The Department of State Services (DSS) has detained Damilare Bello Mohammed, a member of the Ogun State House of Assembly, and five others in connection with the recent cult-related killings in Sagamu.
As a reminder, there were approximately 20 casualties, including innocent bystanders, during a resurgence of violence between the Eiye and Aye Confraternity groups.
Bello, the representative for Sagamu Constituency, was apprehended along with Debbo Animashaun, Bamidele Saheed, Ismaila Onitire, Adewale Otesanya, and Tobi Owoade.
Reports suggest that the legislator, who was elected under the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), was taken into custody due to his alleged involvement in the violence.
Mohammed is accused of harboring six suspected cultists who were on the run and were purportedly implicated in the recent four-day clashes between rival cult groups in Sagamu, resulting in eight deaths.
According to the state government’s statement, “The member, representing Sagamu State Constituency (1), Hon. Damilare Bello Mohammed, was alleged to have provided shelter to the fleeing cultists. A team of security operatives, in a sting operation after a tip-off, arrested the suspects in the premises of the lawmaker.”
The arrested individuals, including Damilare Bello Mohammed, also known as DRE, Debbo Animashaun, Bamidele Saheed, Ismaila Onitire, Adewale Otesanya, and Tobi Owoade, are currently undergoing interrogation by the Department of State Service (DSS). Sources have reported the recovery of numerous dangerous weapons, including firearms, from the suspects.
It’s worth noting that in a prior incident, Hon. Bello was detained by the DSS for allegedly orchestrating a violent protest in Sagamu in February, which occurred in response to the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) naira redesign policy. During the protest, enraged youths vandalized approximately 10 banks and other public infrastructure.
The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) confirmed Bello’s arrest by the secret police in a statement released by its Publicity Secretary, Akinloye Bankole, in Abeokuta.
“As much as we do not object to DSS or any security agency’s investigation into the Sagamu carnage which has allegedly claimed more than 25 lives, we think that the investigation is not being conducted with optimum professionalism and sincerity,” the statement read.
While saying nothing incriminating was found in Bello’s residence at the time of his arrest on Wednesday, Bankole alleged that “the whole thing is an orchestrated attempt to give Hon Bello a bad name just to hang him.”
“It is also interesting that the Sagamu residence of the honourable member was thoroughly vandalised earlier today by some suspected APC-enabled thugs. The same man who returned from London to Abeokuta where he raised contributions on the floor of the house yesterday (Wednesday) concerning security matters in his constituency.
“We have always held that the Sagamu killings are a direct fallout of the criminal empowerment of cultists against the people by the APC
“The onus is, however, on the DSS to rise above partisanship in its duties. The security outfit is a creation of the law and should not be reduced to a mere tool of a political witch hunt by both the governor and APC against perceived opponents.”
He charged the State government “to look inward, search its inner circles in Sagamu LG so as to see where the smoke is coming from.”