A candidate in the ongoing West African Senior School Certificate Examination has been murdered in Ibeshe Tuntun, in the Ikorodu area of Lagos State, by suspected ritual killers.
The pupil’s parents were also hacked to death in what was said to be a recurrence of the killings perpetrated by the assailants in the community. The teenager, identified as Lucky Ebhodaghe, was the only child of the family.
PUNCH Metro learnt that the killers had torn the window net and cut some burglar-proof bars to gain access into the victims’ apartment late Monday night. They were said to have inflicted machete cuts on the family members, leaving them for dead.
Our correspondent gathered that neighbours of the deceased were not aware of the incident until around 12pm on Tuesday, when Ebhodaghe’s friends and a teacher visited the residence to know why he was not in school for the exams.
A resident, who gave his name only as Dosu, said, “It was an attack by those criminals called Badoo. They entered the building after cutting the burglar-proof bars. They hacked the couple and their only son to death.
“The boy was sitting for WASSCE. He was supposed to sit for two exams on Tuesday– one in the morning and the other in the afternoon. His friends and one of his teachers were worried when he did not show up for the morning paper. They came to check on him after the first exam and found the door locked.
“When they peeped through the window, they found him in a pool of blood and raised the alarm. That was when their neighbours knew about the incident. On getting into the apartment, they also found the corpses of his parents. They had cuts on their faces.”
A community leader, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said there were signs that the hoodlums raped Ebhodaghe’s mother as her underwear was tattered.
He said the case was reported to policemen at the Ipakodo division, adding that the police deposited the corpses in a morgue.
“The private parts of the woman were messed up. All indications pointed to the Badoo cult group. They usually rape their female victims and use them for rituals.
“The Ipakodo Divisional Police Officer was here yesterday (Tuesday) and photographs of the deceased family were taken. Their church members were also here. It is sad a whole family can be wiped out just like that.
“Until this attack, we had enjoyed relative peace in the community for some months. The police are trying, but they need to beef up security in the community,” he added.
Another resident, who did not want his name in print, blamed the attack on the release of a suspected member of the gang arrested by the police sometime in 2016.
He said, “Instead of the police to arraign him in the Ikorodu Magistrate’s Court, he was taken to the State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department, Yaba. The police there arraigned him in the Ebute Meta Magistrate’s Court without the knowledge of the complainant and other witnesses.
“The suspect was released on bail and he is back in the community. It seems the gang has connection with some powerful people. Together with this tragedy, no fewer than 10 people have been killed so far by this gang.
“We have written petitions to Governor Akinwumi Ambode and some other commissioners in the state and carried out protests. The Lagos State Government should rise to its responsibility and secure our lives.”
The Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer, ASP Olarinde Famous-Cole, who confirmed the killings, said investigation had commenced.
He said, “A resident put a distress call across to the station that three corpses were found in an apartment. A police team visited the scene where the victims were found in a pool of blood. The corpses have been deposited in the Ikorodu General Hospital mortuary for autopsy. Investigation is in progress.”
It will be recalled that the gang had stormed a residence in the community in June 2016. They allegedly killed a Ghanaian after raping her and inflicting injuries on her eight-month-old baby.
In July 2017, the assailants went back to the community, raped and blinded a 60-year-old woman, Francisca. They allegedly brutalised her 10-year-old daughter for raising the alarm.
On October 21, 2016, the gang reportedly attacked a family in Oluwoye community, Ibeshe, killing a 30-year-old pregnant woman, Afusat Yusuf. Her husband, Kazeem, and the couple’s two kids – Rodiat, six, and five-year-old Opeyemi – were also stabbed to death.
On December 26, 2016, the attackers allegedly struck on Saka Adegbose Street, off Olu Odo Road, Ikorodu, killing two siblings, Azeezat Oriade and Abeeb Oriade.
On March 1, 2017, they allegedly attacked a family on Masafejo Street, Agbowa, Ikorodu, killing three siblings between the ages of four and nine. Their mother also died.