A mob at the scene of ritualists’ underground den found in Obadeyi /Ijaiye axis of the Lagos-Abeokuta highway yesterday injured the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) in charge of Ojokoro Police Station, Mr Tolani Ogunjobi, a Chief Superintendent of Police (CSP), while he was trying to disperse the unruly crowd.
About 30 of them were arrested by the police.
Two other policemen were injured.
It was gathered that the DPO was trying to disperse the crowd from the scene to allow police easy access to the tunnel.
The crowd turned their anger on the DPO after he arrested an unruly man among the onlookers that besieged the canal where suspected ritualists were arrested and set ablaze on Tuesday.
It took the intervention of operatives to rescue DPO from the mob who persistently pelted him with stones injuring him on his hands and brow.
The distraught DPO was later ferried back to his station in a police van.
Some of the onlookers who spoke with us blamed the police for handling the situation inappropriately.
’’The Police should have by now fish out those still hiding in the tunnel used by the ritualists as den. Would it take them one week or one month to unravel those behind this abominable act in a state like Lagos,’’ one of them who identified himself as Akinyele asked.
The onlookers were however successfully dispersed at about 5:25p.m through the combined efforts of operatives of the Lagos State Task Force on Environment and policemen on horseback.
Meanwhile, the Police sniffer dogs have been deployed to the underground canal to assist in the search for more suspects.
Some suspects have also been arrested from two buildings adjoining the underground canal near Ajala Close.
It was gathered that those arrested are family members of the owner of the buildings and some miscreants who had converted one the buildings into their haven.
Contacted, Police spokesman, Mr Olarinde Famous-Cole, said the Command was still investigating the incident, adding that police experts have been deployed to the scene to carry out special investigations that could lead to the unravelling of those behind the ritualists den.
He said: ‘’ Two officers and the DPO of Ojokoro were injured by the unruly crowd and we have arrested about 30 of them to serve as a deterrent to others who are in the habit of preventing the police from carrying out their lawful duties.
‘’So far, we have deployed sniffer dogs to assist our experts at the scene and they are taking blood sample and examining the Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA) of some of the suspects in order to ascertain persons behind the criminal den. We have also cordoned the area and invited occupants of some of the buildings which serve as criminal hideout close to the scene. We are still investigating and our men are on ground to contain any unruly behaviour from onlookers.’’
The den was uncovered on Tuesday after a highway sweeper with the Lagos State Waste Management Agency (LAWMA) heard a woman calling for help from the canal.
Two persons found inside the canal were set ablaze, while three others were arrested.