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Saturday, September 16, 2017

At 28, Sani Rilwan has been a member of the Black Axe Confraternity for five years but the law caught up with him recently when a clash with a rival cult group, Eiye Confraternity in Badagry, led to the death of two members of the latter group.
According to Rilwan, he was passing through Eiye territory in Badagry a few days before the incident when some of the members of the group threatened him with a gun.
He left the scene and few days later mobilised the members of his own cult group to the scene.But Rilwan, a computer graphics designer, denied knowing who did the shooting once they got to the scene.
He said, “After the threat I received, I informed a member of my group named Nami, who mobilised other members and told me to take him there. “I know six of the eight of us who went there. The remaining two were brought by Nami. When we got to the Eye boys’ base in Vlekete, Badagry, shooting started and I ran away.”
Saturday PUNCH learnt that by the time dusts settled, two members of the Eye Confraternity – Ajilero Idowu (22) and Anweto Adebayo (28) – had been shot dead by members of Rilwan’s group on August 27.
But Rilwan insisted he was not one of the shooters. 
He was arrested four days after the incident alongsides six others – Adewale Kazeem (23), Olajide Zanu (21), Adebisi Adekunle (35), Tunde Adekanbi (32), Ogunlade Femi (28), Olufemi Babatunde (30).
They were paraded with other suspects by the Commissioner of Police, Lagos State Command, Mr. Edhal Imohimi on Thursday.
Explaining how he became a member of the confraternity, Rilwan said he was invited to a birthday party without knowing it was a cult initiation.
“On our way, the vehicle diverted to a bush and we were all told to disembark at a point. They started beating us. After the beating, they told us we were now Aiye (Black Axe) members,” he said.
Two other members of his gang told journalists that they were initiated in similar fashion.
But Adekunle, who is a member of the Eye Confraternity, which lost two of its members in the clash, said his elder brother initiated him in their living room 10 years ago.
He said, “One day, he called me into his living room and told me to kneel and close my eyes. He slapped me hard across the face. Then he told me to stand and open my eyes. “He drank gin and spat it in my eyes and announced that I had now become a member of the Eye Confraternity.
“Shortly after I was initiated, my parents relocated to Badagry and I joined up with other cult boys in the town. I have never killed anybody in my life. “I was in my shop when the police arrested me because someone had pointed me out as a cult member.”
The commissioner of police said the suspects would be charged to court as soon as possible.

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