Osun State, Nigeria: Civil society group raises alarm over surge in ritual killings, calls on government to act

Warning: the following graphic details of heinous crimes may upset the reader.

Osun State is with an area of less than 10,000 km2 one of the smallest of the 36 Nigerian states and with an estimated population of 4-5 million people the state has one of the highest population densities in the country, Africa’s most populated country. The history and cultural diversity and richness of the people in Osun State are phenomenal and well-known. It’s also interesting to know that Osun State has a literacy rate of about 80%, one of the highest literacy rates in the country.  

Unfortunately, and seemingly in contradiction with the educational level of the people in general, the state is also notoriously known for its ritual murders which are locally called ‘money rituals’. In the past I have posted a large number of reported ritual murder cases, too many to mention here.

Interested readers may use the drop-down menu (under ‘African countries’ on the home page) and then use the search option for ‘Osun State’ if interested in more information on the subject.

A civil society group called Every Life Matters recently stood up raising alarm over the increasing numbers of ritual murders in the state, calling on the authorities to act and end this frightening trend. The founder of the organisation, Mrs. Babalola Atinuke, and her associates are to be commended for their action. Hopefully their action will be successful in curbing the incidence of ritual killings in this part of the country with the long-term goal of ending these practices which have no place in the 21st century. 

The article presented below summarizes a number of recent ritual murder cases, only the tip of an iceberg as we know, their gruesome details may shock certain readers.
(FVDK)

Civil society group raises alarm over surge in ritual killings

Source: 

Published: January 21, 2022
By: Kazeem Badmus – Osun Defender, Nigeria

A State of Osun based civil society group, Every Life Matters (ELM), has raised the alarm over increasing rate of ritual killings in the state, calling on the government, security agencies and all other state actors to work together to curb the menace.

The founder of the organisation, Mrs. Babalola Atinuke, while speaking with OSUN DEFENDERon Tuesday, said cases of killing for ritual purposes are dishearteningly on the rise in Osun, a situation she said calls for drastic action from stakeholders.

Atinuke attributed ritual killings to the inordinate desire of youth of nowadays and few older people to get quick and easy money without working. 

According to Atinkue, if drastic step is not taken to curb the situation, the state might become unsafe for the good citizens and residents. 

She said: “The spate of killing for ritual purposes is gradually assuming an alarming rate in the state of Osun and if not quickly checked, it can make the state unsafe for the good people.

“Children and some people are no longer safe to go out at night and I want to urge the government, security agencies and all other state actors to rise up and work together to clamp down on those perpetrating this act.

“The cases, when read or heard of, are disheartening, weepy, pathetic and calls for a sober reflection. As an organisation, we are trying our best by orientating our people, most especially the youth, on the need to thread carefully on their quest for money.”

Ritual Killings On The Rise In Osun

OSUN DEFENDER takes a look at some cases of alleged ritual killings in the state in the past few months.

On January 5, 2022, a native doctor, Ganiyu Wasiu, living in Igege town, Ola-Oluwa local government, was caught with mutilated human body parts.

The suspect, according to the Osun State Security Network, codenamed Amotekun, was arrested while conveying the mutilated human parts in a ‘Ghana-Must-Go’ bag.

On December 14, 2021, an Islamic cleric, Lukman Salawudeen (36), was arrested by policemen in the state in connection with the murder of a lady, Bolaji Akerele. 

The cleric attested to the fact that he prepared ritual soap for his customer, even as he denied kown how his client got the human part he used to prepare the ritual soap.

The State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Olawale Olokode while briefing Newsmen, said: “The police discovered a dead body identified as Bolaji Akerele dumped somewhere in Ile-Ife.

“Upon investigation, it was discovered that her head and palms have been severed from the body. One Sunday Olajide was arrested in connection with the murder

“The arrest of the first suspect on December 6, 2021, led to the arrest of three other suspects in Iwo, Osun state by a police tactical team. They all confessed to having strangulated the woman to death with the motives of using her for money rituals”.

On August 9, 2021, an Ikirun based Ogboni cult member, Ifadare Afolabi, and his friend,  Ifaseun Afolabi, a herbalist, were arrested for allegedly conspiring to kill a 35-year-old man, Ayoade Fasesin, and use his body parts for ritual purposes.

Speaking to newsmen when he was paraded by the police, Ifadare said he used his victim’s head and legs for a charm to draw clients to his temple in Ikirun.

He, however, lamented that the charm did not work, as his temple did not see an influx of people as expected.

Also, a lady, Toyin Adewale, was sometimes in June, last year brutally murdered by her boyfriend for ritual purpose after having sex with her. 

The boyfriend, Akin, according to his accomplice Kabiru, invited the deceased from Ibadan to Apomu, in the State of Osun, with the sole aim of using her head and heart for money ritual. 

Narrating how they killed the lady, Kabiru said the victim was brought from Ibadan by his friend Akin, to his residence at Agunla Junction in Apomu, where he had sexual intercourse with her.

“Akin brought the deceased to my house at Agunla Junction Apomu. The lady is not from our area. She probably came from Ibadan. She was Akin’s girlfriend. Akin is an herbalist and my friend. After sleeping with the lady, I entered the room and he had already strangulated her. I only helped him to hold the lady’s leg.

“Akin told me he wanted to do a money ritual and needed some organs for the ritual. He promised that whatever I needed would be given to me, if I helped him.  I didn’t kill the woman, Akin did. I gave him a knife that he used to dismember the body and we packed it inside a box in my room.”

Source: Group Raises Alarm Over Surge In Ritual Killings

Nigeria: wife of the Bayelsa State governor, Dr Gloria Diri, leads campaign against ritual killings

Let me first of all state here that Bayelsa State isn’t an exception in Nigeria when it comes to ritualistic murders. My impression is that these heinous crimes occur in every state of Nigeria. But it is, however, exceptional, that high placed people raise their voices against such practices. 

In the past I have posted several articles on ritualistic activities including murder in the southern state of Bayelsa, see eg. my May 11, 2021 posting ‘The scourge of ritual killings in Nigeria‘ which included ‘money rituals’ in Bayelsa; furthermore, ‘Ritualist’ lynched in Bayelsa state‘ (May 24, 2019) and ‘Confession of Yahoo Plus Boys: “Ritual does not give us money‘ (November 11, 2019).

The year 2022 started promising in Bayelsa State when the wife of the Bayelsa State governor, Dr Gloria Diri, led a coalition of civil society organization to campaign against ritual killings and the harvesting (as it is called locally) and trafficking of human organs in some parts of the state. Moreover, she called on state security agencies to step up the protection of innocent children. The campaign started with the slogan “No To Ritual Killings.”

My congratulations to Dr Diri for this initiative and I wish her and her fellow Nigerians success in their endeavors to end ritualistic killings, at least in Bayelsa State! 
(FVDK)

Diri’s Wife Leads Campaign Against Ritual Killings, Others

Published: January 21, 2022
By: Osa Okhomina – Leadership, Nigeria

Wife of the Bayelsa State governor, Dr Gloria Diri, has led a coalition of civil society and girl-child welfare advocacy groups to campaign against ritual killings and harvest of human organs in some parts of the state.

She called on security agencies to step up the protection of the girl-child in the state. The campaign started as early as 7am with an estimated 12-kilometre road walk to publicly declare “No To Ritual Killings.”

The various groups and stakeholders under the umbrella of the State Gender Response Initiative Team (GRIT) noted that though two cases of attempted ritual killings have so far been detected in the state, the state would no longer condone the mysterious killing of young girls.

Among the groups which participated in the 12 kilometer walk against ritual killings are the coordinator, Committee for Democracy and Environmental Dividends ( CODED ), Mr Keme Opia ,the chairman Collins Cocodia Foundation  and special adviser , political to the state governor, High Chief  Collins Cocodia, wife of the chairman of the State Traditional Rulers Council, HRM,  Mrs Josephine Diette-Spiff, International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA),  Women Wing of Christian Association of Nigeria, the chairman of the state chapter of the NUJ, Comrade Samuel Numonengi, Gloria Diri Foundation, Do foundation, Child Protection Network, Ethanrose Foundation, National Council of Women Society, Medical Women Association of Nigeria ( MWAN), Do Foundation international, Starrz Safety initiative and others.

The women groups were armed with placards with inscription such as “save the girl child from ritual killings”,  “Together we CAN”, “Join GRIT to stop senseless killings”, “Bayelsa is peaceful not for harvesting human parts”, and “ Our girls ,our pride.”

Mrs Diri, who expressed concern over the strange cases recorded and the alleged participation of young boys in aborted cases in the state, said the land of Bayelsa rejects such dastardly act and that by the peace walk, the stakeholders in the state reject such acts.

She also called on the mothers and the men to protect the girl child against such evil acts, “For everyone that enters the state, the gods of the lands and the security agents are watching. Let us watch and protect one another against ritual killing. For those caught in the act, we will ensure that the law takes its course. We are also now against out-of-court settlements and we want the law to punish the perpetrators.  Ritual killing is a distraction because if a child goes missing, government will abandon what they are doing and go in search of the missing child.”

Source: Diri’s Wife Leads Campaign Against Ritual Killings, OthersDiri’s Wife Leads Campaign Against Ritual Killings, Others

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Bayelsa First lady leads public campaign against ritual killers, ‘Yahoo-Yahoo’ boys

Published: January 20, 2022
By: Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa – The Sun, Nigeria

Disturbed by the recent cases of attempted ritual killings in Bayelsa State, the wife of Bayelsa governor, Dr Gloria Diri on Thursday led other groups on a public campaign against ritual killing and activities of Yahoo-yahoo boys in the state.

A Niger Delta University (NDU)student, Deborah Emafidion and a 13-year-old girl (name withheld) were recently rescued from suspected ritualists in the state.

The public campaign put together by the Gender Response Initiative Team (GRIT) and Committee for Democracy and Environmental Dividends (CODED) and other groups armed with placards with inscription such as ‘Save Our Children from Ritualists’ ‘No to Ritual Killings,’ Join GRIT to stop senseless killings’, ‘Bayelsa is peaceful not for harvesting human parts”, commenced with a 12 kilometre walk and distribution of flyers from Ekeki Park, Azikoro road to the Peace Park, opposite the Bayelsa State Government House.

Dr Diri, who incidentally is the initiator of GRIT, expressed concern over the strange cases recorded and the involvement of teenagers in attempted ritual killings in the state.

“The land of Bayelsa rejects such a dastardly act and by this peace walk, the stakeholders in the state reject such acts. The youths and women of Bayelsa reject it. I urge everyone to be their brothers’ keeper. If they try it in other states, Bayelsa will not condone it any longer. For everyone that enters the state, the gods of the lands and the security agents are watching. Let us watch and protect one another against ritual killing. For those caught in the act, we will ensure that the law takes its course. We are also now against out-of-court settlements and we want the law to punish the perpetrators,” she said.

The Chairperson of GRIT, Dise Ogbise, pointed out that with the peace walk against ritual killings; Governor Douye Diri led prosperity Government has once again made history by bringing together key actors in its fight against ritual killings and cultism in the state.

“The state Government has once again reiterated its resolve to end all forms of violence in the state as perpetrators of ritual killing and cultic groups will be prosecuted,” she said.

hairman of the Collins Cocodia Foundation and Special Adviser, Political to Bayelsa Governor, Chief Collins Cocodia, also expressed concern over the cases of ritual killings and called for a concerted effort to nip it in the bud.

Queen of Twon Brass Kingdom and Chairperson, Bayelsa State Traditional Rulers Wives Association, Bayelsa, Queen Josephine Diette-Spiff said the case of Deborah underscored the danger facing girls and women in the state.

While commending GRIT and CODED for putting the campaign together, she called on security agencies to step up operations to be able to track perpetrators of all forms of violence.

Other groups that participated in the solidarity walk include International Federation of Female Lawyers (FIDA), Gloria Diri Foundation, Collins Cocodia Foundation, Do foundation among others.

Source: Bayelsa First lady leads public campaign against ritual killers, ‘Yahoo-Yahoo’ boys

Nigeria: six suspected ritualists nabbed over killing of 9-year-old boy in Zamfara State

Another sad story about the ritual killing of a 9-year old boy for ‘money rituals’ in Nigeria, this time in Zamfara State, in the islamic north of Africa’s most populated country. As I have recounted several times before, ritual murders occur in virtually every state in Nigeria and I fear that the cases which become known are just the tip of an iceberg.

Fortunately the police has reacted swiftly and arrested a number of suspects. Let’s pray that the story doesn’t fizzle out and that after a fair trial justice will be done. But there’s more work to do: the prevention of future ritual murders by eradicating the belief in ‘juju’ (webmaster FVDK).

Six suspected ritualists nabbed over killing of 9-year-old boy In Zamfara State

Published: January 12, 2022
By: Shehu Umar, Gusau – Daily Trust   

Zamfara State police command has arrested six people in connection with the killing of a nine-year-old boy for ritual purpose in Gusau, Caliphate Trust has learnt. 

The police had launched a manhunt for the culprits after a tip-off that the boy was  seen with one of them on the day he was abducted and killed.  

The suspects, upon interrogation by the police, revealed that they were assigned to kill the boy and extract parts of his body by an individual in Tudun Wada area of Gusau metropolis. 

One of them was reported to have said they had earlier killed two persons for ritual. He said he had been experiencing nightmares over the killing as the slain boy kept appearing to him in his dream smiling. 

The ring leader of the group responsible for the ritual killing was later apprehended and confessed to security operatives that he was the brain behind the killing of the boy.

Sources said the suspects had named one person in the state’s business community but that could not be independently verified.

The remains of the boy, identified Ahmad Aliyu Ijaba, was found in an uncompleted building in Barakallahu area of Gusau metropolis in December.  

The owner of the building spotted the decomposing body of the little boy when he went  to continue his construction work and immediately alerted the police. 

Ahmad went missing shortly after he came back from Islamiyya School in Gadar Baga  area of the city.  

The state police command’s spokesman, SP Muhammad Shehu, said investigation is ongoing and that he would not talk further about the matter.

Source: Six Suspected Ritualists Nabbed Over Killing Of 9-Year-Old Boy In Zamfara

Nigeria: Ondo State – Suspect with fresh human head dies in police custody

On December 24 last I posted an article reporting the arrest of a 55-year old herbalist, Tunde Olayiwola, in Ondo State. A few days later he was dead. The suspected ritualist died in police custody. 

An Ondo State Police public relation officer confirmed the death of Tunde Olayiwola, but did not give details of what led to his death.

Is this another example of jungle justice? Further investigation will have to learn what caused Olayiwola’s death but if there’s foul play the rule of law demands that those who are responsible for his unnatural death must account for their deeds. It’s a gross violation of a suspect’s legal and human rights to be maltreated or even killed while in police custody.

But will we ever hear the truth about what happened to Tunde Olayiwola?
(webmaster FVDK). 

Suspect with fresh human head dies in police custody

Published: December 26, 2021
By: Babatope Okeowo, Akure – The New Telegraph 

A suspected ritualist, Tunde Olayiwola who was arrested by the Ondo State Police Command for unlawful possession of fresh human head has died in their custody, it was learnt yesterday.

Olayiwola, who was paraded alongside eight others suspects arrested for various criminal offences ranging from murder, kidnapping and cultism last week Thursday, died in the police clinic in Akure, the state capital.

Olayiwola, who claimed to be an herbalist of 53 years experience, said he bought the fresh human head from one of his customers for N60, 000 in order to use it for money making ritual.

He confessed that the head found in his possession was to be used to ensure he had a better life, saying he did not have any regrets for using a human head for ritual purposes.

He said if it was his son that was killed for money making ritual, he said that was his end and would do nothing about it.

He refused to give the name of his accomplices saying he wanted to be rich just as his counterparts.

The Commissioner of Police, Mr Oyeyemi Oyediran, who paraded the suspect, said the Police received information that a self acclaimed cleric named Alfa Tunde Olayiwola, a suspected ritualist, was about to receive a consignment suspected to be a human head.

Oyediran said the Police immediately swung into action and the cleric was apprehended at Ajagbale Area of Oka, Ondo town.
He added that a fresh human head was found in his custody.

But on Sunday, a police source, who did not want his name in print, said the cleric, who was apprehended at Oka, Ondo West Local Government, slumped at Special Anti-cultist Section of the state police command, located along FUTA road in Akure.

The Police Public Relation Officer, Funmilayo Odunlami confirmed the death of the suspect, but did not give details of what led to his death.

Source: Suspect With Fresh Human Head Dies In Police Custody

Nigeria: 55-year-old man arrested with human head in Ondo State

Warning: the following post may upset the reader. 

The article below illustrates well how ‘money rituals’ are being organized and performed in Nigeria. A 55-year-old man who wanted to become rich, ordered ‘a fresh human head’ which was ‘delivered’ to him at his home as if he had ordered something at Amazon.com

Of course, one wonders if this man is not insane. But jumping to that conclusion is, first of all, not my job – I prefer to leave that judgement to a judge. However, the whole situation demonstrates the evil which results from the belief in superstition in combination with greed and moral decay. Hail to the Ondo police to have apprehended this man who will have to account for his deeds (read: misdeeds)! 
(webmaster FVDK).

55-year-old man arrested with human head in Ondo State

Published: December 23, 2021
By: Hakeem Gbadamosi – Nigerian Tribune

Men of the Ondo State Police Command have arrested a 55-year old man, Tunde Olayiwola, who was allegedly caught with a fresh human head meant for money ritual in Ondo, headquarters of Ondo West Local Government Area of the state.

Speaking during the parade, on Thursday, the State Commissioner of Police, Oyeyemi Oyediran, said the suspect was arrested by men of the state police command after an intelligence report that the suspect was about to receive a consignment.

He said the suspect was apprehended with the fresh head delivered to him and confessed that the head was meant to be used by him to ensure a better life.

He said: “On the 23rd of December, 2021, at about 9 am, the police received information that a self-acclaimed cleric named Alfa Tunde Olayiwola, a suspected ritualistic was about to receive a consignment suspected to be human head.

“The police immediately swung into action and the cleric was apprehended at Ajagbale area of Oka in Ondo town.

“A free head was found in his custody. He confessed that the head found in his possession was to be used to ensure he had a better life.”

Confessing to the crime, Olayiwola who said he hailed from Oshogbo said he ordered for the fresh head for money ritual at the sum of N60,000.

He said the consignment was delivered to him at home by a man he met at a social function on Thursday morning, saying he was about to commence the ritual when he was arrested.  

He said, “I purposely ordered for the human head to make my life better and it was delivered to me. This is my first time but I want to do it to become rich and live a better life. The head was delivered to me today.”

(….) 

Source: 55-year-old man arrested with human head in Ondo 

Nigeria – Abia State University professor condemns ritual killings

Professor Ezionye Eboh of the Abia State University, Uturu, almost mentioned it casually, but he did mention it. He included ritual killings in the societal ills that urgently need to be attacked in order to restore societal values and public trust in the rule of law.

Professor Ezionye Eboh is a Professor of management at the Abia State University, Uturu, and was the immediate past Rector of Abia State Polytechnic Aba.

Increasingly, Nigerians speak out against the unabated scourge of ritual murders and related ritualistic activities in the country. Nigerians in virtually all states experience a daily threat emanating from the insecurity which results from the widespread belief in the power of ‘money rituals’. There is no place for such practices in the third millennium. After all, it’s 2021 (webmaster FVDK). 

Abia State University professor seeks social reorientation to tackle societal ills including ritual killings

Published: December 21, 2021
By: Gordi Udeajah, Umuahia – The Guardian

Restoration of societal values through social reorientation will help tackle societal ills confronting the country, a Professor of Management at the Abia State University, Uturu, Ezionye Eboh has said. 

Prof Ezionye who spoke while delivering the 61st inaugural lecture of the university, which had ‘Management: Everything, Everywhere’ as a theme, said that citizens would reap the gains and benefits of a well-managed country.

To him: “A developing country like Nigeria needs to judiciously manage its available resources, avoid all forms of embezzlement and misappropriation of funds and ensure an enabling environment for business operations”.

He lamented that over the years, greed, bribery, kick-backs among other vices, became the accepted way of the life of many citizens, which denied the country huge opportunities for healthy living and emerging as a major player in the global economy.

He insisted that negative societal values have given rise to all manner of crimes in society, ranging from armed robbery, drug trafficking, 419 activities, ritual killings, kidnapping and unbridled official corruption.

Worried that the greatest casualties are the youths, the don urged stakeholders to devise deliberate and concerted effort at re-ordering social values, saying not to do anything about the eroding social values today is to produce the worst corporate players soon.

While recommending a deliberate concerted effort at re-ordering social values, strengthening institutions and regulatory frameworks, he urged those entrusted with state responsibilities to do their work without fear, favour and partisanship.

Prof Eboh, who was the immediate past Rector of Abia State Polytechnic Aba, stated that to effect better management of the country, there is the need to initiate ‘Introduction to Management’ as a compulsory “General Studies Course (GST) “in all universities in the country to help prepare students for leadership in public and private sectors.

Source: Expert seeks social reorientation to tackle societal ills

The ugly relation between cultism and ritual killings in Nigeria

In the following report the author describes ugly incidents caused by cults in Nigeria. Many of these activities, sometimes outright crimes, haven’t anything to do with this site’s focus.

Many cultists are not criminals. But it’s not always innocent and pleasure. As explained in the article below, there also exists a relation between these cults and ritual killings.

The Field Commander of Amotekun in Osun State, Amitolu Shittu, recently stated that – in his view –  cultism is a lawless organization that should not be allowed: ‘(…) We must tackle them with force. Cultists are more or less the supporter of ritual killing and it must not be allowed in our society.”

He further accused cultists of being engaged in robbery, kidnapping, and ritual killing. He  warned that “he who kills with swords shall also be killed with the swords.”
(webmaster FVDK)

Cultism: Concerns as politicians, students, others glamorize groups’ activities

Published: December 18, 2021
By: Sikiru Obayarese  – Daily Post, Nigeria

A few weeks before he was attacked by suspected cultists for refusing to join their gang, Oke Ademiju, a final year student of Political Science at Osun State University, UNIOSUN, was set to write his final papers as a Political Science student.

Ademiju, according to eyewitnesses, was attacked with cutlasses, stones and thereafter set ablaze by his assailants before residents came to his rescue.

His school’s official account said, “Oke Ademiju Victor kept shouting that he was not going to join any cult but his assailants continued to pummel him with cutlasses, hard stones and even attempted to set him ablaze, partially succeeding until he was rescued.”

While his mates have graduated from the University, Ademiju could not write his final papers as he was bedridden due to the cult attack.

However, many said the aspiring political scientist is lucky to be alive since many like him have died or have been maimed for life for daring to reject the daredevil cultists’ proposal.

Only recently, a child of 12 years, Sylvester Oromoni, was attacked in his hostel for allegedly refusing to join a cult gang in a secondary school.

Many lives have been lost in clashes between rival cult groups over supremacy battle. Cult groups often count the number of deaths recorded by a gang as a sign of superiority, discarding life of all its values.

Now, some parents hesitate to send their children to boarding schools or even higher institutions for fear that their wards may be forcefully initiated into cult groups.

Keen watchers of the education system have also listed bullying, drug dealing, prostitution as some of the crimes to checkmate in Nigerian schools.

A recent investigation published by the BBC Africa Eye accused cult groups of masterminding illegal activities.

The report showed that many brutal killings and armed robberies in Nigeria were traced to dreaded groups such as The Neo-Black Movement of Africa (also called Black Axe); Eiye Confraternity; The National Association of Seadogs (Pyrate Confraternity); Vikings Confraternity; Brothers Across Nigeria (BAN) or National Association of Sealords also known as Buccaneers Confraternity and others.

This is the extent the threat of cultism has risen in recent times across the country.

Analysts say cultism has been unfortunately promoted as charity and humanitarian organisations, making it appealing to young people who are hoping to get connections or meet their benefactors.

Allegedly, prominent persons including politicians and celebrities in Nigeria, have been linked to violent cult clashes that have resulted in hundreds of unsolved murders in Nigeria. Till date, none has been indicted or arrested.

Artisans are not left out of the trend. In fact, they appear to be the only ones who are perpetrating most of the violence.

Even street urchins have taken over cult groups originally thought to be the preserve of university undergraduates.

In 2020, a 32-year-old Kabiru Ahmed, a tailor, who was described as cool-headed and compassionate, was arrested by the Anti-Cultism Unit of the Lagos State Police Command and confessed to killing four members of a rival cult group.

Ahmed was the hitman of the infamous Black axe (Aiye) confraternity. The cultist said the killing of his ‘Babalawo’ led to a killing spree for both the Black axe and its rival, Eiye confraternity.

While one wonders the role of security agencies amid all the violence, the Police have tried to exonerate themselves by arresting and parading suspected cultists for killing, robbing, raping and for engaging in other illegal activities.

But analysts say this still does not solve the problem from the root.

Checks by DAILY POST revealed that majorly, all the cult groups have social media handles where their activities are promoted.

A security expert, Nnamdi Anekwe Chife, who spoke to DAILY POST exclusively said the effect of glamorising cultism among young people by either celebrities or politicians has far-reaching effects.

Chife said it was utterly dangerous for Nigerian society to condone the flattering of the criminal side of cultism.

He said, “There are two sides of the debate. On one side, people are saying cults are charity organisations while on the other side, it is a criminal organisation, in the sense that they carry out criminal activities. If someone is glamorising the criminal aspect of cultism, definitely it’s going to impact the young ones.

The security expert also claimed that “on the security side, there are allegations that elements in the security outfits are also involved in cult activities but there is no proof to nail them.

“Political classes who partner with them to glamorise cultism could also be nailed too,” he said.

However, the Field Commander of Amotekun in Osun State, Comrade Amitolu Shittu said only a bad society and the nation without a good leader will fold their arms and allow cultism to rise.

According to him, “cultism is a lawless organization that should not be allow and we must tackle them with force. Cultists are more or less the supporter of ritual killing (italics mine – FVDK) and it must not be allowed in our society. The organization are lawless that we cannot be proud of because it is ungodly and God frowns at it as “he who kills with swords shall also be killed with the swords.”

Amitolu said that cultism and other social vices are one and the same. “We are doing our best day and night and we have apprehended some of them and sent them to jail. They are the ones that engage in robbery, kidnapping, and ritual killing (italics mine – FVDK), so they are not supposed to be welcomed in our society.

He said Amotekun has succeeded in reducing, “their illicit character and the killing of innocent people to barest minimum and we are not taking it kindly with them. Democracy should not be allowed to kill democracy, so democracy that we are practicing is that which encourages the rule of law and nobody has the right to kill a fellow human being, and whoever that does so, the law should be taken to their doorsteps,” he concluded.

Screenshot from the YouTube video ‘Black axe: Charitable or criminality, two sides of a coin and its danger’. To watch the video please click here.

Source: Cultism: Concerns as politicians, students, others glamorize groups’ activities

Nigeria: a frightening analysis of ritual killings in the southwest of the country (2014 – 2021)

During the past year, many of my posts on this site focused on Nigeria and the alarming scale of ritual murders and related crimes in this country, contributing to a nation-wide security problem though, one knows, Nigeria’s security problem has many faces. See my February 2, 2021 post Security challenges in Nigeria.

This post was the third in a row focussing the growing security problems which nearly 200 million Nigerians face daily. On January 30, I published Nigeria: curbing the menace of ritual killings in the South West and on January 31, I posted Nigeria: Insecurity: Government must keep its end in this social contract, says Ekhomu.

Also this year I drew attention to the scourge of ritual killings in Nigeria (on May 11) and published a plea ‘Let the carnage of ritual killings in Nigeria stop‘ (on March 7). 

On May 26, 2021 a Nigerian reporter, Ayodele Oluwafemi, of The Cable, a Nigerian news outlet, published a frightening analysis of mysterious disappearances and ritual murders during the past seven years. Already the list of missing and/or murdered persons is impressive.  

“Although reported cases of ritual killings show that the incident happens in all regions of the country — media reports suggest that the south-west accounts for a large percent of the killings.”

Subsequently the author analyses some of the media reports published in the past few years on ritual killings in the south-west region of the country.

Warning: the graphic description of the ritual murders may upset certain readers (FVDK).

NB: The links included in the following Cable article are the original links and consequently, I am not responsible for their proper functioning (FVDK). 

Overview: how south-west is becoming a hotbed of ritual killings in Nigeria

Published: May 26, 2021
By: Ayodele Oluwafemi – The Cable, Nigeria

In recent times, reported cases of ritual killings have surged in many parts of the country. Law enforcement agencies have arrested many suspects of ritual killings — with gory pictures of human skulls and dismembered bodies.

Aside from the arrest and parade of suspected ritualists by the police, the Nigerian social media space has become a place where users mobilise members of the public to help find missing friends, colleagues, and family members.

As a result of this trend of missing persons, Enough is Enough (EiE), a civil society organisation, created a website alongside social media platforms to document cases of missing persons.

“Nigerians are reported missing daily. But most often, there are no records of these missing people, it is our mandate to document these records and make it easy to find those who are lost and missing,” an excerpt on the website’s front page says.

In most cases, some of these persons declared missing are found but many remain missing — with the hope of getting found by their families and friends dimming every passing day.

The trend of missing persons and the police’ arrest of suspected ritual killers suggest that many of those declared missing may have been victims of ritual killers.

Although reported cases of ritual killings show that the incident happens in all regions of the country — media reports suggest that the south-west accounts for a large percent of the killings.

TheCable analysed some of the media reports published in the past few years on ritual killings in the south-west region of the country.

On March 24, 2014, the nation was thrown into a moment of confusion when a kidnappers’ den was discovered in Soka community, Ibadan, Oyo state.

The den was discovered by some commercial motorcyclists, popularly known as ”okada”, who were searching for two of their colleagues after they took two passengers to the community without returning.

After the den was busted, human skulls, dried human parts alongside malnourished victims which were reserved for ritual purposes, were discovered.

Personal items like bags, shoes, and identity cards which appeared to be victims’ belongings were also seen at the den.

Since the 2014 shocking discovery at Soka, there have been multiple revelations of suspected ritual killings, especially in the south-west of the country.

On May 6, 2015, the decomposing body of Precious Kessington Omorodion, a 23-year-old, was recovered in a  kidnappers’ den at Ota, Ogun state after 18 days of disappearance.

The police also rescued a 28-year-old woman found in the uncompleted building.

In 2016, the Ogun police discovered a ritualists’ den located within an abandoned filling station at Iyana-Ilogbo axis of Sango-Ota of Ogun state, following a tip-off from a member of the community.

The police arrested two suspected ritualists in connection with the activities carried out in the den.

On August 30, 2017, two people were killed by a mob in the Mushin area of Lagos state over alleged involvement in kidnappings and ritual killings. 

The incident was said to have happened at Challenge bus stop, Mushin, after a vulcaniser sighted a suspected mad man discussing with someone in a tunnel at the bus stop.

On October 7, 2017, the Ogun police arrested six members of a syndicate allegedly involved in killing people for ritual purposes at different locations across the state.

The police said two members of the syndicate were caught with a bag containing fresh and dried human parts.

On August 20, 2018, the Lagos police arrested Taiwo Akinola, a suspected cult member, for allegedly attempting to kill Alice Akinola, his mother, for money rituals.

It was reported that the assailant attacked his mother by hitting a plank on her head at their residence at Raji Ajanaku street, Alaja road, Ayobo axis of Lagos after he had sent his nephew to go and buy a white handkerchief and a pack of cigarette.

On November 27, 2018, two brothers identified as Saheed Obadimeji and Ayodeji Obadimeji were said to have beheaded a teenage boy at an uncompleted buildingin Sapati town, Ibeju-Lekki, Lagos.

It was reported that the suspects cut off the boy’s head for the purpose of selling it for N200,000.

The suspects have been remanded in prison.

On January 18, 2019, the Ekiti police busted a ritualists’ den in Odo, Ado Ekiti, and arrested two suspected ritualists, after a tip-off from members of the community on suspicion of ritual activities in the area.

On June 20, 2019, Dotun Ogunlade, a prophet popularly called ‘Arole Jesu’, was arrested in Igboora area of Oyo state for the alleged murder of Bosede Ogunlade, a 25-year-old housewife for ritual purposes. 

 The prophet was said to have lured Bosede, who hailed from Ilorin in Kwara state, with the promise of providing solution to her economic and marital problems. 

On October 5, 2019, the Ogun police arrested two men, Emmanuel Aro, aged 25, and Anu Olofinju, aged 25, with a human skull along Ijoun road, Eggua axis of the state.

The two suspects were said to have been sighted at a cemetery, digging the grave of the mother of one Amoo Bankole.

In June 2020, residents of Akinyele LGA in Oyo state were thrown into panic over the series of rape and murders that occurred in the area.

Within one month, three young ladies — Grace Oshiagwu, Barakat Bello, and Azeezat Somuyiwa — were murdered in their residences located in Akinyele LGA in a pattern that suggested ritual killing.

On the Akinyele killings, the police arrested one Sunday Shodipe, a 19-year-old suspect, who confessed that he received food and N500 for each of the six persons murdered in the area.

He said he was sent on the mission by a 50-year-old herbalist, whom he claimed was his master.

“Anytime I’m to go for the killing, baba (referring to the herbalist) will give me some charms and also teach me some incantation to be recited so that nobody will see me at the scene of the crime,” he said.

On August 14, 2020,  the Ondo police arrested one Festus Adebayo, a 65-year-old pastor alongside Gbemisola Olufusi for alleged involvement in ritual activities.

The duo was accused of using the menstrual pad of one Oluwasemilore Iluyomade, a 20-year-old girlfriend of Olufusi for ritual purposes.

On 29 October 2020, Rotimi Olukoju, a guard with a microfinance bank was reportedly killed by suspected ritualists and his head cut off at Okia area of Oka-Akoko, Ondo state.

The deceased met the suspected ritualists on his way to the farm.

On December 7, 2020, Osun police uncovered a ritualist den allegedly operated by two siblings identified as Monsuru Tajudeen and Lawal Tajudeen, located around Yemoja area in Iwo, Osun state.

The suspects were arrested after a phone belonging to a missing person was tracked to one of the suspects. Corpses were also discovered in the suspects’ house — a development that made angry youths in the area raze the building.

On January 17, 2021, an elderly man, who according to residents, usually acts like a mentally unstable person, was arrested by the police for alleged kidnapping and ritual activities in Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti state.

The police discovered some items belonging to his victims like cheque books, wigs, and ATM cards in an abandoned uncompleted building adjacent to the Ekiti State Teaching Hospital, where the suspect lived.

On April 12, 2021, a woman — identified as Iya Elekuru — was murdered in a building by suspected ritualists in Ile-Ife, Osun state. Her killers were said to have lured her into the building under the pretence they went to buy food from her.

When her corpse was discovered, the head and hands had been cut off.

RIGHT TO LIFE

Every Nigerian citizen is entitled to the right to life as enshrined in section 33 of the 1999 constitution (as amended).  The right to life can only be denied if such a person is sentenced by the court when found guilty of a criminal offence.

Those who engage in ritual killings risk heavy punishment when convicted by the court as states have legal provisions to punish ritual killers and kidnappers.

Despite the legal provisions against ritual killings and other related capital offences, ritual killings still persist.

Source: How south-west is becoming a hotbed of ritual killings in Nigeria

Nigeria: Enugu state man arrested in Anambra for allegedly kidnapping teenagers for ritualistic purposes

One has to be extremely cautious when reading news like the following arrest of a man from Enugu State, residing in neighboring Anambra State, who is suspected of luring teenagers to hotels where they will be assaulted, raped, murdered while body parts are being used for ‘money rituals’. 

Notwithstanding the foregoing I do not want to withhold the readers this story – not for sensational purposes but to demonstrate how the phenomenon of money rituals continues to emerge in virtually every state of Nigeria, with a population of about 200 miilion Africa’s most populated country.
NB Also see my post of tomorrow, December 19, 2021 (webmaster FVDK).

How Police arrested suspected rape, ritual kingpin that terrorizes teenage girls in Eastern states

Published: December 17, 2021
By: Vincent Ujummadu, Awka; Ike Nsukka & Esther Onyegbulah – The Vanguard, Nigeria

A middle-aged man (name withheld) suspected to be the ring-leader of a deadly gang that specializes in raping and using teenagers for rituals has been arrested by the police in Zone 13, Anambra State. 

The suspect said to reside in Obosi, Anambra State but hails from Ovoko, Nsukka in Enugu State was allegedly involved in luring unsuspecting teenagers in higher institutions of learning in the Eastern states of the country to hotels where they will be raped, after which their blood will be collected for ritual. Police sources said the suspect whose means of livelihood are unknown claims to be building hotels and hostels and always invited his victims to hotels with promises of showering them with gifts. 

How his exploits blew open

The suspect said to reside in Obosi, Anambra State but hails from Ovoko, Nsukka in Enugu State was allegedly involved in luring unsuspecting teenagers in higher institutions of learning in the Eastern states of the country to hotels where they will be raped, after which their blood will be collected for ritual. Police sources said the suspect whose means of livelihood are unknown claims to be building hotels and hostels and always invited his victims to hotels with promises of showering them with gifts. 

Father of the victim, who is a senior lecturer at Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Anambra State, who pleaded for the family’s name not to be mentioned, stated that in the SOS message (print out shown to our reporter), her daughter was pleading passionately with her roommate to engage a commercial motorcyclist urgently and race to the hotel to save her life. 

According to the father of the victim, as she was busy sending the message crying for help, the impatient suspect was already calling on her to come out of the bathroom. “When she failed to respond, the suspect who was blaring the radio set in high decibels with a view to covering up his deeds banged furiously on the bathroom door and started destroying it.

Roommates to the rescue

“Luckily, her friends in the campus, who found it very difficult to get a commercial motorcyclist at the hour of the night succeeded at last and rushed to the hotel, with her doctor, who was also alerted.  They broke into room 101 and rescued the girl. Both the students and other lodgers in the hotel, including players of the famous Enugu Rangers International, nearly lynched the suspect to death but for the intervention of security guards from the hotel, who assured of handing him over to the police.  

“However, the story took a different dimension after the police at Nsukka Division arrived the scene, only to be told that the suspect escaped from the grip of the hotel’s security guards. They only succeeded in recovering the suspect’s abandoned vehicle, bloodstained bedsheet in the room where the victim was raped, and CCTV footages in the hotel. 

When investigations continued, we started suspecting fowl play when overtures were being made to us for the matter to be settled amicably, while police investigators kept treating the matter as a mere rape case, without addressing the glaring issue of attempted murder for ritual.

Based on this, we quickly transferred the case to Zone 13, Ukpor, Anambra State, where fresh investigations commenced. 

Intelligence report that paid off.

“The police at the zone, together with some military men involved in operation in the east, swiftly embarked on intelligence and scientific investigation and succeeded in arresting the suspect, while he had concluded plans to flee to Ivory Coast,” he stated.

It was learned that while they were tracking the suspect, they nearly succeeded twice at arresting him, while he was also luring another teenage student to a hotel in Nsukka to perform the same act.  He narrowly escaped during the encounter. However, police sources said they are still trying unravel the faith of the girls he went out with during that period. 

It was gathered that police search for him paid off few weeks later, after vigilante men at Obosi, Anambra State who were alerted over his atrocities, succeeded in arresting him while he was almost trying to escape to Ivory Coast.  The suspect, according to sources, made serious overtures of huge financial rewards to the vigilante group at Obosi to set him free, but the group resisted the temptation and handed him over to the police. 

His operational weapons

Vanguard Metro learned that after his arrest, signs of charms, anti-gun and matchete charms were seen all over his body.  However, police sources said initially after his arrest, he accused the victim and her roommate of being lesbians but, later, he started narrating his exploits with his gang. It was disclosed that the suspect is a secondary school drop-out and has no known means of livelihood.  He reportedly lodges in expensive hotels and drives two cars. He allegedly uses different names like Emeka, Emmy, Oderah Loius, during his criminal exploits and had spent some time in Ghana, where he was said to have escaped after he was exposed. 

He also goes about to hotels with radio speakers to control noise, an odour perfume to control smell from his victim’s dead bodies; ropes, belts for restraining the victims and tying them up. These items were recovered together with the CCTV footages in the hotel. In some of his chats, collected through intelligence report, he was also advertising on his whatsaap status that young girls should contact him to collect their school fees and that he was organising a big burial at Nsukka, that they should come and pick their school fees.

Police sources further said that he goes about with sack of money, living in hotels, driving SUV’s and wearing expensive Rolex watches and gold bangles, which he uses to entice his victims. He also lives in three addresses in Obosi and Nsukka.

My daughter has been traumatized

Father of the victim, who said his daughter has been traumatised after the incident, told Metro: “All we are saying is that police must arrest members of the gang hiding outside and busy pressing buttons for their master to be freed. We have all the evidence to show that it is not just a case of rape, but an attempted ritual murder. All his collaborators helping him to subvert justice must be brought to book.

“We learned that the hotel management sacked the manager and some staff that witnessed the incident, to cover up for the suspect, despite helping him to escape when he was held by the mob to be handed to the police. They also gave the suspect master key to the room he gave to his gang members, which they used to move out most of the suspect’s belongings.”

Reactions

When contacted, the General Manager of Jerry Marriott Hotel and Suites in Nsukka Local government area of Enugu State, where the incident allegedly took place, Patrick Agu said he was not yet employed by the hotel management when one Louis Onyeke allegedly raped and attempted to murder the UNN student in the hotel facility. However, Agu said his enquires revealed that the incident happened in the hotel and that police were already investigating the case. 

He also exonerated the hotel management from the escape of the suspect, who has now been arrested by police. “When that incident happened, I was not yet an employee of Jerry Marriott Hotel. However, upon my enquires, I learnt that the incident really took place. Already, the police are handling the matter and the suspects are all reporting to Zone 13, Ukpor-Dunukofia, Anambra State, to answer for their crime. That is all I can say about the incident,” he explained.

While reacting to the development, the spokesperson of Enugu State Police Command, Daniel Ndukwe, said he needed time to verify the incident.  “Is it something that happened three months ago? You have to hold on while I verify the incident, because it is not recent,” he said.

In his comment, when contacted, the Assistant Inspector- General of Police in-charge of Zone 13, Ukpor-Dunukofia, Muri Musa, told Metro: ”The case of rape against the suspect from Ovoko, Nsukka in Enugu State, who attempted to rape a doctor’s daughter’s is before Zone 13. We are working on it. When we conclude our investigation, if there is any prima facie case against the suspect, he will be arraigned in the court of law. The suspect has been arrested and he is in our custody.”

Source: How Police arrested suspected rape, ritual kingpin that terrorizes teenage girls in Eastern states

Nigeria, Lagos State: Police arrest man with fresh human parts in Ikorodu

Today is not the frist time I post a report on a ‘money ritual’ in Lagos State. Since the start of this site on ritual murders, superstition and the rule of law in Africa I have posted every year one or more articles on money rituals and related ritualistic activities in Lagos State, Nigeria’s most populated region. I may refer the interests reader(s) to my posts of August 31, 2018, Nigeria: Lagos ‘madwoman’ caught with human parts, corpses: “I pose as prostitute to get victims”; November 4, 2019, Nigeria: ritual killing stirs fresh fears in Ikorodu (Lagos State); January 9, 2020 on the ritual murder of a Lagos State University student, Favour Daley-Oladele, in December 2019; and September 21, 2021, Lagos State – Nigeria: Police arrest man for allegedly killing poly student for ritual.

The following report is not on a ritualistic murder though it does have ritualistic activities as its core theme. In Ikorodu a man was caught who had fresh human parts in his possession. Ikorodu s a large city in Lagos State with a population of approximately one million; it is the largest local government in Lagos State. Reportedly, the arrested individual, a 41-year old man, named Sikiru Kolawole, was apprehended near the Ojokoro cemetery in Ikorodu.

From police reports it is learned that the suspect might have been involved personally in the acquisition of (read: digging up) the human parts. It is not clear whether the suspect was motivated by financial gains, selling the human parts to interested parties or acting on behalf of someone else, or by a personal motive. Whatever the case, it is obvious that superstition as involved: the belief in the power of human parts. Therefor, this warrants the inclusion of the following article on this site (webmaster FVDK).

Police arrest man with fresh human parts in Ikorodu

Published: December 10, 2021
By: Vanguard News, Nigeria

The Sagamu Road Police Division said it has arrested a 41-year-old man, Sikiru Kolawole, for allegedly being in possession of fresh human parts.

The Spokesman of the Lagos Police Command, Mr Adekunle Ajisebutu, who confirmed the incident, said that the suspect was reportedly found with fresh human hands, intestines and skull from Ojokoro cemetery in Ikorodu.

“The Commissioner of Police, CP Hakeem Odumosu, has ordered the case to be transferred to the State Criminal Investigative Department (SCID) at Panti, Yaba, for diligent investigation and prosecution.

Earlier, the Ikorodu Local Government Chairman, Hon. Wasiu Adesina, who led members of his cabinet to the scene of the crime, said the council promised to do everything necessary to curtail the dastard act and its reoccurrence.

The council boss immediately directed the environment department to clear every part of the cemetery to avoid any black spot inside and outside, adding that the apprehended suspect would be dealt with according to the law to serve as a deterrent to others.

“While we take care of the living, the council has mandated itself to cater for our dead ones and that is why we have rehabilitated the Ikorodu cemetery to international standard.

“I will ensure proper security measures are put in place and deal ruthlessly with anybody engaging in such illegitimate act at the cemetery.

“We have done lots of rehabilitation, illuminating the cemetery with solar power, provided water system and perimeter fencing,” he said.

Mr Nurudeen Lawal, one of the local guards at the cemetery, said that they engaged with the suspect in combat before he was apprehended around 1:30 am with a sack full of human parts while trying to escape.

“We carry out surveillance round the cemetery at least three to four times in a shift to observe the surroundings.

“Suddenly, we started hearing some funny sound, on getting there we saw the suspect with a sack loaded so we challenged him on how he got in and his mission at the cemetery.

“During the interrogation, we challenged him to open his sack, he resisted and it resulted in a combat and trying to use the weapon with him to scare us away to enable him flee.

“Subsequently, we grabbed and took him to the police station with the human parts for further interrogation,” Lawal said.

Source: Police arrest man with fresh human parts in Ikorodu