Emmanuel, 18; Erede Adebayo, 20; Pascal Chijioke, 24; Agbaja Olumide, 20; Tijani Shefu, 20; Sikiru Onilude, 32; Ibrahim Alliu, 23, and Akeem Alade, 31. The suspects, according to the Commissioner of Police, Lagos State Police Command, Imohimi Edgal, were arrested in Bariga, Yaba, Igando, Ota Road and Agege. He said they will be charged to court.