Six suspected cultists have been shot dead in a gun battle with the police at Oke Oyinbo township, along Market square, in Igbogila town, Yewa North Local Government Area of Ogun State, the police have said.
One of the alleged cultists was arrested by the Anti-Cultism department of the police and moved to the police headquarters in Abeokuta, a development which his gang thought was not favourable to them. As a result, the police said they mobilised and stormed the police station in the town to release him.
The police spokesperson in Ogun State, Abimbola Oyeyemi, who confirmed the incident on Saturday, said unknown to the alleged cultists, the member arrested had been moved to Abeokuta for further interrogation.
Mr Oyeyemi added that the alleged cultists, thereafter, launched a violent and bloody attack on the police station with various dangerous weapons and engaged the police in a gun duel.
“Yes, one of their colleagues was arrested by anti-cultists squad and taken to the headquarters. The others thinking that the arrested one is being detained at Igbogila Division mobilised themselves and attacked the station with dangerous weapons such as gun, axes and cutlasses. The policemen on duty repelled them and some of them were fatally shot,” Mr Oyeyemi said.
The police did not say if their own officers recorded any casualty during the shootout.
On Saturday, the youth in Igbogila took to the streets to protest their harassment and arrest by the police.
One of the protesters told a member of Ogun State House of Assembly, Adegoke Awoso, representing the constituency, that a power tussle had earlier brewed between the youth of two communities in Igbogila axis. He said the police came to arrest a member of one group, a move which they considered as unfair.
He said the police stormed Igbogila late night and whisked away one of them, adding that in the course of the arrest, the police mercilessly beat several innocent people. He said those arrested were manhandled by the officers, insisting that the youth in the community are not criminals as the police wanted the public to believe.
The protesters said they would not leave the major road leading to the town, in protest of the arrest. They said they were waiting for additional policemen to be deployed to the town to “come and kill more of us.”
It was gathered that the alleged cultists, in the course of the attack on the police station, made away with a pistol, which was later recovered through the intervention of the lawmaker. The pistol, as at the time of filing this report had been handed over to a police officer identified as Haruna Anthony.
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