Qudus Shodimu, a 44-year-old native doctor, who was arrested by the Ogun State police command for allegedly aiding cultists by making charms to deflect bullets aimed at them, has admitted doing so, but said that the cultist killed by rivals close to his residence brought some herbs and concoctions which he mixed his with.
The native doctor said that the mixture probably caused the failure of the bulletproof charm he made for the deceased.
The state Commissioner of Police, Olanrewaju Yomi Oladimeji, told journalists that the arrest of the native doctor along with suspected cultists followed the information received by the anti-cultism section on April 30 that members of the dreaded Aiye Confraternity had assembled at Elega area in Abeokuta in preparation for a supremacy battle with their rival cult group, Eiye Confraternity.
The police commissioner said that acting on the report, the anti-cultist team in collaboration with men of the So-Safe Corps, moved to the scene of the incident. The cultists however reportedly started shooting when they saw the police operatives, but they were overpowered.
According to CP Oladimeji, two of the cultists, later identified as Noah Ayobami a.k.a Anobi 7 and Azeez Ololade a.k.a Bouncing, died during the encounter.
It also led to the arrest of the native doctor, Shodimu, and Oluwaseun Adebowale a.k.a Eko.
Recovered from them were a locally-made double-barrel gun, five local knives, a battle axe, five expended cartridges and some charms.
A policeman and two vigilantes also sustained minor injuries during the incident.
Before the police encounter with the Aiye cultists, the Nigerian Tribune learnt that they shot an Eiye cult member to death moments after he left Shodimu’s place.
Speaking on his arrest, Shodimu said it was as a result of him being the one preparing bullet proof and protection charms for the cultists.
“It was Adebowale who brought two people to me. As a motorboy, he told me that the two men were cultists and needed protection and bulletproof charm. I started the work of a native doctor two years ago.”
ON THE KILLED CULTIST
“The deceased lived in the same community with other cultists. They were all friends. On the fateful day, he came to my place. He and others used to come to play. After he left, other cultists also followed. The next thing I heard was the sound of a gunshot. I asked some children to go and check what was happening. They came back to tell me that the man that just left me had been killed and his body lay by the roadside.”
“I asked to know those who carried out the killing but they said they didn’t know. By then, Adebowale a.k.a. Eko, and other cultists had run away. It was one of the residents who specifically told me that Adebowale was seen among the killers.”
When asked why one of his clients was killed despite the bullet-proof charms he prepared for him, the suspect said that the client brought some concoctions himself and just asked him to add to them to make traditional bulletproof charm. He said he collected N10,000 from Adebowale for the charms he did for him, but didn’t collect anything from the deceased prior to his murder, as he just came to play with friends.
HOW I LEARNT TO BE A NATIVE DOCTOR
“I didn’t inherit the work from anyone. It was what our masters taught us in the forest in the course of driving log lorries that I put to use after I had an accident.”
The second suspect, Adebowale, aged 28, told the Nigerian Tribune that he became a motorboy after his primary school education. “I have no mother but my father is still alive. I was arrested for engaging in cult activities. I joined Neo Black Movement of Africa, popularly known as Aiye Confraternity or Black Axe, in 2020. The initiation took place at Ikija in Abeokuta. I was introduced to the cult group by one area brother called Azeez a.k.a Bouncing.”
HOW I WAS INITIATED
“Bouncing told me to follow him to a party at Ago Ika area of Abeokuta. We started late in the evening and were there till after midnight. I was told that it was time to return home and asked to hop on a motorbike. On the way, I noticed that we were going very far and out of the way and I called Bouncing’s attention to it. I asked him where were going to, but he told me to be calm, saying that he didn’t have the intention of abducting me as we were together. It was at about 2am.”
“I was taken into the bush where we met a lot of people. The cult members descended on me, beating me till dawn. Then they poured some wine in a calabash and asked me to drink it, after which I was told that I had become one of their members. I reminded Bouncing of the brother I was living with who belongs to Eiye cult group. The man was also feeding me, though we have no blood relationship. He was selling marijuana. Bouncing replied that it was because of my benefactor that I was initiated into Aiye cult so that he would not make me an Eiye cult member. They said I needed not to live with him again but I replied them that I had nowhere else to stay. They assured me that they would allow me to dwell with them.”
“I had not been following the cult members or attending meetings because as a motorboy, I was always on the road.”
“I was picked when Bouncing mentioned my name. We also named others belonging to the cult group and we took the police to the native doctor that fortified us traditionally.”
“I have never killed anyone whether due to rivalry or otherwise. I used to hear of killings but it is not everyone of us that was doing that.”
“The killing that led to our arrest was the one that happened recently, where the murdered victim was killed in the neighbourhood we were staying at Ikija.”
“The person belonged to Eiye Confraternity. He came to our native doctor for charms and fortification but he was cornered there.”
WHY OUR RIVAL WAS KILLED
“I didn’t know what the two sides were quarreling over. I just went there that day to smoke marijuana. I was not part of the killing. I’ve been taking the drug for so many years.”
The command’s police boss told the Nigerian Tribune that after being briefed by his officers on the crime situation in the state, he mapped out strategies to deal with the criminal elements in order to ensure that the good people of the state sleep with their two eyes closed.
“The command’s tactical teams and Divisional Police Officers were there and given a marching order to take the battle to the doorstep of the criminals wherever they may be across the state.”
“The result of the various strategic operations to flush out the criminals is what we are showcasing,” he said.
He thereby warned criminals that “the beat has changed and the dancing steps must follow suit. It is time for criminals in the state to relocate because the state will no longer be conducive for them.”
“All in our arsenal will be rolled out to wage war against crime and criminality, as well as their sponsors.”
“To the law-abiding citizens, rest assured that your safety is guaranteed at all time and we seek your cooperation to tackle criminals among us headlong.”
“This you can do by giving us useful information that will assist us in our efforts to rid the state of crime.”
@ Nigerian Tribune