The common saying, ‘everyday for the thief, and one day for the owner of the house,” aptly captures the arrest of 28-year-old alleged notorious gangster and serial killer, Elijah Ogunlaja, who was once dreaded for his seeming invincibility during bloody cult clashes, his precision at eliminating targeted rival gang members and his swiftness at sneaking out of the scene and escaping arrest each time the police rushed in arrest him.
Ogunlaja, popularly known as Akeju, is a member of the dreaded Aiye Confraternity (Black Axe) that has long been a terror in Oworonshoki area of Lagos metropolis.
However, the mystery of his numerous escapes whenever he was in danger came to an end last Wednesday after the men from the Oworonshoki Police Unit, who had been on his trail arrested him at a social gathering at Ososa Street, located in the commune.
Sunday Sun gathered that prior to the arrest, Akeju was said to have been a constant nightmare to residents of Oworonshoki and its environs. The residents trooped to the Police station to confirm the news that the dreaded Akeju that had really been arrested by the police. They claimed that they were still in shock but happy that that police had finally succeeded in apprehending him.
One of the residents who spoke on condition of anonymity described Akeju as a gravely feared thug notoriously popular for starting up bloody cult wars with rival gang members in the community.
“Akeju is a dreaded Aiye member, and he lives with his widowed mother. But we all know him more for his nefarious cult activities here in Oworonshoki. He has killed several rival cultists during their gang wars and has also been involved in looting many people’s shops here in our commune. Residents here fear him because of his seeming elusiveness to rival gangs and even the police. We’ve heard him brag about his charms and how it makes him disappear whenever he sensed trouble,” the source said.
According to the eyewitnesses, on the day of his arrest, Akeju’s charms failed to help him ‘vanish’ when the policemen swooped on his gang that fateful evening around 8.00 pm at a party in Ososa Street.
Thus Akeju was nabbed like a chicken after several failed attempts by the police to get him. And at that scene of the arrest, the police recovered pieces of cowries tied together with a thick black thread and several fetish items that previously helped him to disappear whenever he was being chased, both by the police and rival gang groups.
Police sources told Sunday Sun that Akeju had been on their Wanted List for more than six months because of his alleged involvement in several murders and bloody carnages in the community. So on that fateful day at a party in Ososa Street, they got information and laid an ambush. The source revealed that they laid low at the scene because they didn’t want to cause too much panic and chaos that could aid Akeju’s escape. So they waited till the end of the party and moved in when they spotted Akeju as he was leaving the venue. “He has been on our wanted list for a long time for various criminal activities ranging from murder, cult activities, armed robbery, burglary and others. He’s one of the leaders and hit men in the Aiye gang. He never misses his target.”
Another source revealed that last December when another cult war broke out, Akeju was spotted in the scene of the fracas and the police went after him. “We gave him a hot chase immediately we saw him, but he got away from us. But as he was running away, his gun and two cartridges fell from him. The gun and ammunition were picked up and handed over to the Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad (FSARS). But on Wednesday, we succeeded in nabbing him and we recovered charms and other dangerous weapons.”
When Sunday Sun met the Oworonshoki Police Station’s Divisional Police Officer (DPO), Ifeanyi Owo, to comment on the stories making rounds, he only confirmed Akeju’s arrest and disclosed that the case had been moved to the headquarters of the Lagos Police Command, Ikeja. “I can only tell you that we’ve arrested Elijah Ogunlaja, a.k.a Akeju, and we have moved him to the command headquarters for further investigation and subsequent prosecution,” he said.