Police in Ekiti State have raided a building found in a bush along the popular Igede Road in Ilawe-Ekiti in Ekiti South-West Local Government Area.
The house was suspected to be the operational base of swindlers and kidnappers in the area that have been used to disposes innocent people of their valuables. During the raid, police operatives said they discovered effigies, which the owner, one 35 years old Adeboye Adegbola, claimed were traditional images of some Yoruba gods. There were also fetish objects like dried bones, herbs and paintings in the building, which the police suspected were materials used to swindle unsuspecting members of the public.
The Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) in Ekiti, Alberto Adeyemi, said, “About a week ago, some residents of Ilawe gave our State Investigative Bureau Department tips that they noticed some big and exotic vehicles going in and out of the place. That raised their suspicion that some ritualists or kidnappers may have erected a hideout inside the nearby bush as many of the people inside the vehicles were also not known to them.
“When we interrogated the man who claimed to be the owner of the place, he confessed that he was using the place to play on people so as to get money from them. He also claimed to be a herbalist. Our suspicion about the man is that he is using the place as a hideout for kidnappers, ritual killings and illegal business but we are still investigating him.” But Adegbola said the images were Yoruba gods he worshipped.
“We worship these gods and I have erected them so that people seeking help can identify them and be convinced to pay more than what they would have paid ordinarily (for services I render). I am not a kidnapper or a ritualist. I am only trying to be smart by building these images you called strange so that people can pay more for my services,” he said. However, traditional worshippers in the town said they did not know Adegbola.