Oyo State Police Command has evacuated no fewer than 20 persons from a shrine allegedly serving as a den for ritualists at Agungun area of Ibadan, the capital of the state.
The discovery, which attracted scores of residents to the scene, was made by officers of the Agungun police station, Ibadan following intelligence report.
The inmates, many of who were looking skinny and malnourished, have been successfully rescued and were in the custody of the police.
The owner and operator of the shrine, Alfa, as he is fondly called, has been arrested and detained by the police for questioning.
According to some of the residents, Alfa, who claimed to be a spiritualist and a healer, has been operating the shrine for many years with suspicion and dread.
They described the shrine as a den of ritualists and kidnappers, where unsuspecting victims were kept for ritual purposes.
Police public relations officer, Gbenga Fadeyi, confirmed the arrest of the operator of the shrine and evacuation of the inmates by the police.
Fadeyi, a Superintendent of Police (SP), further stated that the truth about whether the shrine is a den for ritualists and kidnappers was yet to be determined until the police concluded investigation into the matter.
He said: “I can confirm that there was arrest of the owner of the shrine where many inmates were rescued. But, some people came later to the police station to say they were the ones who gave their children to the owner of the shrine, who they also claimed to be a spiritualist.
“In fact, some of those rescued from the shrine had issues. Some behave like drug addicts; some appeared mentally challenged and so on. But what the police want to do is to embark on thorough investigation into the matter and come up with a report.”