Ogun Police Arrest ‘Witches’, Others For N14.5m Fraud
The ‘witches’ ─ Risikat Oriyomi, Sola Babalola; and the other suspects; Shehu Salam, and Wasiu Ajani ─ were arrested in Omusorin village, Obafemi/ Owode Local Government Area.
The fifth suspect, who was said to be the ring leader, Baba Awotola, was said to have fled on sighting the men of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad.
Ajani, a native of Ilorin, Kwara State, who claimed to be an Islamic cleric, was said to have got the couple into the net of the syndicate.
The state Commissioner of Police, Mr. Ikemefuna Okoye, who led the police team to the fraudsters’ operational base on Tuesday, said Ajani lured the couple, who were rice merchants, into the syndicate’s net.
Ajani was said to have used the name of a late popular Islamic cleric to hoodwink the victims.
Ikemefuna explained that Ajani, on the fateful day, was dressed in Islamic cassock and hung nine different praying rosaries on his neck.
He was said to have approached the couple around Owode Onirin, Lagos State, and given them a revelation of a problem before them which needed to be warded off through special prayers.
He said, “The suspect also told them to buy a measure of salt and give it as alms to three beggars.
“He later told the husband to buy a local egg, and used it to pray, circling it around his head three times.”
According to the commissioner, Ajani later used the egg as a bait to lure the couple to their den, where the gang began to swindle them.
The couple, who pleaded anonymity, said the syndicate, under the pretence of warding off the evil before them, collected N14.5m in three installments.
According to the couple, the syndicate used the two women, Risiqat and Sola as ‘white witches’ who claimed to offer prayers to ward off evil.
The witches, who claimed to have descended from heaven, were said to have demanded money to fly back to heaven.
Ajani said he got the information about the couple from Baba Awotola.
He said, “Baba Awotola introduced me to this shady business. He was the one who gave the information about the couple. He promised me a car and a sum of N300,000, but he only gave me and Shehu N100,000 each.”
The ‘witches’ claimed they got N5,000 each per visitation.