The Police in Lagos State have arrested three suspected members of the O’odua Peoples Congress, OPC, and raided a shrine allegedly used to extort members of the public.
The Commissioner of Police in Lagos State, Imohimi Edgal, who led detectives on Tuesday to the shrine, ordered for its destruction.
Edgal told newsmen at the scene that the operators of the shrine were carrying out trial by ordeal on those arrested for offences not known to the police at the Opebi link bridge in the Ikeja area of Lagos.
He said that going by the items found in the shrine, some of the victims were tortured to force them to own up to the particular crimes they were being tried for.
The police boss said that three persons were arrested for their alleged involvement in some nefarious activities around the shrine, while ATM cards, mobile phones and three POS machines allegedly used to extort money from victims were recovered.
Edgal said that some officials of the Lagos State Neighbourhood Security and Safety Corps, LSNSC, had informed the command of the suspicious movement of people in and out of the shrine.
He said that based on the strength of the information, he directed the Divisional Police Officer, DPO, in charge of Ikeja to investigate the issue.
“Based on the directive, a team of undercover policemen led by the DPO mounted surveillance around the area. On Monday, June 25, officials of the Neighbourhood Security Safely Corps witnessed a man being dragged into the shrine.
“They were attracted to the scene by the man’s screaming. They quickly informed the DPO who moved his men to the scene, where three persons were arrested and the victim rescued.
“In as much as we believe in community policing and community partnership, let me sound a note of warning to any group of persons who may want to take laws into their hands that the command will deal decisively with members of such groups.
“Members of the OPC have been helpful to the command in the past. We see them as partners. But as you can see, some group of persons under the guise of the OPC have erected an office under the Opebi link bridge where they take people to try them by ordeal.
“They also have a shrine there that they bring their victims to. I believe that they forced victims to take an oath. We will not tolerate this in any part of the state. Those arrested are undergoing interrogation.
“One of the victims was freed. We are investigating and all those behind these barbaric acts will soon be rounded up. When they are arrested, they will be made to face the wrath of the law,” he warned.