The police in Kwara State have arrested 13 suspected members of a dreaded cult group, Badoo, including two middle-aged women.
They were arrested in Ilorin at the weekend following the report of a clash between suspected members of the group and local vigilante group at a ceremony held at Oke Jagun area of the city a few days ago.
The state Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Ajayi Okasanmi, who confirmed the arrest said the suspected leader of the group was at large. He said the suspects would be charged to court this week.
It was also gathered that the suspects, who are mostly students and indigenes of Ilorin, were arrested at various locations in Adeta, Oloje, Pakata, Omoda, Ita Kudimo, Alfa Yahaya, Ita-Amo and Isale Jagun.
According to Tribune Online, trouble started last week when suspected cultists clashed with members of the vigilante group during a ceremony at Isale Jagun, area, Okelele in Ilorin East local government area. The cultists had reportedly organized a prayer programme and hired the vigilante men to keep watch during the event.
But a member of the vigilante group in the area claimed that they were on a peace mission to settle the fight among the boys when they came under attack.
A source in the area, speaking on condition of anonymity, was quoted as saying: “The event started well but it got to a point when no one could understand the message being passed by those boys among themselves. They all wore white T-shirts with Badoo inscribed on it”.
According to him, efforts by the vigilante men to unravel what was happening was met by an attack from the cult members.
“To disperse the crowd, the Badoo boys shot sporadically into the air and just as the vigilante men were trying to calm the situation, the boys shot at the security men. However, to the surprise of everyone, the vigilante kept deflecting the bullets by brushing it down.” The source said.
The fracas was said to attracted men of the Adewole Police Division and other security agents who came and arrested the suspects. They were said to have been immediately transferred to the State Criminal Investigation and Intelligent Department, Police headquarters.
It was learnt that during interrogation, the suspects confessed to be members of the Badoo confraternity and gave the identity of their leader in the state as well as how to get him.
Okasanmi however expressed concern that residents of the Isale Jagun did not make formal complaint on the existence of members of the confraternity in the community until the ugly incident.
“It was when the situation got out of control that they called the attention of the police to arrest the situation.
“Our patrol team swung into action and made some arrests on the fateful day and many more arrests are being made in connection with the matter. Based on the strength of information we got, the suspects wore T-shirts with Badoo inscription.
“We have heard and seen what members of the confraternity did in the Lagos incident; Badoo boys attack. We don’t want such horrible attack in our state. The police will do everything to chase them out of the state.”