Nigeria: ritual murder in Edo State – man caught with daughter’s head, her body found in shallow grave

I was stunned and desperately sad when reading about another ritual murder in Nigeria. Of cause, we all know, Nigeria is Africa’s most populated country, with a population of over 200 million people. It is expected that in 2050 Nigeria will be the world’s third most populated country, after India and China. In such a highly populated country much happens and big numbers always impress. According to the Law and Society magazine (which also reported on the ritual murder in Edo State presented below) in the first week of March this year alone there were 728 school children, women and teachers abducted, only in Northern Nigeria! Presumably the attacks had been carried out by Boko Haram terrorists.

Source: ‘Nigerians can no longer move freely, most of those in power are only interested in stealing‘, Law and Society Magazine (Nigeria), March 13, 2024.

Abductions and killings including ritual murders are a daily reality in Nigeria. On this site I’ve often drawn attention to this sad reality. The Law and Society magazine cited above rings the alarm bell with a shocking article on Nigeria’s failing elite to halt the decline: “There is uncommon poverty in the land. There is uncommon insecurity in the land. There is uncommon insensitivity on the parts of those in power now in the land.” See the disheartening article ‘Nigerians can no longer move freely, most of those in power are only interested in stealing‘, dated March 13, 2024.

Let’s turn to the reported ritual murder case in Edo State. Reportedly, a father murdered his own daughter for ritual purposes, to get-rich-quick, a case of ‘money ritual’. Also in Edo State ritualistic murders, locally called ‘money rituals’, are not uncommon, as in many if not all of Nigeria’s 36 states. See the previously reported cases on this site (accessing the relevant posts by clicking on ‘Nigeria’ in the dropdown menu under ‘African countries’ on this site’s home page).

Edo State is located in the South-South geopolitical zone of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, bordering Koti State (north and east), Ondo State (in the west), Delta State (in the south), and Anambra State (the east). The Federal Republic of Nigeria is divided into six geopolitical zones commonly called zones. 

Nigeria’s six geopolitical zones

Edo State is Nigeria’s 22nd (or 24th) most populous state with an estimated population of between 6 and 10 million. With a surface area of 17,802 km2 it also ranks number 22. The state’s capital and largest city, Benin City, is one of Nigeria’s largest (ranking 4 after Lagos, Kano and Ibadan) and one of the country’s most famous and historic cities.

Ritual murder: man caught with daughter’s head in Edo State, body found in shallow grave

Published: March 12, 2024
By: Law and Society Magazine, Nigeria

A middle aged-man Emmanuel Ovwarueso has been arrested by operatives of the Edo State Security Network (ESSN) for allegedly killing his daughter and burying her body in a shallow grave in Uteh Community in Ikpoba Okha Local Government Area of the state.

Ovwarueso reportedly confessed to killing his daughter for a money ritual.

It was gathered that the suspect, also known as ‘Emma One,’ confessed to the ESSN operatives who apprehended him at the Uteh area of the Upper Mission Road Extension, where he resides with his family.

According to his wife, whose name could not be obtained at the time of the press, “my husband’s attitude changed recently. He kept saying I should not look at him like a poor man anymore.

“Even at his place of work, he was buying drinks for everyone as if he was celebrating. Even his co-workers were surprised at his new spending style.

“He even told them that his money is very near. We never knew he was having such a dangerous plan,” she said.

The vigilante member, who spoke on the grounds of anonymity, said, “we saw him that Thursday night with a bag, walking so fast like he was rushing to catch up with a flight.

“We stopped him, but he resisted us. We asked what was inside the bag; he said it was his food. So we searched the bag and found a human head inside.

“We interrogated him, and from the way he was talking, it was obvious he was hiding something.

“So we took him to his house, and we met his wife tied down. We untied her and asked who tied her; she said it was her husband.

“She told us that her husband tied her down with a rope before killing their daughter.

“He took us to the place where he buried the little girl’s body in a shallow grave, and the body of the girl was exhumed immediately,” he said.

Some residents of the Uteh community who spoke to newsmen said “Emma One” is fond of beating his wife and kids regularly.

Some of his co-workers said he is heartless and loves fighting uncontrollably.

Contacting the Edo State Police Command for confirmation, the Public Relations Officer of the command, SP Chidi Nwabuzor, said he was yet to be briefed about it.

He said when he finds out, he would get back to the reporter.

“I am not aware. I will find out, and when I do, I will get back to you,” Nwabuzor said.

Source: Ritual Murder: Man caught with daughter’s head in Edo, body found in shallow grave

Edo State, Nigeria. Source: ResearchGate