…As 2 women injured in UK homophobic attack “for refusing to kiss”***
No fewer than 21 suspected cult members of two rival groups, Eiye and Aiye confraternities, in Ikorodu area of Lagos, have been arrested after a clash that left two persons dead and many injured.
Sources told the newsmen that different weapons, including guns, machetes and charms, were freely used by the groups in Isikalu palace and Solomade areas of Ikorodu during the clash, which resulted in disturbance of public order.
It was learnt that due to the clash which started on Thursday night and continued till Friday, many residents of the areas were unable to go to work or open their business centres until the Anti-Cultism police, led by their commander, CSP Uduak Udom came to the scene.
“The situation is under control now as policemen deployed have taken over strategic points in the areas, while the 21 arrested suspects have been taken to the Anti-cultism unit for investigations.
“ Suspects in custody have made useful statement to help the anti-cultism unit in its clamp down on cult groups, particularly in Ikorodu,” a source said.
Contacted, the spokesman for the command, DSP Bala Elkana, confirmed the arrest, stressing that the Police arrested the most wanted cult leader among other suspects.
According to Elkana, at about 10pm on Thursday, Police received a distress call that some cult members from two rival groups engaged themselves in a supremacy battle along Isikalu palace and Solomade area, Ikorodu.
He said the Command’s Anti Cultism Unit and patrol teams from Ikorodu were promptly drafted to the scene.
According to him, the leader of one of the gangs, who has been on the wanted list of the Command, Yusuf Omidele, popularly known as General, was arrested along with 20 others.
“General was charged to Court on several occasions and sentenced to prison. He completed his last sentence in 2014 and has become an Elder-in- Council in Eiye Confraternity.
“ He led his gang in a reprisal attack on the members of Aiye confratanity, whom they alleged had killed the wife of one of their leaders some weeks ago.
“The suspects arrested belong to both Aiye and Eiye confraternity and have all confessed to belong to secret societies. Two cultists died from the cult clash and six others were injured.
“The massive onslaught launched by the Command on cultists and gangsters is a continuous operation with a view to arresting other fleeing members of the gangs.
“Four locally made pistols, eight machetes and three daggers were recovered,” he said.
The spokesman said the Commissioner of Police in Lagos, Mr Zubairu Muazu, met with the stakeholders with a view to proffering a lasting solution to youth gangsterism and involvement of teenagers and underage persons in cult activities, especially at Ikorodu area.
He said that the CP solicited their support in the fight against the menace of cultism and gangsterism in Ikorodu.
It was learnt that there was another clash between Aiye cult group members at Iponri area of Surulere, on Wednesday, in which one Azu was reportedly stabbed to death.
Also it was gathered that the members had a clash at Ike-Olu area of Iponri over an unresolved issue amongst themselves.
In the meantime, two women were punched and robbed in a homophobic assault on a London bus, police said on Friday.
Media reported that the women were left covered in blood after refusing their attackers’ demands to kiss.
“The incident took place in the early hours of May 30 after the two women, who are both in their 20s, boarded a night bus in West Hampstead.
“As they sat on the top deck, they were approached by a group of four males who began to make lewd and homophobic comments to them,’’ a police statement said.
According to the police, the women were then attacked and punched several times before the males ran off the bus, while a phone and bag were stolen during the assault.
“Both women were treated in hospital for facial injuries,’’ the police added.
One of the victims, Melania Geymonat, 28, told BBC radio that the men began harassing them when they discovered she and her girlfriend, Chris, were a couple.
“They surrounded us and started saying really aggressive stuff, things about sexual positions, lesbians and claiming we could kiss so they could watch us.
“To ease the situation I tried to make some jokes, like Chris wasn’t understanding because she didn’t speak English,” Geymonat said
She said that she even acted as if she was sick but they started throwing coins.
“The next thing I knew was that Chris was in the middle of the bus and they were punching her.
“So, I immediately went there by impulse and tried to pull her out of there and they started punching me. I was really bleeding,’’ she said.
London Mayor, Sadiq Khan, said on Twitter: “This was a disgusting, misogynistic attack. Hate crimes against the LGBT+ community will not be tolerated in London.”
However, police are appealing for witnesses.