An uncompleted two-storey building suspected to be a hideout of kidnappers and ritualists was on Monday discovered in Alagbaka area of Akure, the Ondo State capital.
The building is located a few meters away from the Ondo State House of Assembly and it is behind the popular government-owned events centre, the Gani Fawehinmi Arcade, said to be owned by a retired civil servant in the state.
The abandoned uncompleted building was discovered by the residents of the area who suspected that some men were always inside the building performing numerous secret activities on a daily basis.
A resident of the area, on condition of anonymity, told our correspondent that the building has been abandoned for a long time and many residents of the area did not know the owner.
He explained that a security operative attached to one of the buildings in the area shot a bird that had perched on a tree beside the suspected ritualists’ den.
On hearing the gunshot, the suspected hoodlums reportedly rushed out and fled.
Our source narrated, “The suspects thought the gunshot was from the policemen who came for them. They quickly rushed out, but some commercial motorcycle riders in the area helped us to chase and arrest four of them, whom we later handed over to the police.”
The source added that it was the timely intervention of policemen that saved the suspects from being lynched by the angry residents of the area.
When our correspondent visited the building, items of clothing littered the place; and they include women’s underwear, sandals, slippers, cooking utensils, mattresses, toothpaste and toothbrushes, among other items.
Also, a long rope was also found inside one of the rooms. The rope was tied to the ceiling of the building at one end, while the other end of the rope was knotted. Some planks were underneath the rope.
The rope is suspected to be used for hanging their victims.
In his reaction, the Ondo State Police Public Relations Officer, Mr. Femi Joseph, who confirmed the development, said many suspects have been arrested in connection with the matter.
Joseph said, “We have arrested quite a number of them and we are currently interrogating them. It is after the interrogation and investigation that we can conclude whether they are ritualists or not.”
Joseph, who did not specify the number of suspects arrested, said they would be charged to court before the end of this week.
Source: The Punch