By Adeola Oladele, Ibadan
Not too long after the notorious Soka Den was discovered in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, men of the Nigeria Police have again unravelled another ritualists/fraudsters’ den in the city.
The den, which is located at Isase, Ojoku, Badeku in Ona-Ara Local Government Area of the state, was stormed by the men of the command led by the state’s Police boss Muhammed Musa Kastina on Monday.
The police, acting on a tip-off, burst the den through an ambush squad of the command. One of the suspects named Ismail Adeshina, who identified himself as an herbalist, said he and his other gangs used to abduct people, take them to the shrine, hypnotise and dispossess them of their belongings.
He confessed to be a kidnapper, ritualist and swindler, while two other suspects are still at large. Adeshina, who claimed to have been in the fraudster business for a long time, stated that his father was an herbalist and that he inherited it from him.
The Baale of Ojoko, Chief Moses Adetunji Taiwo, who spoke with newsmen, said the suspected ritualists/fraudsters came to him and presented themselves as theatre art practitioners when they wanted to acquire the land where the shrine was built.
But when the building was being erected over four years ago, according to him, he was oblivious of what was going on there until it got to his knowledge that those people turned out to be fraudsters.
He disclosed further that his suspicion of their nefarious activities made him to inform some members of the community following which they took it upon themselves to get the police informed of the development to conduct further investigations.
He said: “It is hundred per cent terrible. All these types of things I saw outside here are out of my knowledge. When they first approached me, they presented themselves as artists.
“It is over four and half years that this house was built by them. When I had a notice from my people that they were building a house here, I have to visit here before the house was roofed. I came here and check all the rooms and there was no underground.
“Since that time up till date, I had no cause to visit here or have anything to do with them.
“So, when I noticed their strange motives, I called my people and we all came here to shout on them and they promised to leave. And since then, they seldom come here. What I saw today is a surprise to me,” he said.
Speaking on the incident, the State’s Police Commissioner Kastina told newsmen that the place was discovered based on a tip-off.
He said his ambush squad worked tirelessly to lay ambush for the suspects in their hideout.
CP Kastina, however, promised to give miscreants in the state a tough time, as he said he and his team would smoke them out of their hideouts.
The police boss further warned criminal elements in the state to desist from criminal activities or relocate, saying they have three options either to leave the criminal world and turn a new leaf, to abstain from criminality or remain adamant and face the consequences, adding that the police would make the state uncomfortable for them.
Items recovered from the suspects include fake foreign currencies of different denominations, cars and fetish objects.