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Oro Worshippers, Church Members Clash, Lagos Tailor Dies

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A clash between Oro traditional worshippers and worshippers at the Truth and The Spirit Prophetic Church has led to the death of a tailor, Akeem Adebisi, in the Oko-Oba area of Lagos State.

It was gathered that Akeem alongside other Oro worshippers were performing sacrament when they got to know that the church members were conducting a vigil.

The Oro worshippers, upon approaching the prophetess, Mercy Okocha, and her church members, reportedly instructed them to stop the vigil but they disagreed.

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It was learnt that the disagreement caused an argument that degenerated into a clash between the Oro traditionalists and the church members who stood their ground on Tuesday.

During the clash, the church members allegedly stoned Akeem to death as some other persons involved in the fight sustained varying degrees of injury.

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Our correspondent who visited the scene on Wednesday observed that the church had been deserted.

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Property including fans, chairs, and instruments in the church were scattered.

Speaking with The PUNCH, a resident, who gave her name simply as Alhaja Sariyu, said an announcement was made for the Oro procession.

She said, “After the announcement, we went indoors very early only to wake up the following day to discover that there was apprehension everywhere.

“The Oro procession has been on for years. So, nobody expected that this particular one was going to be bloody. As a matter of fact, the church has been there for close to five years.”

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A trader in the area, who declined to mention her name for security reasons, said the church led by Okocha was fond of conducting vigil every day, adding that it must be “the reason why the confrontation happened.”

An eyewitness, Jamiu Issa, who participated in the procession, alleged that members of the church instigated a mob action against his colleagues on their way back.

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Issa said, “We hold our procession every August 22. Before we started our procession that night, we saw some members of the church outside around 10pm, and Akeem went to meet the woman (prophetess) to suspend their programme and instruct her members to go inside.

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“So, when we started at midnight, we saw them again and chased them inside the church. Around 1am on our way back, we saw them again and they started throwing stones, bottles and coconuts at us.

“The prophetess asked her female members to go inside, while she and the male members attacked us. They smashed a coconut on Akeem’s face; he collapsed and started bleeding on the spot.

“We rushed him to about three hospitals but he was rejected. We were told he had lost a lot of blood. He died around 4am on our way to the Lagos University Teaching Hospital.”

The PUNCH also visited Akeem’s father, Wasiu Adebisi, who had been distraught over the death of his son, said he got to know about the attack at midnight.

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The 62 year-old said, “Akeem is my first male child. He is the one who always announces the preparation of the Oro festival in the town. When the incident happened, his colleagues rushed to call me in the middle of the night, and when I got there, I was told that they hit his head with a coconut.

“If they actually threw it at him from a distance, the impact would not have been that much. It looked like they held him and broke the coconut on his head. I could not bear the sight of him when I got there, I just returned home while his colleagues took him to hospital. It was in the morning that they told me that he died.”

The Baale of Gbirinmi, Oko Oba, Razaq Alawode, while condemning the attack, demanded justice for the deceased victim, adding that the police were invited to restore normalcy in the community.

“Even when the police came to arrest her, they were scared to enter the church. I was the one that led them inside the church where we found some strange spiritual items. We want the police to ensure that justice is served,” Alawode said.

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Efforts by our correspondents to speak with a member of the church proved abortive.

Contacted, the state Police Public Relations Officer, SP Benjamin Hundeyin, said the prophetess alongside nine members of the church had been arrested in connection to Akeem’s death.

“The prophetess, Mercy Okocha, 50, and nine other members of the church, have been arrested. The corpse was deposited in a mortuary for autopsy. An investigation is ongoing,” Hundeyin said.

However, in his remark, a lecturer in the Department of Religious and Peace Studies, Lagos State University, Professor Kabiru Paramole, told one of our correspondents that the incident was avoidable.

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He lamented that the clash happened though both religious groups were chasing a common good for society.

Paramole said, “Religiously, what the Oro people were doing, according to them, was nothing but religion. They were being religious because they wanted to fortify their city from several calamities, pains and negativity happening in the society.

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“The Christians too were also having a vigil to achieve the same purpose the Oro worshippers were after. I’m very sure that before any Oro comes out, especially in Lagos State, the news is always everywhere; everyone must stay indoors.

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“I don’t know if the same kind of news went around the city this time around. If truly the news went around and the Christians still went ahead to hold their vigil, to me as a scholar of religious studies, that’s a wrong step taken by the Christians because they knew people might come towards where they were having the vigil. A clash would be expected in this kind of case.”

Paramole, however, said the clash would have been avoided if the Oro worshippers and church members explored the option of peaceful engagement.

 

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Police Arrest Five Robbers, Cultists In Delta

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The Delta State Police Command says it has arrested suspected armed robbers, and cultists in Oghara, Ethiope East Local Government Area of Delta State, and recovered AK-47 magazine.

The Command’s Spokesperson, SP Bright Edafe, stated this in a statement on Monday in Asaba

He said, “Sequel to series of cult-related activities, kidnapping and armed robbery in Sapele, Oghara, and environs, the Commissioner of Police Delta State, Olufemi Abaniwonda, directed the team on special assignment to work collaboratively with the DPOS Oghara and Sapele Division in order to nip it at the bud.

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“On June 18, 2024, in a covert intelligence-led operation by ASP Julius Robinson raided three different syndicates of cultists/suspected armed robbers at various locations in Oghara Town, Ethiope East LGA of Delta State, and arrested five suspects namely Ochuko Joel Ofoye 35, of Jeddo Community in Okpe LGA Delta State, a member of Juris Confraternity and Michael Anwul 29, of Alisimie Community Agbor, in Ika South LGA Delta State of Juris confraternity.

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“Other suspects include Great Ojareri 35, of Oghareki Community in Ethiope West LGA Oghara Delta State, a member of Eiye Confraternity also a custodian of arms, and Innocent Esefeta aged 31, of Efisere Community in Ughelli North LGA Delta State and Ogaga Ebuke 27, member of Juris Confraternity.”

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Edefe said that items including two AK 47 magazines, 29 rounds of live ammunition, a locally made pistol with one live cartridge concealed in a shoe were recovered

He said the suspects were in custody and an investigation was ongoing.

 

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Police Arrest Prison Escapee Behind General’s Murder In Kano

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The Operatives of the Federal Capital Territory Police Command have arrested one Hashiru Baku – the mastermind behind the murder of late Brigadier General Harold Udokwere.

Udokwere, who was the National Chairman, Retired Members of the Nigerian Armed Forces, was murdered by armed robbers who invaded his residence on June 22, 2024, and took away his gun.

The police arrested and paraded Ibrahim Rabiu, Nafiu Jamil, Aliyu Abdullahi and Mohammed Nuhu in connection with the crime on June 24, 2024.

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READ ALSO: BREAKING: Police Arrest Killers Of Army General In Abuja

Addressing journalists on Monday while parading arrested suspects, the FCT Commissioner of Police, Bennett Igweh said Baku was arrested in Kano State while trying to run away from the country.

Igweh said the suspect was an escapee from the Kuje Correctional Centre.

He said, “I did show you the four killers, kidnappers, and robbers that went and killed Brigadier-General Uwe Harrod, retired. Today, I will show you the organiser of the killing and the robbery.

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“As well as we have recovered the general’s gun that was with him. We have recovered the wristwatch of the general and the wife’s jewellery which they stole from the general’s house.

“The organiser is here and we have arrested him. He is the organiser. He was in prison and during the Kuje Correctional Centre attack, he escaped.”

The police boss added that “instead of him to repent, he continued with more audacity. We arrested him in Kano where he was trying to exit the country.

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“We recovered these drugs in his residence. So, that’s what they take and they will continue to be high.”

Details later…

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Unidentified Gunmen Kill 300-level AAUA Student

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A 300-level Linguistics student of the Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba Akoko, AAUA, simply identified as Emmanuel, has been shot dead by unidentified gunmen in one of the private students’ hostels in the town.

The Vice Chairman, National Association of Universities Students, Comrade Oladele Emmanuel, on Monday, called on security agents and the management of the university to investigate the matter and bring the culprits to book.

Emmanuel stated that the motive behind the killing is yet to be identified.

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He said “The university community must be reassured that such a tragic event will be met with the full force of the law and diligent investigative efforts.

“The death of Emmanuel is not just a loss to his family and friends, but to the entire AAUA community.

“His potential and contributions to our shared academic environment are irreplaceable.

“We mourn his untimely departure and extend our deepest condolences to his loved ones during this difficult time.”

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Emmanuel urged the school management to enhance security measures around the campus and surrounding areas by increasing security patrols, providing better lighting, and more accessible emergency services.

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He called on students and members of the AAUA community to report any information that may assist in the investigation to the relevant authorities.

“We trust that the authorities will act with urgency and transparency in addressing this incident. Emmanuel’s memory deserves nothing less than our commitment to uncovering the truth and ensuring justice is served.

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“Let us unite in our grief and our resolve to create a safer, more secure environment for all members of the AAUA community. We owe it to Emmanuel, his family, and to ourselves,” the student union leader added.

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