An Ogun State Special Cultism Court sitting in Abeokuta, the state capital, on Wednesday, sentenced a 22-year-old, Adewale Adenekan, to seven years in prison for belonging to a secret society.

Adenekan, who resides at No. 3, Olaoluwa Close, Arigbanla Arigbajo in the Ifo area of the state, was convicted on two counts of conspiracy and membership of an unlawful society.

The Magistrate, Mr O.L. Oke, said the prosecution proved beyond reasonable doubt that the defendant was guilty as charged.

Oke also held that pieces of evidence presented by the prosecution were tenable.

He, therefore, sentenced Adenekan to seven years in prison without an option of a fine.

“There is no doubt that there has been an increase in the occurrence of cult-related clashes in Ogun, and it is the duty of the court to send a strong message to others.

“I hope this will serve as a lesson and warning to others not to commit such an offence. There is no benefit in being a member of any proscribed society,” Oke said.

Earlier, the prosecutor, Inspector Olaide Rawlings, told the court that the convict committed the offence on November 6, 2023, at Arigbajo in Ifo Local Government Area of Ogun.

Rawlings said the convict was invited by the police when some of his cult members were arrested during a cult clash.

She said that the suspects mentioned Adenekan as part of them.

The prosecutor said that the convict confessed that he was a member of the Eiye Confraternity.

She said that the offence contravened Section 45(b)and 35(b) of the Prohibition of Forcible Occupation of Landed Property, Armed Robbery, Kidnapping, Cultism and other Anti Violence Related Matters Law of 2016.

As a way of combating the menace of cult-related clashes in Sagamu and the attendant killings, the Akarigbo and paramount ruler of Remo land, Oba Babatunde Ajayi, and the Commissioner of Police, Abiodun Alamutu, had on Tuesday, announced amnesty deal for repentant cultists in the state.

The police boss said that 48 members of various cult groups, majorly Eiye Confraternity and Aiye, have renounced their membership and submitted the illegal firearms with them to the police for confiscation.

Alamutu had warned cultists across the state to utilise the opportunity of the amnesty deal as anyone caught at the expiration of the amnesty would be severely dealt with.