By CHIOMA IGBOKWE on October 18, 2014 ·
At 33, Alawunmi Oluwafemi means different things to different people. For members of Aye fraternity which is also known as the black movement of Africa, he is known as an immortal assassin. To parents, he is their worst nightmare because of the number of young men and women that had fallen to his bullets while to the police in Ogun State, he is one of the most wanted criminals who have kept them on their toes as a result of his exploits in the state. The mystery surrounding the suspect’s invincibility, however, ended last week on a day the annual Ojude Oba festival was going on in the ancient city of Ijebu Ode.
Saturday Sun learnt that he was arrested by operatives of the Special Anti Robbery Squad, Ogun State police command after a gun battle.
Now in police custody and in a sober mood, Oluwafemi told Saturday Sun the story of his life especially the powers he wielded as an axe man in the underworld and how he has hacked down more than 60 victims.
Saturday Sun gathered that the inability to arrest the suspect led to the transfer of several police area commanders out of Ijebu Ode.
Disturbed by his exploits, the Ogun State Commissioner of Police, Ikemefuna Okoye directed the SARS team to relocate to Ijebu-Ode and fish Oluwafemi out at all costs. As a result, the team led by SP Mohammed Tijiani eventually succeeded in tracking down ‘the big fish’ on October 6 during the Ojude Oba festival.
According to CP Ikemefuna, members of Oluwafemi’s gang put up a resistance and a gun battle ensued. Eventually, he was arrested after he was shot in the leg. “He is not only a cultist but also a serial killer. He has confessed that he had led his gang to kill not less than 60 people”, Ikemefuna stated. The police boss, who described the arrest of Oluwafemi as a major breakthrough for the command, accused him of masterminding the spate of cult related killings in Ijebu Igbo and Ijebu Ode axis in the last three months. Subdued, the suspect argued that the police were able to arrest him because his charms, which were always in his pocket, were left at home on the fateful day. “I never knew that anyone will be looking for me on a day like this”, he said.
Just like most criminals, Oluwafemi is from a broken home. The little he could remember of his family was that of chaos which led to the exit of his mother when he was eight years old. “When my mother left, I stayed back with my father and assisted him in the shrine. It was there that I knew how to make potent charms. After his death in the 90s, I moved over to stay with my mother who also died years later. I had no choice but to move over and live with my maternal grandmother who is based in Ondo. She also died few years after I moved in to stay with her. My only alternative was my paternal grandmother who is based in Ijebu-Ode, Ogun State. It was in her house that I stayed and learnt how to cut wood and was able to secure a job in one of the sawmills.
“It was when she died that I knew that I had to survive by all possible means. I was able to get married but when my wife discovered that my lifestyle was not good, she left and followed another man. From that day till sometime in 2009, I have been in and out of different odd jobs just to make ends meet.”
In his so-called attempt to survive, Oluwafemi joined bad gangs. “I needed to survive, so I did everything possible. Sometime in 2009, a friend of mine, Ahmed invited me over for a birthday party at Ijebu-Ode, Ogun State. At about 8pm, he asked me to escort him to see a friend who was also celebrating his birthday. I was surprised when he started entering a bush close to Olabisi Onabanjo University. I was about to ask him what his friend would be doing there, when some young men emerged from the bush and started beating me up.
“They overpowered me and threatened to shoot if I dare to run away. It was then that Ahmed told me that I was actually on my way to participate in the Aye initiation ceremony. There were so many of us who were beaten. They blindfolded us and marched us further into the bush. It was when we finally stopped that I saw the crowd of young men who came for the initiation, most of them were students. They kept beating us and forced us to lie on the floor, while they marched on our bodies.
“Later, they brought kolanut and pierced our hands with razor blade. We were forced to eat the kolanut mixed with our blood as a sign of oath-taking. We were given new names and mine was Aye Skyppo. At about 4am, we were handed over to those who brought us to the initiation camp”, he narrated.
After initiation, Oluwafemi said he was taken away by his friend who took him to a house where he took his bath and changed his dress. He was then taught some of the things he needed to know as a member of the Aye fraternity cult. “It is known as orientation, where the person who introduced you will tell you the rules and regulations. The first and most important is that if you reveal their secret, you will die. The members of the cult will hunt you down and kill you. I was also taught some of the nicknames used among cult members. For instance, to shoot means to light someone up. If you hear a sentence like, Femi light him up, it means that you should shoot. Gun is known as four, fire as erayo, matchet as meche, freedom as axe, stab as enter, cartridge as red nut.”
Beginning of bloodbath
He claimed that he was advised to secure a gun for his personal safety. “Sometime in 2010, there was a clash between Aye and another cult group known as Eiye. One of our members who was a student was killed, and there was a mandate to hack down anyone who is from Eiye. “I was always going around with a gun, anytime there is crisis. I bought it at a price of N12,500 from Ondo State. This was necessary in case there was any attack. In 2010 during Olabisi Onabanjo University matriculation ceremony, we were assigned to retaliate. As soon as we spotted one Eiye member who was vulnerable, we attacked and stabbed him till the police rescued him. He later died on the way while most of us were arrested and remanded in prison. I was in prison for a year and some months before I was granted bail. The case was later struck out because it was a cultism case and since I had spent sometime in the prison, I was free to go.”
Back home, Oluwafemi claimed that he wanted to stay completely away from the group but when Ahmed learnt that he was free, he tracked him down. “Ahmed told me that if I stay away from them, I would be endangering my life as the other cult group might come after me since I had already stained my hands with their blood. I had no choice but to go back but I decided to fortify myself. My late father was a native doctor and I have seen him prepare charms for people. All I did was to get the eyelid of a cat, cotton, black and white thread and mixed it with my urine before I dried it up. It was the reason till date, they have not been able to arrest me or kill me. I was arrested this time because I did not come out with the charm, since there was peace among the various cult groups in the area.”
According to him, he rose in ranks and was named Femi Kuti since all attempts to kill him failed. “I am not making mouth or celebrating my success, you can ask questions. I have been shot at close range severally and stabbed without any injury. This was why they named me Femi Kuti, meaning ‘he that cannot be killed’. I impressed them so much that I was later called Badoo. Normally the overall leader of the group must be a student. We that are not undergraduates are still under them but do the main hits. If there is any clash, it is people like us that are contacted to go and kill because we cannot be easily traced. The students, if caught, will be expelled and that is not good because most of them are our sponsors. They are the ones whose duty it is to sponsor the cult, that is why the leader must be a student.” Throwing more light on how they managed to initiate students, Oluwafemi said that their targets are normally boys from very rich homes. “They love life and can be found wherever there is a party. You promise them power and security and they will gladly follow you anywhere. Just as I told you, I was lured into the bush because I thought that there was a bigger party there. We do the dirty jobs while they fund the fraternity. Most of them are the ones that are killed because they do not have the experience to protect themselves”
He admitted that he cannot remember all, but all those that were killed were young men who were members of another cult. “Once there is a clash, they will declare war which means that that I am free to kill. They depended on me so much to deliver whenever there is a clash which is normally paid for with human blood. In 2014, I led the team that killed someone at 911 club at Ijebu-Ode, I gunned down another at Ibadan garage, I also killed one Seun along Benin expressway. I do not know where to start but to ask God to forgive me and give me another chance to live a better life. I know that I have killed more than 60 people but all of them are cultists or unclean people who must have soiled their hands one way or the other. All I want now is for God to forgive me and wash my hands clean of their blood”
On how he was arrested, Oluwafemi said he never knew that the person who was calling him on the phone was a policeman. “They tracked me down and lured me out to the open. We were there for the Ojude Oba festival which is supposed to be peaceful. Although my boys tried their best to protect me, they were overpowered by the police who later handcuffed me. The truth is that I did not come out with my charm and besides, if there was any problem among cult members, I will not come out in the open.”
On how he has survived till now, he said since his parents and grandparents were deceased, he has chosen the path of crime because he cannot be engaged in anything meaningful. “I started selling hard drugs especially the one known as Skunk which is stronger than cocaine. Among us, it is known as bible because of the shape. I normally buy one at the cost of N15,000, I will grind and wrap it in a paper at N100 per wrap. At the end of the day, I will make about N20,000 gain from each N15,000 bible. I was also sustained by the cult because they knew the importance of having me around them.”