The police in Lagos have arrested 19-year-old Opeyemi Ayoola and four other suspects alleged to be members of an illegal cult group known as the Star Boys in the Itire and Ijesha areas of the metropolis over accusations of attacking residents and robbery.
The police identified the other suspects as Segun Oladokun, Oluwasegun Ajagun, Friday Aduadu and Jimoh Qudus.
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It was learnt that operatives of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad of the Lagos State Police Command arrested the suspects following an attack on an unnamed resident of the area.
Ayoola, who the police paraded yesterday at the Command Headquarters, Ikeja, before journalists, admitted being a member of the Star Boys cult, saying the group was formed to check the excesses of other cult gangs in the Itire-Ijesha area.
But the police maintained that the Star Boys had been using the clashes with rival cult groups to rob innocent people.
Ayoola said, “I am a commercial motorcyclist. I was sleeping in my friend’s house when the police arrested me allegedly for belonging to a gang that robbed people in the area.
“It is true that I am a member of Star Boys and we used to fight with the Itire Boys. They destroyed the windscreen of one of our tricycles and that led to the first clash between us.
“It is also true that our boys used to take advantage of the clashes between us to rob people in the area. I have seen people robbing residents. There was never a time that I joined them to rob anybody. I only followed them to fight because I derived joy in fighting.
“We normally hide our guns inside the ceiling in different rooms in different hotels in Itire and Ijesha to avoid any trace. We were not using guns in most of our clashes, but we were using knives, machetes, planks, broken bottles and iron.”
Aduadu and Qudus, who also confessed to be members of the Star Boys, said they were security guards in one of the hotels the gang was using to hide their weapons.
Oladokun, who claimed to be a cobbler and commercial motorcycle operator, declared he was the only “authentic” member of the Star Boys and that other “boys” were just using the name to foment trouble.
He said, “We use the group like a social club to help one another in the area. I know some of our junior ones do fight with their counterparts in Itire, but I have never been a part of it.
“It was Opeyemi (Ayoola) who pointed me out to the police as one of the leaders of the Star Boys. Opeyemi and others are younger to us and there is no way we can belong to the same group.”
The Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Hakeem Odumosu, told journalists the police were on the trail of the other members of the gang.
Odumosu warned criminals in the state that the police would not allow them hide under any name to cause lawlessness in any part of the state.