A Lagos businessman, Alaka Abayomi, arrested by the police for alleged involvement in the latest attack by Badoo, the deadly cult group in Ikorodu, has denied owning up to the crime.
The 51-year-old said in a statement Wednesday through his lawyer that he neither spoke nor wrote a statement to the police in connection with the cult group.
He was detained on July 30th after police officers lured him to the Police Command Headquarters, but has been released on Tuesday, Bartholomew Aguegbodo, his lawyer added.
The Lagos State Police Command had said Mr. Abayomi, who lives in Magodo, was arrested following intelligence reports that he was working with the dreaded group.
According to the police, Mr. Abayomi’s arrest led to the police’ invasion of a shrine allegedly owned by the cult group in the Agbowa area of Ikorodu on Monday.
The police said Mr. Abayomi confessed to knowing others who own shrines in the area before leading the officers to the Badoo cult’s shrine.
Earlier on Sunday, the group gruesomely murdered four members of a family in the Ibeshe area.
Mr. Abayomi, however, described the police’ claims as a “baseless falsehood.”
“For the avoidance of doubt, Alhaji Alaka Abayomi is a legitimate businessman with business concerns in Ikorodu for over 20 years and has never been in any way whatsoever connected or linked with the Badoo Cult or the gruesome and mindless killings going on in Ikorodu, Lagos by the Badoo Cult,” he said in the statement by his lawyer.
“Why the Police is harassing and humiliating Alhaji Alaka Abayomi is a question begging for an answer.”
Mr. Abayomi said he voluntarily honoured a police invitation at the Police Command Headquarters in Ikeja, two weeks ago, where he was asked questions ranging from his business concerns to his growing influence in Ikorodu as well as of the Badoo activities in Ikorodu, Lagos.
In the course of his questioning, he said he informed the police of his sacred place somewhere in Agbowa town, Ikorodu, Lagos, and was released the same day after the officers told him they were conducting an investigation into the activities of the Badoo Cult.
“Surprisingly, on the 30th July, 2017 at about 10 p.m., some armed policemen invaded the residence of Alhaji Alaka Abayomi in Magodo, Lagos,” the statement continued.
“They informed him that the Deputy Commissioner of Police, Edgal, wanted to see him. When all entreaties to allow him come the following day failed, he followed them. When they arrived at the command, instead of taking him to see the DCP Edgal, he was taken to the cell. Nobody told him why he was being detained.
“The following morning, the 31th July, 2017, he was brought out from the cell into a waiting vehicle in a convoy and was told to take them to his sacred place in Agbowa town, Ikorodu, Lagos. When they arrived there, the policemen searched everywhere.
“Nobody told him what they were looking for. They had pressmen in their company. At the end of the search, nothing incriminating of any kind was found at the place. They returned to the Lagos State Police Command Headquarters where he was detained until about 4pm on the 1st of August, 2017 when he was released.”
Mr. Abayomi said upon his release, he was informed by relations and friends that there had been a trending news that his place is a “Badoo shrine” and that his arrest was in connection with the killing of the couple in Ibeshe, Ikorodu in the early hours of July 30th.
“It must be noted at this point that from his arrest on the 30th July, 2017 to his release on the 1st August, 2017 he was never asked anything about the killing of anybody in Ikorodu neither was any statement obtained from him in connection with that,” the statement said.
“Throughout his first invitation by the Police and his subsequent arrest and release, he was never shown any petition nor confronted with anything or by anybody linking him with anything Badoo Cult. He was arrested, detained and after the execution of the search, released from custody.”
Mr. Abayomi said he was surprised and infuriated when his attention was drawn to media reports that he had mentioned names of other persons who have shrines in Ikorodu, an incident he said never took place.
“Alhaji Alaka Abayomi never confessed to any involvement whatsoever with the Badoo Cult or the gruesome and mindless killings going on in Ikorodu.
“As a result of these malicious publications, the residents of Ikorodu have become restive, spoiling for destructive actions against Alhaji Alaka and his investments in Ikorodu believing that he is behind the Badoo Cult menace. It must be noted that Alhaji Alaka Abayomi is not in any way whatsoever involved with the Badoo Cult or the mindless killings and condemnable activities of the Badoo Cult.
“He has referred the issues arising from his detention and defamation to his lawyers for definite action against person(s) and institution(s) where applicable.”
When contacted, Olarinde Famous-Cole, the Lagos Police Spokesperson, said the police are still conducting investigations on the matter.