The police have arrested a 22-year-old suspect said to be the supreme leader of a cult group in the Itire area of Lagos State.
The spokesman for the Lagos State Police Command, Bala Elkana, confirmed the arrest of Maliki Bello and 11 other suspected cultists in a statement on Sunday.
“Maliki is the supreme leader of the notorious Berry Boys Secret Cult with operational base at Itire,” he said.
Elkana explained that the suspects were arrested on Tuesday last week following a sustained monitoring operation led by the Divisional Police Officer in Itire, Barkfur Kromkyes.
He added, “He is a native of Lalopun, Kwara State but resides at 23 Ayinla street, Idi Araba area of Lagos state. Maliki has been on the wanted list of the Police for violent crimes and gang clashes.
“The suspect confessed to be responsible for a series of violent attacks, murders and armed robbery incidents recorded in Idi Araba, Lawanson, Dosunmu, Ashimowo Bakare, Omo-Bola Mushin, and Itire.”
According to the command’s spokesman, the suspect told the police that he was initiated into the cult at age 12 when he was in Junior Secondary School (JSS) 1.
He was said to have risen to the number one position, mostly addressed as the supreme leader of the ‘Berry Boys’ confraternity.
“The gang has an official Facebook page (Bbl Baloteli) with 1,928 friends.
“According to Maliki, they use the Facebook page and other social media accounts to recruit new members, plan attacks and give updates to members. Investigation led to the arrest of 11 additional suspects,” Elkana noted.
He stressed that the Special Strike Force on Social Miscreants has successfully brought under control the activities of various cult groups in the state through well-coordinated and targeted operations.