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.
Civil society group raises alarm over surge in ritual killings
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.”