The father of two suspected gang leaders of the Awawa cult in the Dopemu area of Agege, Lagos State, has disowned the children, urging the police to prosecute them.
PUNCH Metro learnt that the two suspects – Fatai Popoola and Yakubu Popoola – were arrested by the Lagos State Taskforce on Environmental and Special Offences (Enforcement) Unit, Alausa, on Friday.
Our correspondent gathered that apart from 27-year-old Yakubu and 30-year-old Fatai, the police also arrested 13 other suspected members of the gang identified as Ajayi Babatunde, Ajose Anthony, Nurudeen Adebayo, Olayemi Lasege, Afeez Sanusi, Oluwafemi Ajibade, Opeyemi Oluwasola, Oluwatobi Adewunmi, Sunday Akerele, Timothy Ogar, Actor Amaechi, Jimoh Sanni and Owolabi Adediran.
PUNCH Metro gathered that the suspected members of the Awawa cult had dispossessed people of their property and raped young girls in the Aluminum Village and Valley Estate areas of Dopemu.
A police source told our correspondent that the cult boys had attacked the police but were overpowered and arrested.
The source said, “The arrest of the 15 Awawa cult members was based on a tip-off. The Commissioner of Police, Fatai Owoseni, had got several complaints about the Awawa cult and he directed the taskforce Chairman, SP Olayinka Egbeyemi, to arrest the hoodlums.
“The operation was carried out around 12am. The hoodlums attacked the policemen with weapons, but in the end, they were overpowered.”
It was learnt that the father of two of the suspects, identified only as Alhaji Popoola, told the police that he had given up on them and the law should take its course.
Our correspondent learnt that the 66-year-old father was at the taskforce office, telling the police that he came to tell his sons that their end had come.
He said, “I have warned the two of them several times to desist from gang activities, but they refused. I am shocked that I have two sons among the suspects arrested by the police. They are no longer my sons.
“I only came as a disciplined man to tell the two of them that their end has come. I think it is a lesson to wayward children to always heed their parents’ advice.”
One of the suspects, 30-year-old Sanni, alias Last Born, from Okene, Kogi State, confessed to be a leader of the gang, adding that he had raped five women in the course of their operations.
He said, “The person who brought me into the Awawa cult stays in Oloosha, Mushin area and his name is Olata. I lead the Awawa boys in Dopemu.
“Some of my boys also sell Indian hemp at pubs and nightclubs. They sell for as low as N100 and we take Indian hemp before going for any robbery operation.
“I have raped about five girls in the area. My boys and I collected N3,000 every day from shop owners in the Dopemu area. We burgled shops in Aluminum Village.”
Our correspondent learnt that the suspects would be charged to court on Monday (today).
The Public Affairs Officer of the taskforce, Adebayo Taofiq, confirmed the arrests.
He urged residents of Lagos to avail police of necessary information on cult activities.