A 37-year-old suspected cultist and member of an armed robbery gang, arrested by policemen attached to the Anti-Cultism Unit of Lagos State Police Command, has said the guns recovered from him were for self-defence.
The suspect, Azeez Ajayi, a.k.a. Iyalaje, was allegedly arrested with two Beretta pistols and live ammunition after a recent clash at Ijora-7up, in Apapa area of Lagos, which left one person dead and several others injured.
Vanguard gathered that a video clip of him brandishing one of the recovered pistols at a party organised to celebrate the newly-elected National President of National Union of Road Transport Workers, NURTW, Alhaji Tajudeen Baruwa, gave him away.
The party, held on June 14, ended in a clash which led to the death of one Yusuf Rilwan. Azeez was arrested alongside one Omoyibo Ejovwoke, 26, with two Baretta pistols and three rounds of live ammunition.
During interrogation, Ajayi, according to the Police, claimed to be related to the Ojora of Ijora, adding that the weapons found on him were for self-defence.
“ I am a member of the NURTW. I belong to Baruwa caucus and our branch Chairman is Sharafadeen Okere.
“The guns were found on me but I am not a cultist. Six months ago, Azeez saw the guns on the floor in Ajegunle and showed me. I picked them with the intention of throwing them away. But I decided to keep them to defend myself during street fight.”
Asked what he was doing with the gun at the party as seen in the video clip, he said:
“On that day, we organised a party to celebrate our newly-elected President. But we didn’t get any approval from the Police and the Local Government before staging the party.
“Along the line, fight broke out between us and members of our rival faction, who were not happy that the winner emerged from our faction.”
Reacting to the suspect’s claim of being a member of the Ojora family, the Ojora of Ijoraland and Iganmu Kingdom, Oba Fatai Aromire, denied the claim as false.
“I know Azeez’s mother, who is a daughter of Akindele. But Azeez’s father is not an Ojora. “His father is from Kwara State and, therefore, Azeez has no right to bear Ojora. Ask him if his father is the son of Ojora.”
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