By Ola Ajayi
Ibadan—A shrine, suspected to be a hideout for kidnappers has been discovered by Oyo State Police Command at Isase, Ojoku, in Ona Ara Local Government Area of the state.
Fake dollar notes and posh cars were discovered at the shrine, which is located in a very remote place, by a team of policemen led by the State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Muhammed Katsina.
The cars include two Toyota Camry, with number plates LAGOS AAA-125 and LAGOS AAA-207 DH; and another Nissan Almera, with number plates LAGOS AGL 882 DF.
Other items found at the shrine include idols, charms, cowries and mats.
There was an underground cell where captives were believed to be kept. Also discovered in the place was a substance that looked like palm oil and salt, which were poured on some statues.
Though two of the suspects escaped, policemen arrested one of them whose name was given as Ismail Adesina, 43.
He denied the allegation that they were ritualists, but confessed that he and others at large were using the shrine to dupe their victims.
He added that they collected between N150,000 and N250,000 from their victims, depending on the extent of deceit.
The suspect said they had been using the shrine for the past four years.
He said: “We have deceived up to five persons, comprising four men and one woman. The woman came to us because she was barren. We asked her to bring N150,000 or N200,000.
“We built this place ourselves. We do the work of Babalawo here. Our clients used to come from as far as Abuja.
“I hail from Beyerunka, Ibadan. My father was a Babalawo. But my father was not a fraudster like me.
“The owners of the cars are our partners that usually bring customers to us.
“My wife divorced me and went away with the two kids she had for me. She left me about two years ago because she asked me for money and I did not have.
“I have been into this business before the divorce issue came in.”
The police commissioner said he had spread his dragnet to catch the fleeing suspects wherever they might be.