Nigeria: ritual killing stirs fresh fears in Ikorodu (Lagos)

Published: November 2, 2019
By: Chioma Igbokwe and Moshood Adebayor – The Sun

The gruesome murder of Qudus Anifowoshe on October 14, 2019, once again brought panic to the residents of Lagos town of Ikorodu. 

While they had enjoyed relative safety and calm in the last two years after the killing spree of Badoo Boys, the murder of the teenager was a wake-up call that some ritualists are still prowling in the outskirt town. The victim’s body was found mutilated with missing parts, the unmistakable imprints of ritual killing. It was alleged that the 14-year-old student of Icon Primary and Secondary school Ikorodu, was last seen before his disappearance walking side by side with a suspect identified as Daniel Ameh, who was further implicated when three days later the mutilated corpse was found in an uncompleted building close to the house where he lived at Igbogbo Agunfoye Ire. Daniel Ameh, 17, has since been arrested and detained by detectives attached to the Lagos State Criminal Investigation Department, SCID, Panti.

However, two weeks later, the police are not close to unravelling the why or how he was killed, while the suspect, an undergraduate of Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago Iwoye, Ogun State, in his declaration of his innocence, insists the real killers are still at large. His evidence: the victim was once kidnapped and ransomed in the past.

The bereaved family, on the other hand, believed police are dillydallying in what they think should be an open-and-shut case.

Taofeek Anifowoshe, the victim’s father, alleged: “My son was found dead in an uncompleted building around 2 pm on Friday, October 18. They poured chemical on him, removed his eyes, tongue, heart, breasts and private parts. He went missing on Monday night and all the children with him said he was last seen with Daniel [Ameh]. We searched for him all through that Monday night but we did not see him. When we started looking for him, it was Daniel’s grandmother that went to ring the church bell and was announcing that my son had gone missing. But the surprising thing to us is that bloodstains were seen on the curtains of Daniel’s grandmother’s house and on the fence from where Qudus was thrown to the other side. We believe that he was killed inside that room and they dumped his body through the fence to the other side.”

Suspect’s story of innocence 

At the SCID where he is currently detained, 17-year-old Daniel Ameh insisted that he knew nothing about the death of Qudus whom he referred to as a friend.

This was the story he told Saturday Sun: “On Monday, October 14, I went to the hospital with my grandmother for my regular check-up. She has made it a routine to take me for checkups to be sure that I did not contract any disease while in school. Few minutes after the laboratory test was conducted, the nurse told my grandmother that there were traces of Malaria and Typhoid fever in my blood. I updated my Whatsapp status to show that I was sick. One of those that commented was Tawa, the sister to the late Qudus, who is also my friend. She accused me of not coming around to see her. I promised to do so as soon as I return from the hospital.

“In the evening, I went to their house and met her plaiting her hair. We were chatting when Qudus came in,  took his brother’s slippers and told them that he was going to his friend’s place. On my way out, I saw him standing with some Arabic students watching a movie on his phone. I asked him to transfer the movie to my phone and while he was doing that, a boy who lives on their street, Juwon Adebisi, left with Qudus.

Since we had not finished transferring the movie to my phone, he left his phone with me. I waited in front of their compound till I was done and luckily, he came back and I handed the phone back to him and left.”

Ameh claimed that he was already at home with his grandmother when some women were going around the area searching for Qudus.

“It was around 9 pm that I heard voices of women at our backyard complaining that they were looking for their son. I discovered it was Qudus’ mother and other women who were searching the uncompleted building beside our house.”

By 11 pm, some community women banged at their gate.

“I came out and opened the gate. They asked me if I knew where Qudus was since I was seen with him earlier in the day. In the presence of my grandmother, I told them that I was collecting a movie from his phone.”

The next day, he was at the Anifowoshe home to find out if Qudus had been found. “I was concerned because his elder sister, Tawa, is my friend,” he said. “She told me that they had not seen him.

The following day, Wednesday, he was at their house again. “To encourage my friend Tawa,” he said.

There he heard various accounts of people recounting the last time they saw the missing lad. “A woman said that while he was with the Arabic students, he received a call and wanted to leave when they pleaded with him to go for his 8 pm prayer and he replied in Yoruba that he wanted to go and jump the fence. Another man said that he saw him inside a barbing saloon that day.”

However, before the end of that day, the spotlight shifted to him.

“I went home and started receiving calls from friends asking if I am gay. My grandmother even confronted me with the same question. She said the news in town was that I was last seen with Qudus. She said that she was worried because people were saying that the way I held Qudus was as if I was holding a girl.”

Ameh insisted: “[Late] Qudus is just the brother of my friend, Tawa and I related to him as such. I have never had a reason to walk around with him neither did I force him to join any secret cult.”

Amid this disturbing development, he had to return to Ago Iwoye for his studies. However, distressing calls from Ikorodu kept coming. The most disturbing was from his grandmother who lamented the incessant harassment she was being subjected to by youths in the area who accused her of hiding her grandson.

“At about 10 pm that same Thursday, my aunt called and told me Qudus’ body was found at the uncompleted building close to our house and that angry youths jumped into our compound and started beating my grandmother. She told me she was saved by the intervention of some elders and the police who took her to the police station,” he narrated.

Ameh travelled back to Ikorodu and handed himself over to the police.

“I was the one that the police were looking for; if I stayed away they will detain my grandmother and she might die of heartache. [So] I went to Igbogbo Police Station where they detained her. They arrested me, while she was immediately released.”

In tears, Ameh claimed he had no idea how the mutilated corpse ended in the uncompleted building next to his house.

“This same building was searched by the women in the community that night and they did not find him there. I was among the young men who searched the whole area for him,” he argued. “Initially, we thought that he ran away because of fear that his mother would beat him. We also thought that he was kidnapped.”

He avowed that he was not a cultist or a ritualist and neither did he conspire with anyone to kill the boy.

“The only thing that is true was that I collected an Indian movie from his phone and this was done in front of their house,” he stated. “I never confessed to having killed him.”

The 17-year-old attributed his ordeal to malice. “I know that Qudus’ father does not like me because I was dating his daughter Tawa. He has warned me severally to stay away from his daughter. We like each other, and he is very angry about that.”

On the accusation of his being gay, Ameh denied the allegation with further clarification: “I am not gay. I love women, that is why I am dating Tawa,” he said. “While I was in secondary school, I was sexually molested by my seniors. They’d lure me to a corner and force me to touch their penises.”

He gave further insight into his background: “I was born and raised by my mother because my father abandoned her when she was pregnant with me. My mother remarried and currently lives in Dublin. I had to stay with my grandmother who is doing a wonderful job.”

On the allegation that his behaviours are effeminate, he said: “I grew up among women, who, to some extent, affected the way I walk and how neat I appear; this is why everyone assumed that I am gay and irresponsible men on the street normally approached me to have sex with them. Perhaps what worsened the matter was that during the ASUU strike, I went to learn how to plait hair for women. Everyone close to me assumed that I was attracted to women’s stuff because I am gay. Even my grandma has to visit the school with our pastor to advise and warn me of the dangers of being gay. I swore to her with the Bible and to further convince her, I joined the Christian fellowship on campus.”

He concluded his narration with a twist to the story when he urged the Police to find those who kidnapped Qudus in the past.

His words: “The bad boys in the community are envious of the man; that was why they kidnapped his son in the past and he paid them before the boy was released to him.”

Bereaved family’s version of the story

Mr Taofeek Anifowoshe, father of the late Qudus, a haulage driver, was in his place of work in Apapa when he received the bad news of his missing son on that ill-fated day. “A search party was organised by the community, just as we reported to security agencies and community leaders within our areas,” he recounted.

Mr Anifowoshe and his wife, Risikat, were at Alausa, Ikeja on Tuesday, October 29, where they spoke with Saturday Sun.

He narrated how Qudus, one of his five children, who attended Arabic school on their  street, was reportedly sent home that fateful day to bring his Quran before his mysterious disappearance.

He said: “I was told that after he returned from school on that day, he was seen with one Daniel, a student of Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago Iwoye after which his mutilated body was found after three days’ search in an uncompleted building near Daniel’s grandfather’s compound.”

Lamenting the cruel fate that befell his son, he wailed: “This is the height of wickedness by any mortal to his fellow human beings. I never imagined this would happen to me or any of my close relations. It is unbelievable and I still do not know why I’m the target.”

He claimed that the suspect could hardly exonerate himself from the death of his son. He also expressed displeasure with his overall impression of Police investigation. “As much as I appreciate police’s investigations, I wonder why they never deemed it fit to conduct on-the-spot investigations to the scene where the mutilated body of my son was discovered days after he was declared missing.”

He alleged the police had not returned to the scene of the crime or the home where the suspect lived with his grandmother, Mrs Comfort Omoyeghe Dickson.

“They never entered the premises where the Daniels live to see series of evidence that abounds there,” he said.

Anifowoshe appealed to the Inspector General of Police and the Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu to impress on the detectives to carry out thorough investigations into the murder and bring the culprit to book.

His appeal, he said, became imperative as “we are not truly convinced that the police was carrying out any investigation as they had promised.”

His wife, Risikat Anifowoshe, a trader, also denounced the lassitude displayed by the police towards the investigation. She alleged that the police had, a few days ago, tried to assist a family member of the suspect to pack some items from his grandmother’s house.

Reaction from the Police 

Lagos State Police Command Public Relations Officer, Bala Elkana said there is no basis for the allegation of a cover-up on the part of the police. “The DPO did a good job by arresting the suspect. There is no concrete evidence linking the grandmother with the murder, but the boy is still in custody,” he stated.

Elkana, who insisted that he did not want to join issues with the bereaved, said: “The boy has been transferred to the SCID. It is painful that they lost a child; they should be calm as the police are carrying out intensive investigation and will ensure that justice is done.’’

Source: Ritual killing stirs fresh fears in Ikorodu

Related article: 

I did not kill Kudus — declares teenager accused of killing SS1 student in Lagos

Published: November 2, 2019
By: Urowayino Jeremiah, Evelyn Usman

October 18, 2019 was a day of horror for the Anifowoshes in particular and residents of Igbogbo community in Ikorodu area of Lagos. This was due to the discovery of the lifeless body of 14-year-old Kudus Anifowoshe, in an uncompleted building, located three buildings away from his parents’.

The Senior Secondary School 1 student of Icon Primary and Secondary School had gone missing four days before, with his whereabouts unknown, until his body which was in its decomposing state was discovered.

Further discovery revealed that his eyes, tongue, private parts and breast were missing, indicating that he could have been killed for ritual purpose.

Accusation

Late Kudus, as gathered, was last seen on October 14, 2019, in the midst of some boys, in front of his father’s building. But apprehension set in when he did not return home, which was described as unusual of him.  A search party combed the community, banging on residents gates to ascertain if he was with them. But their efforts were to no avail.

But residents pointed accusing finger at one Daniel Ameh, as those seen with the boy claimed he was seen with his hand on late Kudus’ shoulder, as they walked out of his father’s compound at about 7pm.

Late Kudus distraught father, Alhaji Taofeek Anifowoshe, who is yet to come to terms with the rude reality of his son’s demise, was quoted to have said, “The body of my son was found in an uncompleted building around 2pm on Friday, October 18. His killers poured chemical on him, removed his eyes, tongue, breasts and private parts”

“All the children with him confirmed that my son was last seen with Daniel, before he went missing on Monday night.  Daniel’s grandmother was part of the search party. She even went to ring the church bell to announce his disappearance.

“Surprisingly, blood stains were found on Daniel grandmother’s curtains.  We suspect that my son was murdered inside that room before they threw his body through the fence to the other side because there was also blood stains on the fence from where we suspect Kudus was thrown to the other side”.  

Attack

Following the suspicion that Daniel, a 200 level Social Studies (Education) student of the Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ogun State, could be responsible for the murder, irate youths stormed the accused building on 4, Alhaji Anifowoshe street, to carry out jungle justice, in order to extract the truth from him. But Daniel was said to have gone to school.

His grandmother, Mary Omozopia, was said to have been beaten and dragged on the floor by the mob who accused her of being in the know. They attempted to burn down the woman’s house but for the intervention of some elders in the community who suggested that she should be taken to the police station, where she would be compelled to bring her grandson, the accused.  

I have no hand in is death

However, in this interview with the accused undergraduate, he denied having anything to do with the murder of late Kudus. Though he admitted seeing him that night before he went missing , he maintained that he never walked along the street with him, as claimed.

According to Daniel, “ On Monday, October 14, 2019,  I went to the hospital with my grandmother because anytime I come back from school, I usually went  to the hospital for check up so that I don’t fall sick when I go back to school. Grandma went with me because she wasn’t feeling too well. I was diagnosed of Malaria and Typhoid fever and given some medicine.

“Same day, I posted Agoway on my WhatsApp status and the deceased’s sister, Tawa, who is my friend,  replied by asking why I didn’t come to check on her when I knew she was around. I went to see her on the evening of same day and met her plaiting her hair.

“Then, Kudus (deceased) rushed inside, he took his brother’s slippers told them he was going to his friend’s place and left. As I was going home I told his elder brother, Alamini, to open the gate for me. When I stepped out, I saw Kudus standing with some Arabic students, all boys. They were watching a movie on his phone. I went closer to him and asked if he had any movie on his phone, he said yes and I told him to transfer it to me. He sent me an Indian film.

As I was transferring the film into my phone, one  Juwon, came, shook hands with me and went to meet the Kudus. He (late Kudus) excused himself, but gave me his phone to hold as I continued the download. I stood at their gate waiting, until he came back and I gave him back his phone and went home.

“Around 9pm, his mum and some women with torch lights were going round. They entered the uncompleted building close to our house and left. Around 11pm, some community women came banging on peoples gates. When they came to ours, they started shouting ‘grandma, grandma a wan omo o.( Grandma, we are looking for a child o) I quickly ran outside because I was the one with the key to the gate. By the time I stepped outside, our tenants had also rushed outside. When I went outside, they asked me if Kudus told me where he was going to, that they saw me standing with him. I told them that I only collected a movie from his phone and they left our house. My grandmother and I went inside at about 3am that day because we also joined in the search. “The following morning,  I went to their house in the morning because Tawa was my friend. I asked her if her brother told her anything about his whereabouts, she said no. While there, my grandma called me to come and take the medicine given to me at the hospital and I left.  

Arrest  

Daniel, said he left for school on Wednesday, only to receive calls from home that he was accused of killing Kudus. He said, “Some people in the community even said they saw me in Ikorodu, that I was not in school. One of my aunties called to say that my attention was needed at the Police station to defend myself. My grandmother even called to ask if I knew anything concerning the tragedy, I said no.

To my surprise I was told that the missing boy was found dead in the same uncompleted building his mother and other youths searched.

I was forced to leave school for Lagos last Tuesday, when I was told that my grandmother was beaten and detained at the station, pending when I would show up. She was released when I got to Ikorodu police station”.

Homosexual?

Part of the news making the round in Ikorodu was allegation that Daniel was a gay and could have killed late Kudus over his refusal to consent to him.

Again, Daniel denied being gay. He said, “I am not a gay. The story about my being gay came about while I was in Secondary school. Then, I was sexually molested by some senior students.  They only told me to touch their private parts but I never and have never had anal sex. I have never had sex with any lady either, even though I have a girl friend.

This is because my father impregnated my mum and abandoned her. I don’t want to repeat his mistake, that is why I decided never to have sexual intercourse with any lady until I am married.

I am not a cultist too. They said a boy testified that I approached him to cone join secret cult with a promise to give him things. I don’t know who the person is and I dare the Police to bring him before me to state that before me.

I am not a murderer, I did not kill Kudus. I am not gay and I am not a cultist”, he said in tears.

The suspect has been transferred from Igbogbo  division to the State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department, SCIID, Yaba , for further invention.

Source: I did not kill Kudus — declares teenager accused of killing SS1 student in Lagos

and:

Arrest my son’s killers, mother cries out to Lagos CP

Published: October 23, 2019
By: Nwafor

The bereaved mother, Mrs Risikat Anifowose, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that her late son was last seen with 17-year-old Daniel Amme before his mutilated body was found in their backyard.

According to her, a search party, which was formed when her son went missing on October 14, found his dismembered body in an uncompleted building behind Amme’s house two days later.

Anifowose alleged that police in the area advised her to resolve the murder incident “amicably,” instead of conducting thorough investigation into the matter.

The distraught mother said she was shocked when she later learnt that the police had released her son’s suspected killer and grandmother and allowed both to move out of the community

“Am begging the CP of Lagos State that he should please come to my rescue; the suspected killers of my son are being shielded and helped by the police.

“My son was just 14-year-old and why should he die such a painful death, with his organs being removed, please help me.

“His tongue, heart and private organ was removed and there are still blood stains over the fence on which his body was thrown into the uncompleted building from Amme’s compound.

“We are appealing to the CP of Lagos to ensure proper investigation is carried out and the perpetrators brought to justice accordingly,” she said.

Confirming the incident, Lagos Police Command Police Relations Officer, DSP Bala Elkana, told NAN that investigations were ongoing to ensure that the culprits were brought to book.

He assured the parents of the deceased that justice would prevail and the perpetrators would be punished accordingly. “Detectives are on the issue and investigations are ongoing. We assure that the offenders would be brought to book,” the police spokesman said.

Source: Arrest my son’s killers, mother cries out to Lagos CP

Why ritualistic killings are on the increase in Nigeria

Ritualistic killings in Nigeria are rampant. Nigerians call these appalling crimes ‘money rituals’. I have been studying ritualistic killings in Africa since the mid-1970s and have come to the conclusion that Nigeria ranks among the Top-Five of African countries where ritual killings are most widespread. Even if we take into account that Nigeria is Africa’s most populated country, with close to 200 million people in 2017. The following article illustrates this conclusion. (webmaster FVDK)

Why killings for rituals are on the increase in Nigeria

By Evelyn Usman
Vanguard Nigeria
Date published: September 2, 2017, 8:27 AM

The spate of killings for ritual purposes is gradually assuming an alarming rate in Nigeria with little or no effort by concerned government agencies to checkmate the trend. One would have expected such pseudoscience acts to be a thing of the past going by increase in religious activities and in civilization. But murdering people to appease the deities appears to be on the increase.

Suspected ritualist arrested – Nigeria

These dastardly acts are carried out in a 21 st century, when other countries of the world are experimenting and advancing in technology. It is also shocking to know that some acclaimed high and mighty indulge in ritual killings. For instance, some politicians and government officials have been accused by arrested suspects and herbalists who allege that they use human beings for rituals in order to sustain their affluence as well as remain in positions of power.

Investigations revealed that cases of ritual killings and disappearance of persons are usually high whenever elections are around the corner. Just last week, this barbaric act assumed a cannibalistic dimension following the arrest of a suspected kidnapper alleged to have killed one of his victims and used his intestines to prepare pepper soup. The suspect, Roland Peter,  according to the Rivers State Commissioner of Police, Zaki Ahmed, abducted his victim  from his house on August 2017, adding that the suspect was at the verge of eating pepper soup and yam porridge when the police swooped on him and some accomplices.

These vampires hide under different covers to get their victims. For some, they kidnap their victims from various points, while others who pretend to be commercial bus drivers, pick unsuspecting commuters at bus-stop only to take them to their slaughter slabs to carry out what they know how to do best.

Killings for money rituals

On August 17, 2017, the lifeless body of the four-year-old girl was found  close to a shrine at 28 Ogbe Close in Iwaya area of Lagos, with her throat slit. In her case, the toddler who strayed from her siblings’ watch, on their way from the mosque, was suspected to have been used for sacrifice on the Ogun shrine which ironically is built in the same compound with her parents. Till date perpetrators of the dastardly act are yet to be fished out.

A week earlier, precisely August 20, another lifeless body of an eight-year-old girl, Chikamso Victory, was found in the apartment of one Ifeanyi Chukwu Dike (23) at Messiah street, Eliozu area of Port Harcourt. Helpless and defenseless Victory was not only abducted by Dike, she was raped before she was killed. As at the time her body was recovered, some parts had been removed. They included her vagina, eyes, tongue and breasts which the suspect kept in a polythene bag awaiting the appropriate time to take them to his contacts. He was however, arrested by members of a local vigilante group while going to dispose of the body. But the incident assumed a laughable dimension following report by the Police that the suspect had disappeared from custody.

Elsewhere in Oyo state, on March 30, 2017, a suspected ritualist,  Tunde Jimoh, who was arrested by the Police, gave a chilling description of how he and other members of his gang abducted their victim, Akintoye Oyeyemi, took him into a deep forest and murdered him in cold blood. Thereafter, they took the body to a Muslim cleric to prepare concoction for money rituals for him. At the end of the day, the wrists, heart and legs were cut off. Luck ran out on the suspect while on his way to dump the body in the bush.

Not too long ago, reports had it that an evil forest used as ritualists’ den was uncovered in Enugu state with the recovery of fresh and decomposing human parts .

The nation’s Federal Capital Territory is not speared from the rising trend of killing for rituals. Late last year, a dismembered body of an unidentified lady was recovered at the  Lower Usuma Dam junction, along Dutse-Bwari Road. One of her breasts was cut off, while the rest of the body was cut into two from the abdomen, an indication that the killing was for ritual.

Badoo ritual killing

In Lagos state, the commercial hub of the country, different methods are devised by ritualists. One of such was the surge in the killing of residents by members of a dreaded cult group identified as Badoo Boys in Ikorodu area of Lagos. So far, over 50 persons have had their lives snuffed out of them by the perpetrators who were initially thought to be invisible, until they were decimated by the Police, under the watch of the new Commissioner of Police, Lagos State Command, Mr Edgar Imohimi, while he was the Deputy Commissioner of Police in charge of operations.

Before the raid and subsequent arrest of over 200 suspected members of the cult group by the Police with the support of the Oodua Peoples Congress, OPC local vigilante and the Neighborhood Watch Corps, Badoo Boys had been  unleashing an orgy of killings, during which they used heavy stones to crush the skulls of their victims. Their modus operandi included storming victims’ residences while they are asleep. It is suspected that they usually hypnotize their victims, as none of them had ever been conscious of their presence. They would, thereafter, smash heads of their victims with a grinding stone and after which they use a handkerchief to clean the blood and brain before leaving the scene.

During interrogation, one of the suspects confirmed that each handkerchief stained with blood was sold for N500,000 . He further revealed that they were mere errand boys for rich politicians within and outside Lagos state. But in their case , the blood and semen stained handkerchief were used to prepare spiritual defence for well to do Nigerians.

Mad people in disguise

The latest method devised is the feigning of madness by these criminal elements. Recently in Lagos, some persons who disguised as lunatics were discovered to be using tunnels as dens for their activities.

Ritual den – Nigeria

Two instances of note were along Lagos-Abeokuta road and Ile Zik, along Agege Motor road. The latest was an uncovered ritualits’ den Wednesday , at Challege bus-stop, Mushin, where some suspected members who posed as lunatics were found with sophisticated phones, four ATM cards and over 100 syringes with blood stains. One of the suspects was lynched by a mob while two others were rescued by policemen from Area ‘D’ command, Mushin.

Not too long  Nigerians received with shock, news of a den in Soka village, Oluyole Local Government area of Oyo state, where about 20 corpses, majority of which were earlier declared missing by their relatives, were found while 18 victims were rescued. From all indications, it was obvious that the den had been existing for long before it was uncovered, following a heap of victims’ clothes. One of the rescued victims was reported to have said he was kidnapped in Ogun while attending an interview.

The most celebrated ritual killing appeared to be the notorious Otokoto saga in Owerri, Imo State where a businessman belonging to a cult was alleged to have used his apprentice for ritual. The boy’s corpse was later exhumed at the premises of Otokoto Hotel. It exposed many other bizarre acts in hotels.

Religious leaders also involved

One would have expected such primitive acts to be going down, going by the increasing religious groups in the country. Regrettably,  some leaders of religious have been caught in the act. But investigations have shown that many evil men only use religion as a cover up. They are never true religious leaders.

One of the ready cases that comes to mind was that of the arrest of a Pastor who allegedly killed a seven-year-old boy and buried his head where the church’s alter was mounted. This action was to ensure the influx of members into the church located at  Odokekere/ Odogunyan in Ikorodu area of Lagos state.

Elsewhere in Edo state and Ogun states, some pastors were also arrested over similar acts. Few months ago, an unidentified woman who left her abode in Sango Otta area of Ogun in search of spiritual cleansing at the place of a Muslim cleric popularly called Alfa, in Badagry area of Lagos, ended up being victim of ritual killing. A 61-year-old landlord, Toafeek Hassan, who confessed to have slaughtered the woman, was found with her fresh human head and other body parts which were to be used to prepare concoction by the  alfa.

Investigation shows that female parts are more in demand than their male counterparts.  This is because of  what was described as the potency of some parts like the breasts and lower private parts in money rituals and other purposes by herbalists and occult groups.

Ritual used to elongate life 

One of the herbalists who spoke with Vanguard at the State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department, SCIID, Oseni Bello, admitted to be preparing concoction with human body parts but said he was not involved in the killings. Oseni disclosed that some of the rituals were done to elongate lives. He added that the heart was used to prepare concoction for boldness and fear. He stated further that virgins and babies on the other hand, were used by some politicians and government officials for ritual purposes as their blood is said to be used to elongate the user’s life span as well as fortify them against spiritual attacks. These are some of the reasons, he said, killings for rituals are on the increase.

A particular case in mind was that of a South-West politician alleged to have been caught by his driver with a dissected day-old baby whose blood he was drinking. The incident as reported two years ago, occurred inside a bush, while the driver was taking his boss (names withheld) to a function. Half way into the journey, the politician was said to have ordered his driver to pull over. He thereafter, alighted and headed for a bush with a promise to be back. Having waited without any sight of his boss, the ignorant and curious driver reportedly went in search for him, only to meet him stark naked and pouring the blood of a dissected baby into his mouth. Barely two weeks later, the driver reportedly   died under mysterious circumstance.

The event that occurred before his death was related by a Pastor friend whom the deceased   confided in before his demise. The lust for money and power drives these people into ritual killings.

While some kill to achieve this unfathomable dream, others resort to digging graves and removing needed human parts for ritual purpose. Saturday Vanguard scooped that most guards at cemeteries connive with agents to sell human parts. It was learnt that  if a fresh human head is needed, an agent will contact some cemetery workers ahead. In this case, the cemetery official will be on the look out for fresh dead bodies, preferably those of Muslims who are usually buried within 24 hours after death. Immediately the body is interred, they exhume the body at night, cut off the needed parts and place the body back in the grave.

Human parts for sale

Those who patronize cemetery officials are usually herbalists, herbal traders and even prominent Nigerians who usually use middle men. Surprisingly, human parts are sold in some markets in Nigeria. We gathered that a fresh human head could go for N60,000 and above, while a skull is sold for N20,000. Fresh legs are sold for N30,000 each while a decomposed leg is sold for N20,000. A fresh finger is sold for N5,000 each while the decomposed is sold for 3,000. Fresh intestines are sold for N20,000 while dry ones are sold for N5000. Pieces of fresh bones are sold for N2,000 and above.

Public react

Reacting to the upsurge, the president, Association of Industrial Security and Safety Operators of Nigeria, AISSON Dr. Ona. Ekhomu called on the Nigeria Police to set up Special Ritual Murder Squads in various State Commands to focus on the investigation, detection, arrest and prosecution of ritual killers.

He said that the high incidence of serial ritual killings demands an urgent action at the level of the police high command.

According to the first chartered security professional in West Africa, citizens were rapidly losing faith in the ability of the police agency to detect and punish ritual killers. This, he said was responsible for the increase in lynching of suspects as members of the public resort to jungle justice to get redress for the heinous murders.

Said he: “The conscience of Nigerians should be troubled by reports of recent ritual murders including that of one-year-old Success lme in Calabar whose heart was ripped out from her small body for ritual purposes and was discovered in a Church along with other items for occult rituals.
There is also the case of Pastor Samuel Okpara in Ahoada East LGA of Imo State who was kidnapped, killed and cannibalized by ritualists. The pastor was reportedly beheaded and his liver and intestines used for pepper soup and plantain porridge. What a horrific occurrence?”

He also decried the excesses of the Baddoo murder cult in Ikorodu Lagos State, saying it was a direct challenge to the Police.

Economic recession in the land is not a license to commit ritual murder.   Impunity encourages ritualists to commit murders because they believe they will not be apprehended or punished.

I advise Nigerians against late night outings because if a vehicular breaks down one could fall victim of kidnap by ritualists. Commuters should always write down the identification markings of public conveyance vehicles which they enter and make phone calls to loved ones to pass on the information. Because ritual murderers always wish to be unidentified. They want to kill people, but don’t wish to be apprehended. Once information about them has been passed on to someone else, it becomes difficult for them to do evil”.

Nigerians should also assess public transport vehicles before boarding in order not to board the “wrong bus. Likewise, women are advised to carry whistles on them in order to raise an alarm if there is an attempt to abduct them”.

On his part, the national Coordinator,  Network on Police Reform in Nigeria , NOPRIN  Mr Okechukwu Nwanguma, attributted the rise in  cases of killing for ritual   to collapse in moral values “

It is also caused by ignorance and superstition, the inordinate quest and pursuit of quick wealth and lack of effective punishment system. In a way, poverty and unemployment may also be a risk factor. If Nigerians have equal opportunities to earn income in legitimate ways, there will definitely be reduction in such abominable crimes like humans killing fellow humans for ritual.”

Also baring his opinion on the matter, Treasurer of the Action Democratic Party, Cross River State Chapter, Offiong Okon, in a recent interview, advised that:  “Before a church is established, government should carry out investigation before license is granted because many of the church leaders and founders are ritualists, acting in the capacity of being Pastors.”

“Government should investigate the Pastors and checkmate their activities because what they do under the cover of being a religious leader.”

Source: The Vanguard Nigeria, dated September 2, 2017

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Map of Nigeria showing the 36 states