Headless corpses raise ritual killing fear in Togo (2007 articles)

Published: September 21, 2007
By: John Zodzi – Reuters

LOME (Reuters) – Six grisly murders in Togo in which the victims were decapitated and drained of their blood have raised fears of a resurgence of ritual killings ahead of parliamentary elections in the West African state next month. 

The serial killings occurred last weekend in the southern Vo and Lacs prefectures, east of the capital Lome. The victims included a 12-year-old boy and a 63-year-old woman and their severed heads were carried off by the killers. 

The discovery of the headless corpses has shocked Togolese and triggered a wave of speculation that the killings were ritual murders. This is a practice still found in parts of Africa in which people kill to obtain body parts and blood in the belief they will bring social success and political power. 

Police announced the arrest of four suspects, including one from neighboring Benin, the West African home of the ancient Voodoo religion, who confessed to killing the 12-year-old boy. 

Togo holds legislative elections on October 14, and international observers hope they will strengthen the weak grip of democracy in the small former French colony, which like Benin is wedged between Nigeria and Ghana on the Gulf of Guinea. 

In a society where traditional beliefs still have influence, some Togolese saw a link between the killings and the ambitions of aspiring candidates for next month’s polls. 

“Some of these deputies are ready to do anything to keep their seats and you hear that they’re carrying out sacrifices,” said Joel Attigan, a geography student. 

Others saw the murders as linked to a desire for social advancement. 

“There are too many young rich people in Togo these days. These crimes are linked to these kind of people, who sometimes use human sacrifices to obtain their goals,” said Da Mensa, the manager of a bar and restaurant in Lome. 

Togo’s media have joined the feverish debate, blaming shadowy religious sects in Togo and Benin. 

“We are in Africa, and spilled human blood can reveal many things,” the newspaper Le Magnan Libere said, referring to the witchcraft practice of using blood or body parts for divining or influencing the future. 

The police have been cautious about confirming the ritual killing hypothesis. 

But they said the arrested Benin citizen, Roger Kodjo Hounguiya, had confessed that he was working for a fellow countryman, Jean Goudjo, wanted in Benin for grisly murders involving mutilation. 

The European Union, which froze most of its aid to Togo in 1993 citing the poor democratic record of then President Gnassingbe Eyadema, is sending electoral observers to the polls next month. Eyadema died in 2005 and his son is now president.

Source: Headless corpses raise ritual killing fear in Togo

Related article:

‘Gang behind’ Togo’s beheadings

Published: September 28, 2007, 10:34 GMT 11:34 UK 
By: BBC

Togolese police say they are probing what could be a cross-border network of killers after six beheadings in Togo and one in Benin earlier this month.

One of four suspects has admitted he belongs to a gang wanted in Benin for similar crimes, Togolese police say.

The victims were all attacked over a two-day period and their decapitated bodies were drained of blood.

A BBC correspondent says there are fears these are ritual murders for witchcraft purposes ahead of Christmas.

In some traditional practices, human body parts are used in the belief that they make charms more powerful.

According to Togo’s police chief Col Damehane Yark, one of the four suspects in custody has also admitted to killing the youngest victim, a 12-year-old schoolgirl.

The BBC’s Edow Godwin in the Togolese capital, Lome, says the killers struck in the southern districts of Vo and Lac, in Maritime province that borders Benin.

At the same time a teenage girl was beheaded in Benin, 65km from the city of Cotonou in similar circumstances.

Source: ‘Gang behind’ Togo’s beheadings

(Cont’d) More on Ondo ‘money ritual’ murder case

MAN WHO KILLED HIS GIRLFRIEND BREAKS DOWN BEFORE BEING REMANDED IN PRISON

Khadijat Adenike Oluboyo (25) was killed in a bid for voodoo money.

Published: July 18, 2018
By Young

This is the moment the suspected Yahoo boy, Adeyemi Alao, who allegedly killed his girlfriend for money ritual – broke down in court before he was remanded in prison. The suspect was arraigned before Akure Magistrates’ Court in Ondo, state capital on Monday.

Adeyemi was accused of killing Khadijat, the daughter  a former deputy governor of Ondo State, Alhaji Lasisi Oluboyo.

Khadijat, a 400-level student of the Department of Educational Management, Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba Akoko, Ondo State, was said to be Adeyemi’s girlfriend.

Adeyemi and two other accomplices, who were said to be at large, allegedly killed Khadijat in Adeyemi’s room.

After killing the ex-deputy governor’s daughter, Adeyemi allegedly buried the corpse in a shallow grave inside his room in the Aratusin area of Akure before he was arrested seven days later.

The accused was arraigned on  Monday on two counts of conspiracy and murder.

During the court proceedings, the  police prosecutor, Sergeant Mary Adebayo, made an application for the remand of the accused in custody pending legal advice from the Department of Public Prosecutions.

The defence counsel, Taiwo Gbadebo, did not object to the application of the prosecutor.

The magistrate, Mrs Victoria Bob-Manuel, ordered that Adeyemi be remanded in custody pending when the legal advice would come from the DPP.

She adjourned the case till August 23, 2018.

Alao Adeyemi is accused of killing Khadijat, the daughter a former deputy governor of Ondo State, Alhaji Lasisi Oluboyo.

The suspect was arraigned before Akure Magistrates’ Court in Ondo, state capital on Monday.

Adeyemi Alao

Source: Man Who Killed His Girlfriend Breaks Down Before Being Remanded In Prison
Information Nigeria, July 18, 2018

Also read:

Killer of former Ondo deputy governor daughter remand in prison

Published: July 16 or 17, 2018
By Hakeem Gbadamosi, Akure

The late Khadijat Oluboyo (25) and her murderer, her fiancee, Seidu Sakiru Adeyemi (27) who confessed he killed her for ritual purposes.

A Magistrate Court, sitting in Oke Eda, Akure, Ondo State capital, on Monday ordered the remand of Seidu Sakiru Adeyemi, the suspected killer of the daughter of the former deputy governor, Khadijat Oluboyo, in prison.

The 27-year-old suspect was dragged and arraigned before the Magistrate Court, was charged on a two-count charge of conspiracy and murder, an offence contrary to Section 316 of the Criminal Laws of Ondo State of 2006.

In the charge sheet, Adeyemi was alleged to have killed 25-year-old Khadijat, who was his girlfriend and buried her in his room.

The charge read “That you, Seidu Sakiru Adeyemi and others at large on the 27th day of July 2018, at about 7:30 pm at Aratusi street, Oke Aro, Akure, did conspire with others to a felony to wit murder contrary to section 324, Ondo State law of 2006.

“That you did kill one Khadijat Oluboyo, 25, by strangulating her to death and bury her inside your room contrary to Section 316, Ondo State law of 2006”.

The Police Prosecutor, Mary Adebayo, who briefed the court, said the accused killed Khadijat and tried to conceal the killing by burying the body of the victim inside his room.

The police prosecutor told the court that since it was a murder case the court had no jurisdiction and pleaded for his remand in prison

Adebayo prayed the court for an application to remand the accused pending the advice from the Department of Public Prosecution.

Counsel to the suspect, Taiwo Gbadebo, however, did not oppose the application.

In her ruling, Magistrate Victoria Bob Manuel ordered the remand of the suspect in Olokuta till the 23rd August 2018, pending the advice from the Director of Public Prosecution.

She also directed the police to hand over the original copies of his case file to the Ministry of Justice.

Adeyemi was arrested by police in Ondo State over the killing of her girlfriend, Khadijat for ritual purpose.

He was said to have dug a grave in his room where he buried her and covered it with her mattress for six days before he was arrested.

Khadijat, a final year Student of the State-owned Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba-Akoko, (AAUA)’s decomposing body was found in Adeyemi’s room.

Source: Killer of former Ondo deputy governor daughter remand in prison
Nigerian Tribune, July 16 or 17, 2018

Also read:

The tragic story of Khadijat

Published: July 16 or 17, 2018
Editorial, Nigerian Tribune

The late Khadijat Oluboyo, a final year student of the Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba-Akoko (AAUA), Ondo State, Nigeria.

THERE is a sense in which the recent murder of Miss Khadijat Adenike Oluboyo, the daughter of the immediate past deputy governor of Ondo State, Alhaji Lasisi Oluboyo, allegedly at the hands of her lover of eight years, represents a sad commentary on the abyss into which national values have sunk in Nigeria. Not only does the narrative of Khadijat’s killing drip with the increasingly loose, lewd and base direction of youth life, it also poignantly shows how futile the attempt to affect their cognition and thought processes through education has been. A university graduate, Khadihat’s lover had, without qualms, told the police how he was recruited into the gang of dupes called yahoo boys, thus confirming the claim of the bereaved father that his daughter was murdered for purposes of money-making rituals.

Khadijat was killed in the bid for voodoo money which social commentators affirm is the latest fad in town among “the big boys.” The big boys are the noveaux riches who have little or no means of livelihood but cultivate extravagant lifestyles through fraud and various wild schemes and scams. Max Weber, the famous 19th century social scientist, once posited that one of the “functions of science was to disenchant the universe,” by which he meant the suspension of myths and superstitions. But in Nigeria, young people are returning to the medieval age and resurrecting myths and superstitions in their quest for the means with which to cope with modern-day challenges.

Their peers in the West, people like Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook, have created immense wealth for themselves using their ingenuity and intellect. They created universal platforms for social communication through digital technology. Sadly, however, Nigerian youths would prefer the bizarre method of gory and gruesome murder to, in their wild imagination, attract wealth through voodoo. Often, people are propelled into action by their knowledge and persuasions and it is tragic that the country’s youths seem to have been persuaded, ensnared and obviously propelled into these bizarre actions by atavism. They must have watched their fathers in politics and the bureaucracy visiting shrines and thought it fit and proper to replicate such means for immediate social prominence. This is certainly a development for which a disoriented society like Nigeria must take the rap.

The youths pick their models from their immediate environment in politics and business and, to be frank, there aren’t many in these sectors to provide any positive inspiration. Many of these youths are more disoriented than the society that has produced them. They want immediate gratification in their quest for sudden wealth. The gap of inequality between the rich and the poor has also increased the desperation among the people. They seek immediate wealth with scant regard for the legitimacy or otherwise of the means for doing so. There is also the influence of peer groups on these youths. Truth be told, the older generation is not quite exemplary in form and content, and is offering no help to the incoming generations.

It is unfortunate and regrettable that these youths are already too immersed in living on the fast lane to have any sense of moral rectitude and retrace their steps. To a great extent, parents and guardians have been negligent in giving them a positive direction during their socialisation processes. For the youths, for whom experts insist that examples are better than precepts, it is little wonder that they have eventually turned up the way they have. The Nigerian society, in particular government at all levels, must urgently contemplate redeeming these disoriented youths for the sake of the country’s future.

The National Orientation Agency (NOA) and other information agencies have a great responsibility to offer a moral compass through the available platforms to influence the thinking of the youths and hopefully their eventual actions. It is dangerous to have the young generation hooked to an obviously redundant belief system in a world gravitating towards science, technology and artificial intelligence. In that world, they will be savages long overdue for extinction. We commiserate with the Oluboyos and wish them the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss. Needless to say, the killer must get his just deserts.

Source: The tragic story of Khadijat
Nigerian Tribune, July 16 or 17, 2018

Ondo State – Nigeria