A vigilance group has killed three alleged members of a cult group Aiye Confraternity in Kwara State, after mistaking them for robbers.
Eighteen other members of the group have been arrested by the police, while four got critically injured.
The Vigilance group had mounted some road blocks around the meeting point of the cultists, where initiation of new members was being held.
When the cult group finished the ceremony of initiation, as they left the hidden venue, they ran into road blocks of the armed vigilance group. An exchange of gun fire occurred.
The State Command Police Public Relations officer, PPRO, Olufemi Fabode, while confirming the deaths and the arrests, said the information gathered was that Saturday night armed robbers were hiding in a bush behind NASFAT village along Airport road, Ilorin.
“This prompted various vigilance groups in the communities around the place to mount sentry on all roads that lead to the bush and waited until early hours of Sunday morning when members of the cult group completed their initiation.
“Unaware that ambush had been laid for them, they ran into the ambush laid by the various vigilance groups while people mistook them for armed robbers and opened fire on them,” Fabode said.
The PPRO said in the ensuing exchange of gun battle, three of the cult members fell and they were almost burnt to ashes before the men of the command got there. He also said three of the cultists died, four critically injured and 18 of them arrested and are being interrogated by the men of the state CID.
According to Fabode, some of the cultists came from as far as Lagos, Osun, Ibadan and Oro, adding that other cultists ran and escaped when they learnt that their men had been arrested by the police.
He said investigation is on going while corpses of those who died had been deposited at the mortuary of the University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital.
He therefore admonished people “to always give useful information to the Police with a view to making the state crime- free and warned parents to closely monitor their wards as some of those arrested disclosed that they were yet to gain admission to higher institution.”
The dead and the injured were yet to be identified.