Yesterday a posted an article entitled ‘Curbing the menace of ritual killings in the southwestern states‘. Appropriate as it was to draw the attention of our readers to this worrisome and frightening situation, it nevertheless seems useful to paint a more general picture of the security situation in Sub-Saharan Africa’s most populous country.
Everyday Nigerians are facing an extremely dangerous situation consisting of political and criminal violence, ritual murders (‘money-rituals’), abductions, kidnappings, ransom cases, by terrorists, bandits, political thugs, ritual killers, cultists, criminals, and traditional herdsmen. A personal experience in this respect may illustrate the foregoing.
A couple of years ago I visited Nigeria for professional reasons. My employer, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands, had made the use of a special, armored car mandatory for government officials when traveling in Abuja or the rural areas. The only other countries with a similar precaution and obligation were Iraq and Afghanistan. No wonder, that last year the Global Terrorism Index (GTI) ranked Nigeria the third most dangerous county on earth, after Afghanistan and Iraq.
Therefore, I consider it useful to get to know the observations and warnings of Dr. Ona Ekhomu, a well-known Nigerian security expert, when reading about and analyzing ritual murders in the Nigeria. As repeatedly said before, Nigeria ranks number One with respect to ritual murders in Africa, but this should nevertheless be judged against the background of an alarming security situation in general (webmaster FVDK).
Insecurity: Government must keep its end in this social contract, says Security expert, Dr. Ona Ekhomu
Published: January 2, 2021 By: The Guardian News, Nigeria
I REALISTICALLY expect the security situation in Nigeria to worsen this year. Given that the national and sub-national governments have not taken the time to understand the scope of threat and risk spectrum, there is no serious effort to resolve the security conundrum.
The authorities have continued to rely on intuitive thinking in a situation that requires critical thinking and complex problem-structuring and problem-solving methodologies.
Therefore, the security situation will worsen because a wound that is not treated becomes an ulcer. In research design, we say that past is prologue to the future. So, what is the evidence of insecurity in Nigeria? Amnesty International recently published that in the first six months of last year, over 1,126 persons were killed mostly in the rural areas where “the authorities have left communities at the mercy of rampaging gunmen.”
According to Dataphyte Nigeria, over 70,000 Nigerians have been killed in the last nine years in acts of criminal violence. The Boko Haram/ISWAP insurgency has killed over 37,500 persons, displaced 2.5 million and created 244,000 refugees. In the first quarter of 2019, Nigeria recorded over 685 kidnap for ransom cases.
Clearly, this statistic will pale into insignificance when you consider 4th quarter of last year, where in one fell swoop, over 344 students were abducted in Kankara, Katsina State.
In December alone, about 26 travelers were seized by bandits along Benin-Auchi road and marched into the forest at Igieduma in Edo State. The Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Abubakar Sa’ad III, at the Nigerian Inter-Religious Council meeting in Abuja in November last year, warned that the security situation in northern Nigeria had gotten out of hand and bandits (terrorists) had overrun the region.
He said in some parts of the north, bandits walk around openly carrying AK47 rifles without being challenged by security agents. The Sultan revealed that 76 persons were killed in a Sokoto community, yet it went unreported. The frequency of kidnappings, killings, murders had become high that it was not news worthy anymore.
The Global Terrorism Index (GTI) for last year ranked Nigeria the third most terrorism impacted nation on earth. With this ranking, Nigeria is rubbing shoulders with Afghanistan and Iraq.
The security scorecard for Nigeria last year is very poor. Government performed below expectation in its most important duty of keeping citizens safe, as kidnappers, bandits, killer herdsmen, cultists, ritual killers and political thugs had a field day at the expense of citizens.
The Northwest terrorism (euphemistically referred to as banditry) intensified with several communities in Zamfara, Katsina, Niger, Kaduna and Sokoto states deserted due to incessant attacks and wanton killings and kidnappings by the aggressors. The so-called bandits have resorted to levying farmers millions of naira to harvest their farms. The situation in the Northwest is likely to trigger a food crisis in Nigeria this year.
In the Northeast region, Boko Haram/ISWAP insurgency continued to flourish, with terrorists attacking targets at will and shedding blood of innocent citizens without compunction.
The chief driver of insecurity in Nigeria is the incapacity of security agencies to prevent attacks against soft targets. The philosophy of the security agencies is to take casualties and then counter-attack.
The agencies are supposed to design an architecture that will prevent attacks in the first place. However, due to severe resource constraints and leadership factors, they adopt the counter-punch strategy. In other words, the authorities are adopting a law enforcement approach to a terrorist threat.
In dealing with terrorism, the best approach is prevention and disruption of plots. Any time a terrorist attack occurs, the effects are devastating. Every incident of terror (mass kidnap of travelers, mass abduction of school children, suicide bombing, roadside bombing, attack on traditional rulers on the highway, brutal rape of female travelers, killing of farmers in the bush, even cannibalism by killer herdsmen, etc.) is a statement of grave insecurity.
Many Nigerians avoid road travels because of fear of terrorist attacks along the Kaduna-Abuja highway, Lokoja-Okene highway or Benin-Auchi highway. These are killing fields where bandits emerge from the foliage and open fire on total strangers, not a targeted attack to rob them and then kidnap the survivors of the initial attack for ransom. Those unable to pay ransom are liable to be executed. In some instances, ransom is paid and the victim is killed.
The unfortunate trends in insecurity will continue and probably be exacerbated. What are the trends? There would be an increase in highway kidnappings. It is a low risk and high yield venture that government does not seem willing to confront head on.
There would be an intensification of Northwest banditry, as the vast landscape is largely ungoverned. A situation where bandits could hide 344 students in Rugu Forest is unfortunate.
The Northeast insurgency is likely to intensify. The new leadership of ISWAP is quite bloodthirsty and would continue to tax communities and kill persons without justification.
Attacks on Army Supercamps by ISWAP will continue. Having succeeded in overrunning military bases and posts, the terrorists would take on the more hardened targets, like Supercamps.
Ansaru terrorist attacks would multiply and flourish in Kaduna and Kogi states. These terrorists are likely to infiltrate south into Edo and Delta states. Security planners in those South-South states are urged to be forward thinking.
The epidemic of terrorist violence would continue with piracy and illegal oil bunkering in the Niger Delta region. The IPOB agitators would continue to attack Police personnel and soft targets in the Southeast.
Cult violence would continue to claim lives in Edo, Delta, Rivers and Cross River states. Ritual killings would continue to flourish in the Southwest states.
The following article sounds unreal. Reading it, one wonders if this can be true. Is it gossip, rumor, fantasy, or indeed the reality? The article dates from July 2014 whereas many ritualistic acts described date from much further back, even 2007.
I will return to this page and add more shortly.
Warning: some images and description of ritualistic acts may be shocking (webmaster FVDK).
Horror: ritual killings everywhere in spite of civilization
Published: July 12, 2014 By: Vanguard, Nigeria – Evelyn Usman and Ebun Sessou
Looking curiously as this reporter approached her make-shift restaurant around J4 , Aketegbo community in Seme Badagry area of Lagos two weeks ago, mama Rilwan as she is popularly called, stood up from her seat, apparently thinking the stranger had come to patronize her.’ ki lefe ra? (what do you want to buy ?) she asked.
But when this writer disclosed her mission, the seeming expectation on her face dropped, giving way to a sad expression of a memory she never wishes to recall. She immediately beckoned on two teenagers later discovered to be her children to take over the stand while she went inside the shop, with this reporter following with caution.
After a long silence accompanied with a long stare at this reporter, she said: “ I recognize you now. You were here in 2007 when the incident that threw my entire life upside down occurred. My son, Rilwan would have been 20 years this month (June), had he not been sent to an early grave by my neighbor. He was my first child and also my back bone”.
Tried as she could to control her emotion as she spoke, her strength failed her. Tears trickled down her cheeks.
All was going on well for the food vendor until September 1, 2007, when her son , Rilwan, was reported missing. Three days later, his remains were found with the throat slashed, signifying that he could have been a victim of ritual killing which was said to be common in the area.
Accusing finger was pointed at one Muyideen Salam whose shop was close to the deceased’s mother’s place. He was said to have been seen with the deceased before his disappearance. After much persuasion which took a brutal dimension, Muyideen confirmed everyone’s fears, by confessing that he killed Rilwan and used his blood for money ritual.
In an interview with Sunday Vanguard at the State Criminal Investigation Department, Yaba , seven years ago (published October 7, 2007) the then 35 year-old Muyideen gave a chilling account of how he gruesomely murdered the teenager and drained his blood, with the help of his friend, one Nuru.
Strange as this sounded, Muyideen disclosed that he was sent to get the blood of a virgin by a herbalist with which to prepare the concoction he would use to bath for nine days, after which he would become rich.
But he never lived to see his devilish wish come true ,even though he succeeded in killing the teenager. This was as a result of his arrest by policemen at Seme division. He was convicted for murder.
Muyideen’s startling confession was, no doubt, a reflection of a society that is fast becoming bestial. Killing of human beings for rituals or whatever reason, dates back to the ancient times when people used to appease the gods of the land with human blood and for the purpose of winning wars. Twins, who were considered an abomination, were killed until its abolition through Mary Slessor’s missionary works.
One would have expected that such pseudoscience should rather be imagined than witnessed in Nigeria in this 21st century, when other countries of the world are experimenting and advancing in technology. More baffling is the fact that some Nigerians still indulge in such superstitious process of ritual killings in spite of the escalation of religious groups across the country as well as the exposure of majority of the populace to education and Western culture.
Sadly, even some acclaimed high and mighty indulge in ritual killings. Some politicians and government officials have been accused by arrested suspects (and herbalists), alleging that they use human beings for rituals in order to sustain their affluence as well as to remain in power. Records also show that cases of ritual killings and subsequent disappearance of persons are usually on the increase whenever elections are around the corner.
In Lagos state for instance, about fifteen cases of kidnap attempts have reportedly been recorded in the last four months. One of the foiled attempts was at Ori-oke, in Ejigbo local council development area, two months ago, where a woman who kidnapped two primary school pupils was heard describing them as goods to an unknown person on the phone.
The saddest part of this evil act is that hundreds of victims of ritual murders only get mentioned as missing persons. While some manage, by sheer stroke of providence to escape the slaughters’ slab, others never live to share their ordeal with any person.
Investigation by Saturday Vanguard revealed that agents of these vampires who hide in forests and other unknown places are spread across the country, lying in wait like a hungry lion for their preys. Majority of their victims are innocent school children, poor street hawkers, commercial sex workers, stranded visitors and unsuspecting commuters.
Watch out for these black spots
Investigation carried out by Saturday Vanguard showed that black spots where these agents prowl include areas like Otta, Ibafo and Mowe , all in Ogun state, Epe, Ikorodu, Shagamu Road Isheri/Olowo Ira,Cele Express along Oshodi/Apapa Expressway, Badagry axis, Ikeja, Toyota Bus-stop, Mile Two, Ajah,all in Lagos State; Lagos / Ibadan Express Road; Lagos/Benin by-pass in Edo State; Igwurita ,Rumuokoro in Port Harcourt, Rivers state; Ilorin/Oro Road in Kwara state; Lokoja, Abuja Highway in Kogi State and River Kaduna. Other areas are bush paths, markets, lonely environments, hotels and brothels, popular bus stopovers or terminals, and other hot spots across the country.
Some of these agents, most times disguise as lunatics. A typical case in mind was that Clifford Orji who was arrested under the bridge at Toyota Bus-stop along Oshodi-Apapa Expressway, Lagos with human parts in 2001. He confessed to be selling human parts to prominent Nigerians who undoubtedly used them for ritual purposes. The amazing thing about this peculiar case was the fact that Orji who later died while in Prison custody, was presumed a lunatic. Unknown to passers-by, he only masqueraded as a mad man in order to achieve his sinister motives.
Investigations further revealed that one of their ways is to attack job seekers. They print fliers for recruitment. Some even go the extra mile to advertise for vacancies in national dailies. They then send text messages or email to applicants, informing that they have been listed for the job and will be invited for interviews. In many cases, hotels turn out to be the venues for the interviews. At this point, if the prospective applicant gets to the designated hotel, he/she will reportedly be hypnotized and thereafter taken to the slaughter’s slab which is usually in the bush or some remote places. At other times, an applicant will be informed that the venue for interview has changed on reaching the hotel, from where they will provide a vehicle, which unknown to the applicants, have been sprayed with substance that automatically puts them to sleep.
Barely four months ago, 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 declared missing by their relatives were found and 18 victims were rescued. From all indications, it was obvious that the den has 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 in the recent past was 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.
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.
Virgins and babies on the other hand are also reportedly 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.
Security hints at Saturday’s Vanguard’s disposal reveal that sometimes, these ‘celebrities’ employ the services of some restaurant owners, hotel operators and their trusted domestic workers to get them virgins who are subsequently murdered for ritual purposes. Majority of girls who have fallen prey to these death traps were discovered to be secondary school students as well as those in tertiary institutions as they were at the initial stage carried away by money and expensive gifts from their assailants.
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 purported 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, cemetery worker will 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.
Five months ago, the Oyo State Police Command, arrested a Muslim cleric, one Alfa Gbolagade Dauda Ileanwo, in Agbaje area of Ibadan with three human skulls and charms. The suspect, according to the command, confessed that he had been in the trade for ten years. Though he claimed to be using the human parts for concoctions to assist sterile women, his accomplice, Saheed Azeez, countered the claim, stating rather that his boss was into money making rituals.
The command also arrested two other suspected ritual killers,Musa Dauda and Sango Olojo-Onile with a human head and two heel bones. During interrogation, Dauda revealed that the human parts were removed from a grave at Ojetete village, Kisi, for money ritual.
Olojo-Onile according to the command was arrested in April with a fresh head of a woman which still had cotton wool stuck inside the ears.
Also in Epe, the lifeless body of a 68-year-old man,Ade Lekuti, earlier declared missing was discovered at Owode, near Ogombo in Eti-Osa Local Government Area of Lagos State, with the head, hands and private organs cut off.
Surprisingly, the alleged killer was discovered to be his in-law, one Teju Rajimu. The suspect according to the deceased’s family, confessed to have given the missing parts to a herbalist who prepared concoction with them for him. The missing parts were reportedly pounded into powdery form and mixed with a greasy substance which was discovered in the suspect’s apartment.
Similarly, in Ilorin, the Kwara state capital, a three-man gang led by one Kamaru Yusuf allegedly beheaded one Omobola Moses at Ira, a village in Oyun Local Government Area. The deceased who was a niece to one of the suspects, was reportedly lured from her parents’ abode into a bush where her head was severed. The suspects, according to report, confessed that they took the head to a 52-year-old herbalist whose name they gave as Saliu Oyewole, for money ritual.
From the West to the East and North to the South , the story is same.
In Enugu state for instance, an evil forest suspected to be a den for killers was discovered in Igbo Eze North local government area with fresh and decomposing human parts littered all over,with vital parts of some bodies missing.
Report said the victims were taken to the forest and butchered by killers who then removed the vital parts needed for money-making rituals. Some prominent citizens of the state and environs were alleged to be patrons of herbalists and native doctors who perform rituals in the forest.
One of the mind bugling incidents was the discovery of another horror sight at the Okija shrine in Anambra state. The shrine achieved notoriety in 2004 when it was raided by the Anambra State Police Command ,where 50 decomposing or shrunken bodies and 20 human skulls were found. The shrine was also reportedly patronised by politicians. Till date, politicians still visit Okija shrine.
It is tragic enough that some Nigerians still believe in gaining power and making money through this practice. But more worrisome and astonishing is the use of loved ones, such as one’s parents, siblings and wives for this devilish purpose. One of such horrifying incidents occurred in Abia state, when a 26 year-old boy allegedly killed his mother for ritual. The suspect,Ebi Onu, who hailed from Igbere, Bende council area of the state, reportedly went to Nguzu Edda in Ebonyi State where he consulted a herbalist to make charms that would make him become rich. The herbalist was said to have asked Ebi to kill his mother and bring her private part which he said would be used to prepare concoction for him. He allegedly connived with three of his friends to lay ambush for his mother along a bush path and lured his mother into taking a walk with him along that route. On sighting them, his killer friends reportedly sprang out from their hiding and hacked Ebi’s mother to death after which they cut off her private part .
Worried by her disappearance, a search party with Ebi reportedly combed the vicinity for her without luck. Report said some of the residents said they saw the missing woman with her son and consequently Ebi was subjected to questioning and tortured by some youths until he allegedly owned up and took the youths to where he buried his mother at the bank of a river . The angry youths were said to have beaten him to death , thereby depriving him of living to see his inordinate ambition of becoming rich through ritual means.
In the same vein, residents of Bale Ilado village in Morogbo area of Lagos State were thrown into panic recently after a member of the community identified as Segun Adisa allegedly beheaded his own father for money ritual .
However, in his confessional statement to the Police, the suspect claimed that he had to strike first to prevent his father whom he claimed earlier took him to a shrine where he claimed there was an attempt to kill him for money ritual.
Again in Aba, a landlord was alleged to have killed his two children for ritual purpose. The landlord (names withheld) as gathered, dashed out of his three-storey building on Omenazu road in Aba, on sighting some policemen approaching. Policemen from the Abia state command who acted on tip off, were said to have swooped on the building and according to residents of the area , two unconscious children identified as his children were found inside one of the rooms transfixed.
Not too long ago in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory , the body of a lady was found in the boot of a Honda car with plate number AG 847 SUL belonging to an Abuja based businessman whose identity was given as Abdullai Ibrahim. The suspect was said to have been arrested by policemen on patrol while he was cleaning the blood stain on the back seat of the car. Preliminary investigation, according to police sources, revealed that the suspect slit the deceased’s throat with a knife for alleged ritual purpose.
In Kaduna state, three youths were reported in 2007 to have lured a 17 year-old sugarcane hawker, Ibrahim Shehu, to the outskirts of a village and strangled him. They were said to have been at the verge of removing his eyes when policemen that were alerted by a farmer swooped on them. The suspects, according to the Kaduna State Police Command, confessed to have wanted to pluck out the eyes for money ritual.
Same year in Ibafo area of Ogun state, a woman who managed to escape from a kidnappers den alerted policemen led by one Charles Ogenegbe, a Deputy Superintendent of Police, who stormed the hideout , where a shrine used as slaughter for human beings was discovered.
Also same year in Benue, a 77 year-old woman identified as Adiya Omachi was murdered in her farmland at Odaleko, along Ikachi Adum road. Not done , her assailants reportedly slashed her private parts, signifying they could be ritualists.
In Niger state, three persons were arrested by the police for allegedly beheading a 10-year-old boy in Amale Village, Kaffi-koro District, Paiko local government area of the state for ritual.
The deceased as gathered, was lured by one Salleh Ibrahim who took him on his motorcycle from Amale village to meet two of his other accomplices: Usman Sarki and Dantala Doma. During interrogation, Sarki told policemen that he was contracted by one Gajere to bring the boy’s head for money ritual. The lad’s headless body was reportedly found in Salleh’s residence while the head was found buried in a shallow grave near Erena in Shiroro local government, pending when they would take it to the herbalist.
If the startling confession of 20 year-old Agu Nwanu, who disclosed that he had so far killed twenty children for money rituals, all in his bid to ensure he does not end up like his poor father must be taken seriously, then all hands must be on deck to address this rising incident of ritual killings. Security operatives appear to be doing their best to curb these evil and very primitive rituals. But their best appears not to be enough as the menace is on the increase going by daily reports of these killings.
When the Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer, Ngozi Braide was contacted on the spate of ritual killings, she said about Lagos.
“I will disagree with you on the issue of ritual killing being on the increase in Lagos state. There has not been any of such since my assumption. Sometime last year and about two months ago ,we paraded some suspects for being in possession of human parts. The arrests were effected by men of the Special Anti Robbery Squad and the suspects were arrested from other states.
“During interrogation, we discovered they had same modus operandi. They always go to the grave yard to exhume corpses. It’s something they commit in connivance with the security men at the cemetery. And the buyers, comprising the native doctors and other persons will be there.
“Let me state here that the Police as security agents do not believe in mystics. We work with facts and physical evidence. So, when you say people indulge in rituals, we do not understand that language.
What we have also recorded are cases of persons suspected to be kidnappers who were attacked by the mob. It happened at Apapa, Iyana-Ipaja , Shahsha areas . In Shahsha, a man was sighted with a little child in his car and they accused him of wanting to use the child for money ritual and a mob attacked him, without giving him room to explain himself. But for the quick intervention of the traditional ruler of the area who contacted policemen, the man would have been lynched.
“On interrogation, it was discovered that parents of the child begged him to help drop the child in school and on the way, he started crying. We invited the parents who collaborated the claim. If they had killed him, the news would have been all over the place that a ritualist was mobbed.
“Another case was of an elderly woman at Ajegunle who was seen with a day old baby. Before you knew it, people rounded her up and started beating her, claiming she wanted to use the baby for ritual. The local government chairman contacted the police who rescued the woman who said she was the grandmother of the baby and that her daughter just gave birth but was in an unstable condition in the hospital. What we did was to invite the doctor of the hospital who collaborated her claim . The doctor said he advised the woman to take the baby home while they tried to stabilise the mother. I want to use this medium to advise Lagosians not to engage in mob actions.
“On our part, we have a lot of overt and covert policemen in strategic places in the state, considering the nature of security in the country right now. We have tried to cover up sensitive places like churches, schools, motor parks among other places and we have enough security men.”
Sad news. Of course, every murder or ritualistic murder is a sad event, both for the victim and for the families left behind. Senseless murders of people with physical disabilities hurt us even more. In Kogi State the recent murder of a 62-year old hunchback, Ahmed Suberu, is not an isolated crime. Recently, more people with humps have disappeared in Kogi State, to be found back dismembered, with vital organs missing.
Two persons have been arrested in connection with the abduction and murder of Ahmed Suberu. Whether they are guilty, it’s up to the judges to determine.
The swift move of police authorities does not mean that ritualistic murders of this type will no longer be committed. To realize this, we need a change of mindset. Superstitious people should be taught that witchcraft does not help to increase one’s wealth, health, reputation or success. Education is, next to the rule of law, are main weapon against these odious crimes. (webmaster FVDK).
Suspected ritualist abduct, murder Kogi hunchback
Published: December 14, 2020 By: Punch. Nigeria
Tension has gripped Obeiba Ihima community, in the Okehi Local Government Area of Kogi State, following the abduction and murder of a 62-year-old hunchback, Ahmad Suberu, by suspected ritual killers.
Sources in the community told PUNCH Metro that persons with humps had been disappearing in Obeiba Ihima and Ihima Ba in recent times.
Before Suberu, another pregnant woman with a hump was said to have been abducted about two weeks earlier and murdered by suspected ritual killers.
Suberu, an indigene of Ihima Ba, was reportedly kidnapped on Monday, November 23, 2020, at Obeiba Ihima, while on his way to a mosque for prayers.
His dismembered corpse was said to have been found on December 8 in a bush at Ega community, in the Adavi LGA, with his heart, kidney and other sensitive organs missing.
The Executive Director of Disability Rights Action Group, Raphael Chikwado, and deceased’s daughter, Zuleihat Suberu, confirmed the incident in separate interviews with PUNCH Metro.
“His hump was taken away, as confirmed from his dead body, which made us to come to the conclusion that it was taken for some odious reasons. From the way we met the dead body, it revealed that he was dumped at Ega some days after being killed,” the 23-year-old only child of the victim said.
Chikwado said, “He was abducted by gunmen in a black SUV while waiting to cross the road leading to Oride Mosque, beside St. Paul’s Church, Obeiba Ihima. An eyewitness reported that the vehicle drove from Okene axis, picked him up and drove off through Ega Road.
“Unfortunately, the coordinator, Kogi State chapter of DRAG, Ahmed Onimisi, contacted the DRAG office headquarters in Lagos around 5pm on December 9 when he broke the news to us that Suberu was found dead in the early hours of Tuesday, December 8, at Ega in Adavi LGA of the state.
“Before his death, the late Suberu was an ardent member of DRAG. DRAG is going to explore every legal avenue within the organisation to pursue justice for the deceased’s family and for the entire community of persons with disabilities in Nigeria.”
He said two suspects had been arrested in connection with the crime, adding that they were being detained at the police command headquarters in Lokoja.
The Officer-in-Charge of the case at the Kogi State Police Command, Gabriel Obafemi, told PUNCH Metro that investigation was on to track the killers.
He said, “We are only trying to see if we can know the perpetrators. I heard that his corpse has been recovered and I sent my boys to go there and check because the information came to me yesterday (Saturday).”
Below follows an older article, dating from 2018, showing that the awful practice of ritual murder for money ritual purposes is not a recent phenomenon (webmaster FVDK).
Police arrest pastor, 2 others over alleged ritual killing of 19-year old girl in Kogi
Published: June 22, 2018 By: Sundiata Post
Lokoja – Police in Kogi State have arrested a cleric, Oluwasegun Aturu and two others over the suspected ritual killing of a 19-year-old commercial sex worker, Miss Mercy Moses.
The Police Public Relations Officer of the command, ASP William Aya confirmed the arrest of the suspects to newsmen in Lokoja on Friday.
He said that Aturu who claimed to be the shepherd in charge of Voice of Canaan Temple, Cherubim and Seraphim Aladura Church, Ozuri, in Adavi Local Government Area of the state was arrested on June 19.
He was arrested alongside Samuel Oluwasegun and Abdulmumini Yakubu, all of Ozuri area in the local government, he said.
According to the police, both Oluwasegun and Yakubu were said to have at about 10 pm on June 11 gone to a popular brothel in the council area to pick the late girl to an unknown place.
They were said to have conveyed the deceased out of the brothel on a motorcycle after exchanging pleasantries with the manager of the brothel simply identified as Mohammed.
“The two men then approached one Mercy Moses, one of the commercial sex workers’ residents in the brothel. After discussing with Mercy, she was seen being taken away by the men on a motorcycle.
“When after two days she did not return, the brothel manager, Mohammed reported at a nearby Police Station at Adavi from where the case was taken up by the State Criminal Investigation Department, Lokoja,” the statement said.
He said that police investigation later led to the arrest of Pastor Otaru, Oluwasegun and Yakubu but they all denied the knowledge of Mercy’s whereabouts.
“However, following diligent interrogation by the Homicide Detectives of the State CID, both Oluwasegun and Yakubu opened up to the gory details of how they were hired by the pastor to bring a female for him.
“They confessed that Otaru hired them to bring a female for ritual purposes, promising them N700,000.
“The arrested suspects thereafter led the investigators to an area called Uhodo in Ogaminana area of Adavi where the torso of the remains of Mercy Moses was dug out from a shallow grave,” he said.
According to him, police in a well scripted move was able to track and arrest Pastor Otaru who had since the arrest of his accomplices, fled the neighborhood.
He said that the exhumed remains of the victim were deposited at Okene General Hospital mortuary for autopsy.
Mob justice is a serious problem in many if not all of Nigeria’s states. Early January of this year an angry mob set robbers ablaze in Calabar, the capital city of Cross River State. In early October last year an angry mob in Benue State set three suspected armed robbers ablaze over their alleged involvement in the robbery and serial killings witnessed in Gbaste community. I could cite many more examples of jungle justice in Nigeria, but this will do, for the moment. Recently, two – or four, accounts differ, see below – young men were set ablaze for alleged involvement in the killing of an SS3 Secondary Schoolgirl of Azama College, Otuo, Edo State.
The use of violence is a prerogative of State authorities. Moreover, every accused is considered innocent as long as he or she has not been found guilty by an independent and impartial judge during a public, transparent trial. Mob justice is a sign of a weak state authority and should not be tolerated. Mob justice resulting in the death of the victim is a crime; those responsible should be prosecuted and punished by law (webmaster FVDK).
Angry Mob Sets Four On Fire Over Ritual Killing In Edo State
Reports reaching Naija News at this time reveals that there was an uproar at a village in Owan East Local Government Area of Edo state on Monday, following the murder of a young girl who was reportedly beheaded for ritual purpose.
According to a source in the Otuo community in a chat with newsmen, some four young men were set ablaze for alleged involvement in the killing of an SS3 Secondary Schoolgirl of Azama College, Otuo.
The source whose identity was not given due to security purpose reveals that the child’s head was cut off at night hour by the culprits while she was on an errand by her neighbour who sent her to get him sachet water.
Naija News understands that she was murdered at the point of delivering the sachet water.
It was said that the girl’s parents cried out after they could not find their daughter, but that the culprits were nabbed while making moves to dump the victim’s body before the rising of the sun of the next day.
Further information revealed that two out of the four culprits were identified, including the woman who is to perform the rituals for them.
The source said, “The two men were burnt this morning (Monday) along with the woman, while her house was razed. They were all dragged to the popular Women Centre where the community police station is located. The third man was traced to his farm and apprehended,”
However, after the arrest of the culprits, furious residents set the young men on fire.
Meanwhile, a confirmation from the state Police Public Relations Officer, Mr Chidi Nwabuzor, mentioned that only two of the suspects were burnt alive.
“The command is aware that a young girl’s head was cut off and the youth of the community arrested two suspects, brought them to the front of the station and set them ablaze,” he said.
4 burnt to death for kidnapping SS III student for rituals in Edo
Published: February 24, 2020 By: Vanguard – Ozioruva Aliu
BENIN CITY— FOUR persons, including a lady, were, yesterday, set ablaze by a mob in Otuo, Owan East Local Government Area over allegation of kidnapping an SS III female student and killing her for ritual purpose.
It was gathered that the victim, a student of Azama College in Ikhuera quarters of the rustic town, was allegedly sent to buy sachet water by her neighbour Sunday night.
A source said while she was on her way from buying the water that her head was severed from her body apparently for ritual.
It was also gathered that when the young girl’s parents could not find her, they raised the alarm, but her whereabouts remained unknown.
The source said one of the culprits caught in the early hours of yesterday while attempting to dump the victim’s body confessed to the crime and those involved, including the woman, who allegedly performed the rituals for them.
“The two boys were burnt this morning (yesterday) along with the woman while her house was razed. They were all dragged to the popular ‘Women Centre’ where the community police station is located. The third boy was traced to his farm and apprehended,” he said.
Vanguard gathered that the third man apprehended in connection with the ritual killing was later burnt by a mob late yesterday.
One of the suspects, the gang leader, identified as Lukeman, was alleged to be a serial killer while two of the boys, who accompanied Lukeman, are of same parents and from Ikhueran quarter, Otuo.
He also said the woman, who performed the rituals was from Kogi State while Lukeman is said to be from Auchi in Etsako West Local Government Area of the state.
Spokesman for Edo Police Command, Mr Chidi Nwabuzor, while confirming the incident, said it was only two of those arrested that were burnt.
“The command is aware that a young girl’s head was cut off and the youths of the community arrested two suspects they took to the station where they were set ablaze,” he said.
Published: October 13, 2018 By: Jide Babalola and Faith Yahaya
Sixteen men, including a former legislator and a vigilance group commander alleged to be involved in kidnapping, ritual murder and sale of the human private organs in Kogi State were yesterday paraded by the police in Abuja.
Police spokesman, Ag. DCP Jimoh Moshood,said male and female organs, including that of a police inspector were harvested and sold by the syndicate whose ages range between 19 and 45 years.
The gang,according to Moshood,was working under the instructions or request of a wealthy businessman, Alhaji Shaibu Adamu alias Aye-Marina (43 years).
A manhunt is underway to arrest patrons of the group.
The police sid the arrested men have confessed to the killings and removal of body parts of several people.
However, Alhaji Shaibu Adamu and Abdullahi Ibrahim Ali, a former Kogi state legislator vociferously disowned the gang’s leader who claimed to have been liaising with them, adding that they are doing legitimate businesses with credible business partners including the first son of a former governor of Kogi State.
Aside from six identified victims including the late Inspector Abdul Alfa who was axed from behind and his police rifle snatched, most of the human organs sale syndicate’s victims cannot be properly identified, even after helpful confession from the criminal suspects.
Names of the suspects who are indigenes of Ankpa local government in Kogi state as given by the police include: Honourable Abdulahi Ibrahim Ali, alias Halims (35);his driver, Alhaji Abdullahi Zakari (35); a businessman, Alhaji Shaibu Adamu alias Aye-Marina (43); Akwu Audu (21); Sale Adama (45); Musa Abdulahi (32);Yakubu Yahaya (30); Adama Shagari (30); Baba Isah (23); Isaac Alfa (19); Idoko Benjamin (20);and Yakubu Hamidu (39) alleged to be the gang leader while also working as vigilance group commander in Ankpa Local Government.
Four other suspects who hail from neighbouring Ofu local are Ubile Attah (21); Julius Alhassan (30); Shehu Haliru alias Fedeco (25); and Abdullahi Tijani (27).
Exhibits allegedly recovered from them are one pump action gun, two locally fabricated single barrel guns and three short axes.
According to the police spokesman, the rampant cases of missing persons, killing of innocent people and the removal of their private parts for ritual purposes in Ankpa town and environs made the Inspector General of Police, IGP Ibrahim K. Idris to direct the IGP Strike Force attached to Operation Absolute Sanity to investigate all such cases, arrest the perpetrators and bring them to justice.
“In the course of investigation , it was discovered that this gang – from information and intelligence gathered from public spirited individuals and other residents- were responsible for kidnapping, gruesome murder, and ritual killings of innocent people in Kogi State, travellers passing through Kogi State and strangers coming into towns in the area were mostly victims.
”Yakubu Hamidu (39 years old Gang Leader and a Vigilante Commander of Ankpa), and his vigilante guards are the hit-men responsible for the killings of several victims and removing their organs, mostly male and female organs including other body parts such as the head, kidney, and other vital body organs and selling them to personalities within and outside the state for rituals.
“During interrogations, the Gang Leader, Yakubu Hamidu and his members now in Police custody confessed to the crime and admitted that they were sponsored and working for Abdulahi Ibrahim Ali alias Halims and Alhaji Shaibu Adamu alias Aye- Marina whom they handed over the body parts to, after killing their victims and severing their body organs and collecting huge sums of money ; Aye-Marina’s driver known as Zakaru receives the body parts from Yakubu Hamidu.
” Abdulahi Ibrahim Ali a.k.a Halims who has volunteered statement to the investigators is now in Police custody and is suspected to have used the proceeds of crime to build and own so many properties including big hotels and several filling stations in Kogi State while Alhaji Shaibu Adamu a.k.a Aye Marina, without any known profession or any known means of livelihood was suspected also to have built ,and owns mansions and four filling stations in Ankpa, Kogi State and another four at Onyangede in Benue State with the proceeds of the crime.
“Yakubu Hamidu, Julius Alhasan, Shehu Haliru, Ubile Attah and Akwu Audu have confessed to the gruesome killing of Inspector Abdul Alfa attached to Ejule Police outpost in Ofu Local Government on 28 th November, 2017 and carted away the Police rifle in his possession.
“All the suspects have made voluntary statements to the Police Investigation Team and have confessed to the various criminal roles they played in the recent kidnapping, gruesome murder and ritual killing attacks on innocent residents and the killing of a Police Inspector, Inspr. Abdul Alfa, attached to Ejule Police Outpost, in Kogi State.
“Investigation is being concluded and efforts being intensified to arrest other suspects who include prominent personalities linked to the crime but still at large; they will all be arraigned in court on completion of investigation.
The Inspector General of Police (IGP) Strike Force, has arrested sixteen suspects in connection with alleged kidnapping, murder and ritual killings in Kogi State. The Force Public Relations Officer (FPRO), Acting DCP Jimoh Moshood, who made the disclosure while presenting the suspects at the Force Headquarters in Abuja yesterday, accused them of harvesting vital organs, after killing their victims. According to Moshood, the harvested vital organs were then sold to “personalities in Kogi and other neighbouring states.” Among those arrested and presented before journalists, was Hon. Abdullahi Ibrahim Ali, who claimed to have won the All Progressives Congress’ ticket for Ankpa/ Omala/ Olamaboro federal Constituency of Kogi State. Also arrested was Vigilante Commander in Ankpa,Mr. Yakubu Hamidu, who admitted his alleged involvement and others in the heinous crime. One of the victims of the alleged ritual killing, according to the Police, was Inspector Abdul Alfa.
The police officer, who worked at Ejule Police Outpost in Ofu Local Government Area of Kogi State, was killed “while on foot patrol” on November 28, 2017. Other victims, apart from the officer, included “innocent people in Kogi State, travellers passing through Kogi State and strangers coming into towns in the area”. The guns and axes the suspects allegedly used in killing and severing victims” vital organs, were displayed during the press briefing.
“Consequent on the killings of innocent people and the removal of their private parts for ritual purposes in Ankpa town and environs, and the killing of a Police Inspector, Abdul Alfa, at Ejule Police outpost in Ofu LGA while on foot patrol on November 28, 2017 snatching the Police rifle in his possession, and several complaints of missing persons received at the Police stations in Ankpa and environs, the IGP Ibrahim Idris, concerned with these trends of criminalities in Ankpa Local Government Area of Kogi State and other neighbouring States, directed the IGP Strike Force attached to Operation Absolute Sanity to investigate all these cases, arrest the perpetrators and bring them to justice.
“In the course of investigation, it was discovered that this gang from information and intelligence gathered from public spirited individuals and other residents, were responsible for kidnapping, gruesome murder, and ritual killings of innocent people in Kogi State, travellers passing through Kogi State and strangers coming into towns in the area were mostly victims.
“All the suspects have made voluntary statements to the Police Investigation Team and have confessed to the various criminal roles they played in the recent kidnapping, gruesome murder and ritual killing attacks on innocent residents and the killing of a Police Inspector, Inspr. Abdul Alfa, attached to Ejule Police Outpost, in Kogi State. “Investigation is being concluded and efforts being intensified to arrest other suspects who include prominent personalities linked to the crime but still at large. They will all be arraigned in court on completion of investigation,” the Police said.
LEADERSHIP: A suspected murderer, who confessed to specialising in killing and harvesting human private parts and organs to politicians and business men was arrested and paraded by the Nigeria Police Force yesterday in Abuja. The suspect, Yakubu Hamidu, male and 39 years, who was a vigilante personnel at Ankpa, Kogi state admitted to have personally sold four male private parts and human organs to a politicians, at prices ranging from N100,000 to N250,000 each. The suspect and his cohorts further confessed to the killings and removal of body parts of the following victims James M (other names yet to be known), Christopher (other names yet to be known), Mohammed (other names yet to be known), Small Case (Real name unknown), Omu (other names yet to be known) and Inspector Abdul Alfa (who was ambushed and axed on his head from behind to death) by Julius Alhasan and his gang.
The suspects, Hamidu, Julius Alhasan, Shehu Haliru, Ubile Attah and Akwu Audu also confessed to the gruesome killing of Inspector Abdul Alfa attached to Ejule Police outpost in Ofu Local Government on 28th November, 2017 and carted away the Police rifle in his possession. Force public relations officer (FPRO), Jimoh Moshood, while parading them, said: “Consequent on the killings of innocent people and the removal of their private parts for ritual purposes in Ankpa town and environs, and the killing of a Police Inspector, the Inspector General of Police, IGP Ibrahim Idris, concerned with these trends of criminalities, directed the IGP Strike Force attached to Operation Absolute Sanity to investigate all these cases, arrest the perpetrators and bring them to justice.
“In the course of investigation, it was discovered that this gang from information and intelligence gathered from public spirited individuals and other residents, were responsible for kidnapping, gruesome murder, and ritual killings in Kogi state. “All the suspects have made voluntary statements to the Police Investigation Team and have confessed to the various criminal roles they played in the recent kidnapping, gruesome murder and attacks on innocent residents of Kogi State. “Investigation is being concluded and efforts being intensified to arrest other suspects who include prominent personalities linked to the crime but still at large. They will all be arraigned in court on completion of investigation.”
Published: November 10, 2018 – 2:25 AM
By: Nathaniel Bivan (Abuja) & Itodo Daniel Sule (Lokoja) Ritual killings and trade in body parts is one crime that has refused to go away in Nigeria. So far, not less than 55 suspects have been arrested in the past one year for human parts-related crimes in states such as Kebbi, Oyo, Kwara, Osun, Lagos, Ogun, Kogi and Nasarawa.
One of the most recent took place in Nasarawa State, where three men were arrested by the Nasarawa State Police Command for allegedly being in possession of human parts. They were reported to have, on November 1, exhumed a freshly buried corpse from a cemetery at Mararaban-Akunza and chopped off an arm.
Then in Ankpa LGA of Kogi State, neighbouring communities have had long-drawn cases of abductions, ritual killings, harvests of human parts, deadly cult activities and gruesome murders. Alarmed, some locals lodged complaints to the police. After months of discreet investigations, the Inspector General of Police Special Tactical Squad first busted a 10-man gang that allegedly specialized in selling human parts, also responsible for various crimes perpetrated in Ankpa and environs sometime in September 2018.
The kingpin of the gang, 39-year-old Yakubu Hamidu, had prior to their arrest held positions of Secretary of the Local Vigilante Group for five years and was its chairman for one year in Ankpa LGA where he hails from.
Hamidu told the police that in his capacity as leader of the vigilantes, he had access to arms and ammunitions with which he hunted down victims for human parts, especially male and female private organs. He also revealed how they killed four local vigilante men and a police officer in Ofu LGA during one of their operations.
But following the mop-up of arms and ammunitions by the police as directed by the IGP, the crime business nosedived, thus forcing Hamidu to resort to recruiting youths in the community to resuscitate the human parts trade. He had allegedly promised handsome rewards to those he recruited, but the bubble burst when he failed to keep his promise. One of the gang members, 18-year old Ubile Attah decided to turn in the group to the Inspector-General of Police Special Tactical Squad.
Following the arrest and revelations made by the 10-man gang, the police High Command made further arrests of those allegedly behind the killings and human parts trade.
Force Public Relations Officer, DCP Jimoh Moshood who paraded the suspects in Abuja, said the police began investigation into the group’s activities following repeated cases of abduction, killing, and removal of vital body parts of victims which were reported in Ankpa town and environs as well as the killing of a Police Inspector, Abdul Alfa, at Ejule Police outpost in Ofu LGA while on foot patrol on November 28, 2017. A total of 16 suspects alleged to be responsible for the criminal activities were paraded in Abuja by the police.
The suspects are: Abdulahi Ibrahim Ali, Alhaji Shaibu Adamu, Yakubu Hamidu, Ubile Attah, Julius Alhassan, Shehu Haliru, Abdullahi Tijani, Akwu Audu, Alhaji Abdullahi Zakari, Sale Adama, Musa Abdulahi, Yakubu Yahaya, Adama Shagari, Baba Isah, Isaac Alfa, and Idoko Benjamin. Arms and ammunition recovered from them, according to police, include one pump action rifle, two locally fabricated single barrel guns, and three short axes.
According to Moshood, Hamidu, 39, who is gang leader and native of Ankpa, and the vigilante leader in the community, along with his vigilante guards “are the hit-men responsible for the killings and removal of mostly male and female organs of several victims, including other body parts, such as the head, kidney, and other vital body organs, which they sell within and outside the state for rituals.”
According to the Police spokesperson, Yakubu and his members confessed to the crime and admitted that they were working for one Abdullahi Ibrahim Ali a.k.a Halims and Alhaji Shaibu Adamu a.k.a Aye-Marina, whom they sold the body parts to.
Moshood noted that Ibrahim has allegedly “used the proceeds of crime to build and own many properties, including big hotels and several filling stations in Kogi State, while Alhaji Adamu who is without any known profession or means of livelihood was suspected to have built mansions and four filling stations in Ankpa, and another four at Onyangede in Benue State with the proceeds of the crime.”
According to him, the suspects further confessed to the killings and removal of body parts of victims whose names they gave as James, Christopher, Mohammed, Small Case, Omu and one Inspector Abdul Alfa who was ambushed and axed to death in Ofu.
Some of the suspects confessed that they paid N500,000 for female organs and N300,000 for male organs by those that contracted them. The police have since charged the suspects before a Kogi Senior Magistrate Court in Lokoja.
Ibrahim, who was alleged to be one of the ‘contractors’, however said that he knew nothing about the said crime, adding that his ordeal was orchestrated by his political enemies. He is currently the All Progressives Congress’s (APC) House of Representatives candidate for Ankpa/Olamaboro/Omala constituency in the 2019 general election.
In the meantime, Ibrahim, Adamu and Ukubile had been granted bail by the court while the other suspects were still being remanded in police custody in Abuja. Hearing on the matter comes up at the Magistrate Court in Lokoja, on November 12.
The cases continue to pile up nationwide: On August 13, a suspected ritualist, Ganiyu Idowu, 62, confessed he connived with one Alfa Bamigbola Edun, to use his apprentice for money rituals. The two were paraded by the Ogun State Police Command alongside another accomplice, Matthew Odunewu, at the state police headquarters, Eleweran, Abeokuta for allegedly kidnapping Ganiyu Akanni for money rituals.
Idowu, a herbalist, said Edun asked him to provide one person for a ritual that would yield N11 million. But Edun denied the accusation, saying he only engaged the herbalist in a mutual exchange of knowledge.
The Ogun State Commissioner of Police, Ahmed Iliyasu, said the suspects were arrested at the Ogun River bank in the act of preparing to slaughter the victim for a ritual. “On interrogation, they confessed that the polythene bags found with them were to be used to collect their respective shares of the victim’s body parts after killing him,” he said.
Lagos is also not left out: In August this year a ‘mentally deranged’ couple who resided under a bridge at Cele NICA bus stop, Ojo in Mile 2, Badagry Expressway were nabbed by detectives attached to Ijanikin Police Station of the Lagos State Command, who found them in possession of various human parts.
Another case is that of an Ilorin group of eight suspects allegedly responsible for kidnapping, murder, ritual killings and exhuming dead bodies. They were also said to have been removing and trading in human skulls and other human body parts in Ilorin, Kwara State by police spokesman DCP Moshood. He narrated that during a search operation, eleven human skulls, some pieces of human bones, human hair, and powder suspected to be ground human bones and charms were recovered.
Moshood said the suspects confessed and admitted to have sold 31 human heads to some personalities in Ilorin, other towns in Kwara State and neighbouring states.
Some locals spoke to Daily Trust Saturday, expressing fears that cases will only increase, as the general elections approach. “Some of them believe in arcane things, and subscribe to fetish activities,” one of them said. “They think ritual killings or severed human parts and organs will help them win elections, but they’re wrong. They’re just monsters, with a taste for human life,” he added, “And God will certainly visit his wrath on them.”