IBADANâ€” EXPECTATIONS of hundreds of people whose relatives are still missing were dashed, yesterday, in Ibadan when the demolition of the kidnappersâ€™ den at Soka in Ibadan, where hundreds of people have been killed by suspected ritualists, was stopped midway by men of the Oyo State Police Command.
The people who came from different parts of the country claimed that some victims were still trapped in a dungeon which is yet to be located.
This came as 42 SIM cards of various networks were found on a man that pretended to be a madman.
The arrest of the man followed the jungle justice meted out on him by angry youths after the discovery of the den last Saturday. The youths mobbed the man and another one in separate parts of the city.
Vanguard gathered that the incidents took place at Oke-Ado area of Ibadan, where a man feigning madness was caught and set ablaze.
Eyewitnesses said the man disguised as a madman while a pistol, foreign currencies and three ATM cards were found on him. Police took his burnt remains away.
The other suspected kidnapper was attacked at Queens Cinema area, but the police rescued him.
Confirming the two incidents, the Police Public Relations Officer, SP Olabisi Ilobanafor, said three identity cards of different names and N11,600 were found on the man rescued at Queens Cinema. Forty two SIM cards of various networks were also found on him.
On the demolition of the kidnappersâ€™ den, the main building used by the kidnappers as torture chamber, was about being pulled down when policemen said â€œan order from aboveâ€ had put the demolition on hold.
Immediately, scores of policemen who had been deployed to the place left in droves leaving a few of them behind.
While people were waiting for the next line of action, some members of Oodua Peoples Congress, OPC, stormed the den with red piece of cloth tied round their heads.
After making incantations, they claimed some people were still somewhere at the den.
Later, another message came that everybody should leave the area for security men to do their job.
Governor Ajimobi, through the Special Adviser on Media, Dr. Festus Adedayo said that the demolition was stopped to allow the team of forensic experts from the police headquarters in Abuja carry out their investigations.
The governor also directed environmental health officers to fumigate the forest and the entire area to prevent outbreak of epidemics.
Why demolition was stopped
No sooner had the demolition of the buildings started than the state Commissioner of Police, Mr. Mohammed Ndabawa, called the Chairman of Oluyole Local Government, Prince Ayoade Abass Aleshinloye, informing him of the need to stop the exercise to allow the team of forensic experts from the police headquarters in Abuja carry out their investigations.
Abass Aleshinloye was at the site with his Ibadan South West Local Government counterpart, Mr. Taoheed Adeleke and the General Manager of Ibadan Local Governments Property Development Company, Mr. Lekan Babalola, to supervise the exercise.
The police boss said if the exercise continues, concrete evidence that would help the police in their investigations would be destroyed.
The demolition and clearing of the bush will, however, resume tomorrow as the forensic experts are expected to have completed by then.
Abass Aleshinloye and Adeleke said efforts were being made to ensure that the speculation in some quarters of a possible dungeon in the forest was properly investigated and the site cordoned off.
Accord Party, APC govt trade blames
Meanwhile, the Accord Party, Oyo State Chapter, has called on the National Human Rights Commission and civil societies to step into the Soka house of death saga to get an unbiased report.
The party alleged that the state government should be held responsible for the atrocities committed in the den.
The party, represented by Chief Ayodele Adigun, former Secretary to the State Government, said the land belonged to the Oyo State Government, having revoked the site from its earlier occupiers.
Responding to the allegation, the All Progressive Congress Publicity Secretary, Dauda Kolawole, said: â€œThe people of Oyo State are in a state of grief and shock at the horrendous discovery of ritual killersâ€™ den in the state.
â€œThe situation calls for sober reflection from all and sundry. To be confronted with this cheap politicking in the name of infantile accusation by the Accord Party is like opening the fresh wounds of the people of the state who are still mourning their dead and lamenting the ugly incident.â€