During a nine-week pause in posting reports on ritual killings in Africa ritual murders continued unabated in many countries

Almost nine weeks have elapsed since my last post, on June 30. As was the case when I introduced a four-week pause in my reporting on ritualistic activities  and killings in Sub-Saharan Africa, this silence does not mean that there weren’t any ritual murders in this period. On the contrary, far from it!

The nine weeks’ pause resulted in a substantial backlog. Newspaper articles published during this period report new ritual murders all over the continent. A quick scan shows that in the past two months ritual murders have been committed in Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zimbabwe (in alphabetical order), in most countries more than one. In Nigeria, with 211 million people Africa’s most populated country, ritual murders – aka ‘money rituals’ – were reported in the following states: Delta, Ekiti, Imo, Niger, Osun, Ondo, Osun, Oyo and in the FCT Abuja.

Moreover, newspapers in Ghana reported extensively on the Kasoa case whereas in Zimbabwe the Tapiwa Makore trial was widely covered.

It is important to mention that the murder cases reported are likely to constitute the tip of the iceberg and that our quick scan only covers the anglophone African countries.

Of the countries mentioned above two countries stand out: Ghana and Nigeria. For this reason I will elaborate on the ritual murders in these two West African countries in my next postings (webmaster FVDK).

Africa Map

Nigeria: ritual killers disguised as lovers

One of the craziest stories I read yesterday (see yesterday’s posting) follows below. It contains a wise lesson but also a chilling story. Whereas at fist sight it reports on ‘ordinary’ criminal activities, the reader soon discovers that more is going on: ritualistic activities, ‘money business’, ‘money rituals’ – and that’s the reason why the article has been included here.

The incidents took place in various parts of the country, not related to a particular region, social class, or ethnic group. The first mentioned murder occurred recently in Lagos (June 2021), but other reported ‘money rituals’ happened in Benue State, Ogun State, Ondo State, Osun State, and – again – Lagos State (2012, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021). Some of these murder cases have been reported on extensively earlier on this site.

Warning: Some readers may find the following story disturbing (FVDK).

MORE AND MORE NIGERIANS ARE FALLING VICTIM TO HARBINGERS OF DEATH DISGUISING AS LOVERS, KUNLE AKINRINADE REPORTS FOLLOWING THE CASE OF A COMPANY’S CHIEF EXECUTIVE FOUND DEAD LAST SUNDAY IN A LAGOS SERVICE APARTMENT HE ALLEGEDLY LODGED IN WITH A SIDE CHIC.

Published: June 26, 2021
By: The Nation, Nigeria- Kunle Akinrinade

Incidents of individuals’ death in the process of romance with the opposite sex increased by one early in the week with the demise of billionaire businessman and chief executive officer of Super TV, Michael Usifo Ataga, allegedly after an outing with a side chic.

Ataga, a resident of highbrow Banana Island in Lagos, was said to have been reported missing on Sunday by concerned friends and family members as his whereabouts became unknown.

Everyone, including his wife and children who were resident in Abuja, was said to have become worried when the checks made at Ataga’s office in Victoria Island, Lagos showed that he was nowhere in sight while he could also not be found at his Banana Island residence.

It turned out later that his lifeless body was found in a three-bedroom service apartment in Lekki Phase 1, Lagos with multiple wounds inflicted on his body and several withdrawals made from his bank account supposedly by a mystery woman he had checked into the apartment with.

Investigation conducted by security agents would later reveal that Ataga’s death occurred about two weeks after he met the woman in question and they checked into the said apartment at Lekki Phase 1.

A combined team of the police and DSS operatives from Abuja were said to have unveiled the identity of the owner of the apartment in which Ataga was found dead and it was discovered that she had received payments from the side chic’s bank account into which Ataga himself had previously made a transfer.

Happily, the side chic in question has since been tracked down by security operatives and arrested alongside the owner of the Lekki Phase 1 apartment.

One death too many

Ataga’s case is one in the long list of Nigerians who in recent times have fallen victim to murderous fraudsters disguising as lovers. For instance, when Akin Alupaida invited his girlfriend from her base in Ibadan, Oyo State to his base in Apomu, Isokan Local Government Area, Osun State on June 8, the unnamed lady had no reason to suspect that she was about to be murdered by the man that had professed love to her.

However, the said lady was butchered into pieces by her supposed lover after a romp at an apartment belonging to the latter’s friend. The police said that Akin’s accomplice and owner of the apartment, Kabiru Oyeduntan, barged into the room and assisted his friend in strangling the 20-year-old lady to death and dismembering her for ritual purposes.

Parading Oyeduntan at the Osun Police Command headquarters on June 11, the Commissioner of Police, Wale Olokode, explained that the suspect was arrested based on a tip-off from members of the public. Olokode said the head, wrist, and other parts of the lady’s body were found by detectives inside a box in one of the suspect’s rooms.

In his confession, Oyeduntan said the lady in question was killed for the purpose of using her for money rituals by his identified as Akin (O’clumsy) Alupaida.

He said: “It was my friend that brought the lady to my place from Ibadan. But he already told me that he wanted to do a money ritual. He sought my assistance and promised to give me N50,000. I agreed.”

“While he was having sex with her, I came in and assisted him to hold her two legs, and he strangled her to death.

“Akin was the one who dismembered the lady’s body. He removed the heart, private parts and took them away.”

Eighteen months after she mysteriously disappeared amid preparations for her wedding in December 2019, the remains of Josephine Cynthia Onche, an operative of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), were found in a shallow grave in the Obi Local Government Area, Benue State, where her body was dumped after she was killed for rituals by the same man she had announced in a wedding invite as her husband to-be.

The arrest of Josephine’s would-be husband, Christopher, led to the exhumation of her body from a shallow grave in a local government close to Otukpo.

It was said that a commercial motorcyclist who knew about the incident reported to Josephine’s family.

Christopher had allegedly brought in a native doctor from Ogun State to carry out money rituals with Josephine’s body parts.

“The commercial motorcycle rider led security operatives to arrest Christopher, an Igbo man, and he led the police to Ogun State where they arrested a native doctor who allegedly performed a ritual with the woman’s body in Obi Local Government Area of Benue State before returning to Ogun State,” a source reportedly said.

Like Osun and Benue incidents, the murder of the first daughter of former Deputy Governor of Ondo State, Khadijat Olubiyo, made headlines in 2018.

Khadijat, a final year student of Adekunle Ajasin University in Akungba Akoko (AAUA) was allegedly strangled to death by her boyfriend, Seidu Adeyemi, who was said to have buried her remains in a shallow grave in his room in Okearo area of Akure, the state capital, covered it with the rug and slept on the grave for five days.

In 2019, one Abosede Adeyemi Iyanda was gruesomely murdered by her former boyfriend, Segun Olaniyi, who dismembered her and used her body parts for money-making rituals.

As the story goes, Olaniyi, 42, was Abosede’s ex-lover, who promised to help her with some money but instead hatched a plan to use her for money rituals.

Olaniyi called one Akanbi Babalola and Ayo Adeleye on the phone to come and do the slaughtering of the woman who was formerly his girlfriend but now married to another man when she visited him in his offshore office.

While in his office, Olaniyi told Adeleye to go and buy food for the woman, who they said felt very tired after walking a long distance to get there. Segun then put in the food a drug that would make her feel weak and sleepy.

Olaniyi later told her to go to the stream beside his office and wash her hair while she was completely naked. He asked Adeleye and Akanbi to lead her there.

But while Abosede was washing her hair, Adeleye pushed her head into the river, brought out a pocket knife and killed her. Both of them then pulled her body out from the river and dismembered it, separating the flesh from the bones as instructed by Olaniyi.

They later cut the flesh into pieces and sold them to some herbalists, alfas and a pastor who needed them for money rituals. Some of them also allegedly roasted the meat and ate it, washing it down with hot drinks.

Police said that Olaniyi was tracked and arrested, and his arrest led to the recovery of Abosede’s body parts from different Ogun villages where he buried or sold her mutilated remains.

Other suspects arrested in connection with Abosede’s murder include Adeifa Sogbeyinde (37), Rasaq Rasaq Arabs (27), Sunday Akinyemi (41), Adewole Olwafemi aka Pastor (38), Mustapha Ajibola aka Alfa (31), Mustapha Iliya (30), Shilola Amodu aka Alfa (38), Jamiu Abass (25), Smooth  Kazeem aka Alfa (37) and Adesola  Oduyemi (56).

Confessing, Olaniyi said: “She called me on the phone saying that she was coming to see me. I asked her the reason for her visit and she said she wanted financial assistance to boost her business.

“I called Akanbi, who is my helping hand, and told him to come around because someone would be visiting us. Already, we had work at hand, so Akanbi suggested that we use her for the work.

“We killed her beside my house. I took the head, two hands and part of the meat. I sold the head to Africa for N40,000. I sold one of the hands to an orthodox doctor named Murideen for N15,000 and the other hand to Tonight for N15,000. I sold the flesh to one Alfa named Sunday Akinyemi (N10,000), Rasaq (N5,000) and Mustafa (N5,000).

“It was Ajibola that introduced Mustapha Iliya to me. I used part of the flesh to do powdered medicine which if taken with a hot drink would draw customers.

“At times, we kill the husbands of some of our customers to turn them into widows so that they would join us in bringing victims to be slaughtered.”

His confession led the IRT detectives to Abeokuta and different Ogun villages like Ifo, Itori, Papalanto and Adigbe, where eleven suspects were arrested and eight of them confessed to the kidnapping, killing and selling of the body parts of the victim.

Among the items recovered by IRT operatives were decomposed human breasts, burnt human flesh mixed with  liquid substance in a bottle and calabash, one complete human foot, pieces of dry human skull, a Laura SUV with registration number KTU801FP, one Bajaj Boxer motorcycle with Registration number JGB019VC, one unregistered Toyota Corolla and one Toyota Matrix with Registration number AKD703FU.

Other recent cases

It will be recalled that in June 2020, a 39-year-old man, Chris Ndukwe, committed suicide in Lagos after killing his 25-year-old girlfriend, Olamide Alli.

Police said that Ndukwe and Alli were found dead at the former’s residence at Road 5, House 16A, Victory Point Estate, Ilasan, Lagos, after a tip-off to officers of Ilasan Police Station.

A statement issued by the then police spokesman, Bala Elkana, said: “The woman was found lying in a pool of blood, with deep cuts on her head, while the man’s mouth was foaming with whitish substance.

“It was alleged that the man stabbed the woman to death with a kitchen knife and thereafter drank some poisonous substances suspected to be insecticides.

“Two blood-stained kitchen knives, two empty bottles of the poisonous substances, three empty cans of Red Bull energy drink and a plier were recovered from the scene.”

Elkana added that family members of the deceased lovers revealed that they were not married but had a relationship for over seven years, adding that they had two boys, aged seven and three.

He said: “Their relationship is described as complicated, as the couples were on and off over the years. While the man lives at Victory Point Estate Ibadan, the woman lives at Ogba (Lagos).

“The woman was said to have visited the man alongside her 22-year-old sister a night before the incident, on his invitation.

He said that Alli’s sister was the first to have noticed that they were both dead and raised the alarm.

Elkana added: “In her (Alli’s sister) statement, she was woken up by a loud music from the room where the corpses were found, as herself and the kids slept in a different room.”

On July 21, 2012, a postgraduate student of Nasarawa State University, Cynthia Osokogu, then 25 years old, was lured from Abuja to Lagos by Okwumo Nwabufo, who she had met and befriended on Facebook.

Nwabufo had paid for the deceased’s flight ticket from Abuja and lodged her in Room C1 at Cosmilla Hotel, Lake View Estate, Festac Town, Lagos, where he later connived with one Olisaeloka Ezike, and murdered the young lady.

The duo drugged Cynthia by putting Rohypnol in her drink after which they tied her hands and legs and also gagged her mouth with a handkerchief and part of her hair weave on.

Cynthia’s killers thereafter stole her two Blackberry mobile phones, jewellery, sex toy vibrator, passport and a pair of shoes.

In December 2019, a 23-year old man, Adeeko Owolabi, reportedly connived with a 42-year-old self-acclaimed pastor of a white garment church, Segun Philip, to murder his girlfriend and final year Sociology student at the Lagos State University, Favour Daley-Oladele.

According to the spokesman of Ogun State Police Command, Owolabi, who was arrested in Ikoyi-Ile area of Osun State, confessed that he used his girlfriend to prepare a ritual meal for himself and his own mother who he claimed had been broke.

According to Oyeyemi, “the deceased was reported to have left home to an unknown destination since the 8th of December, 2019 and had not been seen since then; hence, she was reported missing by her parents at Mowe Police Station.

“Upon the report, the DPO Mowe Division, SP Marvis Jayeola, detailed his crack detectives to unravel the mystery behind the sudden disappearance of the 22-year-old woman.

Source: Killer lovers on the prowl – Concerns over activities of crime merchants disguising as lovers

The scourge of ritual killings in Nigeria

Two months ago I posted on this site a cry from Nigeria, ‘Let the carnage of ritual killings stop‘. Unrelenting, the editors of the Leadership, a leading Nigerian newspaper, again draw attention to the alarming rate of ritual murders and related crimes in the country. I have repeatedly done the same on this place.

This site is entirely devoted to the crime of ritual murders, based on superstition and belief in witchcraft, fed by an insatiable greed for power, wealth or a good health, and facilitated by a weak enforcement of the rule of law, impunity, and in the worst cases, the connivance of people in high places who are put in this position by the people they are supposed to protect. Ritual murders are a flagrant and intolerable violation of the human rights of the victims, whereas a sovereign state is obliged, often by its constitution, to protect its citizens.

It is sheer impossible to report and react here on all ritual murders and other money-ritual related crimes which are surfacing and are being reported and published in various newspapers. It goes without saying that an unknown number of ritual murders are never discovered.

In the past six months I have collected numerous articles on ritual murders in at least 15 Nigerian states: Adamawa, Anambra, Bauchi, Delta, Edo, Enugu, Imo, Kaduna, Kwara, Lagos, Ogun, Ondo, Osun, Oyo, Rivers (which I have not yet been published on this site), although I have reported frequently on money-ritual related crimes in these states (from 2018 onwards). Moreover, I reported various cases of ritual murders and related crimes in other states: Abia, Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Benue, Ebonyi, Ekiti, Kebbi, Kogi, Nasawara, Niger, Taraba. Hence, altogether, 26 out of Nigeria’s 36 states. When consulting the general folder ‘Nigeria’ the reader will find other articles, of a more general nature, on the scourge of ritual killing in Nigeria, the Yahoo boys, mob justice, and other atrocities.

The seemingly recent rise of ritual killings in Nigeria has been mentioned here earlier. I only wish to refer to a 2014 article which I published in December last year. In it it was alleged that ritual killings were everywhere in Nigeria. Older reports of ritual murders as far back as 2001 can be found here.

It must be emphasized, however, that nowadays an increasing number of Nigerian raise their voices against these outdated and revolting practices which are ritualistic murders (see the folder ‘Nigeria voices’), among whom the editors of the Leadership newspaper, who are to be commended for the article below (webmaster FVDK).

The Scourge Of Ritual Killings In Nigeria

Published: May 10, 2021
By: Leadership, Nigeria – Monday Column

Iniobong Umoren was a young woman in her early 20’s who lived in Uyo the Akwa Ibom State capital. She shared, on Twitter, her need for a job, and one Twitter user named Uduak Akpan asked her for a private chat concerning her application. According to police reports, Mr Akpan asked Ms Umoren to meet her at a particular location in Uyo.

When the unsuspecting lady got there, the sinister man raped her, killed her, and buried her in a shallow grave. Unfortunately for the serial rapist and murderer, the lady gave her friend the phone number of the person who invited her for an interview. This number led to the apprehension of the culprit after the lady was declared missing for days.

There were reports that Ms Umoren’s gruesome murder was not just a case of rape and murder but that it also involved ritual killing. Mr Akpan’s entire family is  said to be involved in the barbaric business of ritual killings.

Two weeks ago, a report indicated that in Kwara State, a next-door neighbour allegedly murdered a groom-to-be for ritual purposes. According to the account in Vanguard, the deceased, who was said to be a devout Christian, did not know that his neighbour with whom he used to eat together was a serial killer and ritualist who has twice served jail terms. This wolf-in-sheep-clothing neighbour allegedly killed his victim, removed some sensitive body parts, poured acid on his remains for speedy decay to prevent it from fouling the area.

Last February in Port Harcourt, a suspected ritual killer was arrested while attempting to sacrifice a nine-year-old girl in the Ibaa community in  Emuoha Local Government Area of Rivers State. According to a report in Punch newspapers, the girl’s parents had raised the alarm over her sudden disappearance after she went to dispose of refuse in a nearby bush. It happened that the suspect had taken the minor to an abandoned compound, tied her with white cloths, applied white clay on her body with a coffin already stationed for the ritual purpose. He was in the process of performing the ritual when he ran out of luck.

In 2019, Port Harcourt made international headlines in ritual killings with the case of Gracious David-West, Nigeria’s most celebrated ritual killer in recent times. From July to September 2019, David-West killed at least 15 women, mainly in the Rivers State capital city. After his arrest, he confessed to at least 15 murders.

Official statistics indicate that there has been an increase in the number of missing persons all over the country in recent times. Some are found, while others are not. There is speculation that majority of those who disappear perpetually without a trace are often victims of ritual killings.

Incidents of ritual killings have assumed an alarming rate in Nigeria. There seems to be little or no effort by concerned government agencies to checkmate the trend. We expect that such cruel and barbaric act would no longer exist in our society given our level of exposure, enlightenment, and civilisation . Ironically, as our communities seem to be getting more religious given the proliferation of churches and mosques in all nooks and crannies of the country, it seems these heinous acts are increasing as the quest for filthy lucre pervades our society.

It is disheartening to point out that as developed societies invest in science and technology to keep abreast with a dynamic world, ours are still stuck in the mistaken belief that sacrificing human blood is the surest route to wealth, safety, and protection.

No doubt, ritual killings are performed to obtain human body parts for rituals, potions, and charms. Ritualists search for ‘human parts’ at the request of herbalists, who require these to make sacrifices or prepare various magical potions to give power and wealth to an individual. Some people engage in ritual killings to obtain charms that would make them invincible and protect them from business failure, illness, accidents, and spiritual attacks. Whether they succeed or not is open to debate. However, it is not easy to prove a link between such sacrifices and financial success or any type of success empirically.

Amongst a large group of Nigerians, including the well-educated and people from different faiths and social backgrounds, there is a strong belief in the supernatural and the effectiveness of rituals. This belief has a direct correlation to the prevalence of ritual killings. It is a well-known fact that some elite  in society indulge in ritual killings. Some people apprehended for ritual killings, and witch doctors who perform the sacrifices accused politicians, government officials and wealthy businessmen  as their  sponsors. They are said to use human beings for rituals to sustain their affluence and remain in positions of power.

Therefore, it is not surprising that there are usually  increased cases of mysterious disappearances and ritual killings during elections. Some desperate, fetish and superstitious politicians always consult herbalists and native doctors during elections to help them overcome their opponents. These spiritualists usually demand human heads and other body parts to perform hedonistic rituals.

Given the rate of increase of ritual killings, no one is immune from becoming a victim. But some people are at greater risk. People with mental illnesses and virgins are unique targets as the ritualists allegedly believe that their eccentrics and purity make for a more viable sacrifice. Also, people living with albinism have equally become victims of ritual killings, fuelled by the belief that their ‘body-parts’ could allegedly make one wealthy or prolong one’s life.

Sometimes, it is difficult to understand the mind of the ritual killer. How can someone take another person’s life in the quest for wealth, protection, and power? More worrisome is that sometimes it is not just an issue of a depraved mind but also a depraved group of minds.

Sometime in 2017, Lagos State, the country’s commercial hub, was gripped by Badoo ritual killings. According to news reports, over 50 people were killed by a Badoo Boys group, who moved about with an air of invincibility until the Nigerian Police routed them.

The Vanguard newspaper reported about the activities of the group thus: “Before the raid and subsequent arrest of over 200 suspected members of the cult group by the Police with the support of the Oodua Peoples’ Congress, OPC local vigilante and the Neighbourhood Watch Corps, Badoo Boys had been unleashing an orgy of killings, during which they crush the skulls of their victims. Their modus operandi included storming victims’ residences while they are asleep”.

People suspected that they usually hypnotize their victims, as none of them had ever been conscious of their presence. After that, they would smash the heads of their victims with a grinding stone and use a handkerchief to clean the blood and brain before leaving the scene.

During interrogation, one of the suspects confirmed that “they sold each handkerchief stained with blood for N500,000. He further revealed that they were mere errand boys for rich politicians within and outside Lagos state. But in their case, the blood and semen-stained handkerchief were used to prepare the spiritual defence for  some wealthy Nigerians.”

What are the root causes of ritual killings? How can society tackle this menace? What role should the government and relevant agencies play in ameliorating the negative impact of these dastardly acts?

Poverty and economic hardship in the land are reasons for ritual killings. However, these are not justifiable reasons to commit ritual murder.  Impunity encourages ritualists to commit murders because they believe they will not be apprehended or punished.

Another reason for ritual murders is the collapse in our moral values, ignorance and superstition, and lack of an adequate punishment system. We should also consider poverty and unemployment as a significant risk factor. If Nigerians have equal opportunities to earn income legitimately, there will be a reduction in horrific crimes such as banditry, human killings for ritual, and terrorism.

Besides, the inordinate quest and pursuit of quick wealth are said to be driving some people to resort to the use of human parts for rituals. And some usual suspects include fake clerics and herbalists who carry out the ritual practices for their clients.

Some analysts have recommended that government should investigate suspected pastors and imams and checkmate their activities because what they do under cover of being religious leaders sometimes leaves much to be desired.

o curb the increase in ritual killings, the government should thoroughly explore the intelligence-gathering approach and prosecute arrested culprits. Timely arrest and prosecution of arrested suspects would serve as a deterrent to anybody contemplating perpetrating ritual killing. Record of successful prosecution of ritualist  is not in the public domain. When there are not consequences for deviant behavior , it is incentivized.

For the public, commuters should always write down the identification markings of public conveyance vehicles they enter and make phone calls to loved ones to pass on the information. In the case of Iniobong Umoren mentioned earlier, the fact that she confided in her friend about the phone number of the person that invited her for an interview was instrumental in apprehending the culprit.

Most ritual murderers always wish to be unidentified.  They want to kill people but do not wish to be apprehended. Once information about them has been exposed to someone else, it becomes difficult for them to remain anonymous and perpetrate evil.

Commuters should also assess public transport vehicles before boarding in order not to board vehicles occupied by hoodlums. I advise ladies to carry whistles on them to raise the alarm if there is an attempt to abduct them.

In addition to these, people should avoid staying in isolated areas where criminals can quickly attack without being noticed, and everybody should be conscious of their immediate environment.

The spate of ritual  killings has become so problematic that our political leaders should declare a national emergency on the crises.  I call for stiffer jail sentences to deter potential perpetrators from engaging in ritual killings. Citizens should have trust and confidence to motivate them towards providing credible intelligence for security operators.

We should also make good use of whistleblowers. These are invisible law-abiding citizens whose primary function is to disseminate information that provides details towards the arrest of suspected ritual murderers. They should be anonymous, and the law-enforcement institution should not reveal them as their link persons.

The fight against ritual killings and other menaces in our society is for all. We should not rest until we create a culture where we always uphold the sanctity of life at all cost and the safety of everyone is guaranteed irrespective of social status, religion, or ethnic background. This task calls for authentic leadership. We must swim or sink together . Our only option is to swim to survive the social disaster we are becoming as a nation because of the collapse of morality, ethics, and law.

RELATED: Ritual Killing: Let The Carnage Stop

Source: The Scourge Of Ritual Killings In Nigeria

NB: This article was also published, under the same title, in ‘Premium Times’, signed by Dakuku Peterside. It is not clear which article is the original one. I apologize to the original author in case I haven’t attributed the article to the right author. (webmaster FVDK)
Source: The Scourge of Ritual Killings In Nigeria, By Dakuku Peterside

Nigeria: mob razes buildings as police arrest siblings for ritual killings in Iwo, Osun State

Sometimes I wonder whether ritual killers are normal, I mean, normal people, or are they insane and not accountable for their deeds? Read the following and you may understand what I mean.
(webmaster FVDK).

Mob razes buildings as police arrest siblings for ritual killings in Iwo, Osun State

Published: December 9, 2020
By: Punch, Nigeria – Bola Bamigbola 

Two suspects, said to be siblings, Monsuru, and Lawal, have been arrested by Osun State Police Command in Iwo for engaging in ritual killings.

The two men, who were arrested in a house in Yemoja compound, Iwo, had allegedly been involved in the spate of ritual killings in the ancient town; and were said to have killed one Mutiat Alani.

Upon their arrest, angry residents, however, laid siege to the area on Tuesday, and razed down four buildings, including those belonging to the suspects.

A resident of Yemoja compound, who preferred anonymity, told our correspondent that the suspects were arrested after a mobile phone of Mutiat that had been declared missing a few days ago, was tracked to a man in Iwo, who claimed Monsuru sold the phone to him.

The source said, “When the police operatives swooped on the house of the suspects, some skulls and mutilated bodies were recovered.

“The house that the suspects had been using to perpetrate the act is located near a river and bush. When residents heard of their arrest on Tuesday, they attacked their house and razed the building. Apart from their house, three other adjoining buildings were razed.”

Confirming the development, Police/Public Relations Officer for Osun Command, Yemisi Opalola, said two suspects – Monsuru Tajudeen, and Lawal Tajudeen, were arrested in a building at Yemoja Compound, Iwo where two mutilated bodies were also recovered by the police.

Opalola said, “We arrested two suspected ritual killers, Tajudeen Monsuru and Tajudeen Lawal at Yemoja compound, Iwo. Monsuru had told us he killed for ritual purposes and that he has killed many people.

“A woman was reported missing and a search was launched. The name of the woman is Mutiat Alani. When the police commenced an investigation of the missing woman, her phone was tracked and the phone was discovered in the possession of Monsuru.

“Police operatives that went to the scene recovered two mutilated bodies. Angry residents also on Tuesday attacked the house where the bodies were recovered and some adjourning buildings and razed them. Investigation had commenced into the matter.”

Source: Mob razes buildings as police arrest siblings for ritual killings in Iwo

The Oluwo of Iwo (Osun State, Nigeria): ‘Ritual killing deadlier and more devastating than SARS’

The Nigerian authorities have been facing nation-wide protests against the human rights abuses, including extrajudicial killings, intimidation and harassment of citizens, of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS). Despite its dissolution by the Inspector-General of Police, the protests haven’t waned. On social media the hashtag #EndSARS has become trending. However, on this site we are not dealing with the abuse of power by public authorities, unless it relates to ritualistic acts, muti murder, witchcraft practices, superstition or a cover-up of high-placed individuals implicated in these outdated practices.

In Nigeria, the Oluwo of Iwo, Oba Abdulrosheed Akanbi, recently again raised his voice publicly. The monarch is a well-know fighter against ritualistic murders. On several occasions he has criticized the federal government for doing too little to fight these ugly crimes which are nicknamed ‘money rituals ‘ in Nigeria. Last year, the monarch even accused some traditional rulers of being involved in ritual killings. Also see my postings dated January 30, 2020 and August 21, 2019.

Recently, the Oluwo of Iwo, Oba Abdulrosheed Akanbi challenged the #EndSARS protesters to focus on ritual killing, cultism and other social vices which terrorize the Nigerian people. According to the monarch, ritual killing was deadlier and more devastating to the youth than SARS could be. 

The monarch is to be commended for his outspoken position in the fight against ritual killings. Let’s hope that his outspokenness helps in eradicating ‘money rituals’ in Nigeria (webmaster FVDK).

The Oluwo of Iwo, Oba Abdulrosheed Akanbi

The Oluwo of Iwo, Oba Abdulrosheed Akanbi, speaks out against ritual killings

Published: October 12, 2020
By: Punch, Nigeria – Friday Olokor, Deji Lambo, Daud Olatunji, Wale Oyewale, Olaide Oyelude and Armstrong Bakam

Despite the dissolution of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad by the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, on Sunday, protests against the unit for gross human rights abuse, including extrajudicial killings, intimidation and harassment of citizens, have continued.

However, the police authorities also received support from some Nigerians, who kicked against the scrapping of the unit.

Some protesters, on Sunday, stormed the head office of PUNCH Newspaper to demand the scrapping of the unit.

One of the protesters, Damilola Ayanniyi, said it was to demand the scrapping of SARS, adding that the policemen working under the unit had harassed him on three different occasions.

23 Ogun protesters arrested with guns, charms

In Abeokuta, Ogun State, 23 protesters were arrested by the police with guns and assorted charms.

They were arrested on Saturday during a protest that turned violent.

The Police Public Relations Officer in the state, DSP Abimbola Oyeyemi, stated this in a statement on Sunday.

According to him, after the Alake of Egbaland, Oba Adedotun Gbadebo, and the Commissioner of Police, Edward Ajogun, had addressed them, the protesters headed for the palace of the Olowu of Owu, Oba Adegboyega Dosunmu, where the Owu Day was ongoing and violently disrupted the ceremony, which had former President Olusegun Obasanjo and the Deputy Governor of the state, Noimot Salako, in attendance.

The PPRO added that the protesters damaged the back windshield of the deputy governor’s official car and later went to the SARS office at Magbon, Abeokuta, fired some gunshots at the men and injured one Sergeant Akabudike Augustine.

Oluwo advises protesters

Meanwhile, the Oluwo of Iwo, Oba Abdulrosheed Akanbi, has challenged the #EndSARS protesters to channel their energy into kicking against ritual killing, cultism and other social vices in the land.

The Oluwo spoke on Sunday in response to calls on Instagram that he should lend royal in support of the protests.

The monarch said ritual killing was deadlier and more devastating to the youth than SARS could be.

Oba Akanbi, who lamented the increasing cases of ritual killings, said it was disappointing that despite the high level of crime in the land, Nigerians had not protested against ritual killings.

Campaign’ll ensure respect for human rights – Catholic Secretariat

Source: Despite dissolution, youths protest against, for SARS

Nigeria: ritual killing: Osun man sentenced to death by hanging

Several Nigerian states (Osun, OndoRivers) have enacted laws making it possible for judges to pronounce the death sentence for a specified number of crimes. Osun State is one of them. Ritualistic murders occur frequently in this southeastern state. Among the crimes mentioned in the law which carry the capital punishment when found guilty is murder committed for the purpose of a ‘money ritual’, as ritualistic murders are called in Africa’s most populated country.

More than one Nigerian state faces this phenomenon which seems difficult to eradicate. In my view it will not be eradicated by any severe jail sentence, not even by the capital punishment. The only solution is education, to instruct people that superstition does not lead to success, power or wealth. Nonetheless, the rule of law must apply and perpetrators of heinous crimes must pay for their deeds. (webmaster FVDK).

Ritual killing: Man sentenced to death by hanging

Published: July 7, 2020
By: The News, Nigeria 

An Osun State High Court sitting in Ile-Ife on Tuesday sentenced a 37- year-old man, Ogunyemi Oluleke, to death by hanging for murder.

Oluleke was arraigned on March 6, 2013 on two-count charge of murder and conspiracy to murder contrary to Sections 319 and 324 of Criminal Code, Laws of Osun State.

The offences were allegedly committed at Iredunmi area of Ile-Ife and at Oketase area in Ile-Ife around 10:00 a.m on Feb. 17, 2010.

At about 10:00am on Feb. 17, 2010, one Moshood Babalola was killed by cutting off his head with knife at Iredunmi area, ile-ife.

Mr Babalola Sikiru lodged the complaint of his lost son (Moshood Babalola) at More Police Station, Ile-Ife, on Feb. 18, 2010.

The Prosecution Counsel from the Ministry of Justice, Lawyer Tijani Adekilekun, called five witlessness and rendered several exhibits to prove the case.

Adekilekun also informed the court through one of his witnesses, Insp. Rasheedat Olanrewaju, that she was among the three policemen that went to a village in Agbedegbede area.

Olarewaju said that her team went to the house of the convict for a search and during the search, they saw decomposed body of one person in the convict’s house.

In his additional statement after the discovery of deceased corpse in his house on Feb., 2010, Ogunyemi confessed that he killed Moshood Babalola for rituals.

Justice Adedotun Onibokun found the accused guilty of the charges preferred against him.

The Defence Counsel, Mr Olalekan Banjo, pleaded to the court to temper justice with mercy, claiming that his client was a first offender.

Onibokun sentenced him to death by hanging.

Source: Ritual killing: Man sentenced to death by hanging

Related article:

Osun man to die by hanging for ritual killing

Published: July 8, 2020
By: Punch, Nigeria – Bola Bamigbola, Osogbo

Source: Osun man to die by hanging for ritual killing

Osun State, Nigeria: two men sentenced to death for murdering Uniosun student for money ritual

On Tuesday, March 10 the Osun State House of Assembly passed into law a bill that made kidnapping, banditry and ritual killing a crime punishable by death. See my March 13, 2020 posting.

Therefore, the following is not surprise. Recently, on Thursday, April 2, an Osun State High Court in Ikirun has sentenced two men to death by hanging for murdering Rofiat Adebisi for money ritual purposes. Rofiat Adebesi was a a student of the Osun State University when she met her untimely death. The following article provides more details though it is not known when the hanging will take place (webmaster FVDK).

2 Men Sentenced To Death For Using Uniosun Final Year Student For Money Ritual (Photos)

Published: April 3, 2020
By: Sundiata Post (Ebere)

An Osun State High Court sitting in Ikirun has sentenced two men to death by hanging for killing one Rofiat Adebisi, who at the time of her death was a student of the Osun State University, Osogbo.

Giving his judgment on Thursday in the trial that lasted almost two and half years, Justice Oyejide Falola, said 25-year-old Elijah Oyebode and Jelili Raji, aka Ifa, 35, should be hanged after he found them guilty of murdering the undergraduate.

The convicts were first arraigned on November 14, 2017, alongside one Yusuf Ajibade on three counts bordering on conspiracy to commit murder and murder contrary to sections 324 and 316, and punishable under sections 319 and 322 of the Criminal Code, Cap.3, Laws of Osun State, 2002.

The prosecution team called five witnesses and tendered exhibits before the court, while the accused testified for themselves.

Giving the facts of the matter, the lead prosecution counsel, Kareem Adekilekun, who appeared with Kemi Oyolola for the Ministry of Justice, said on December 22, 2016, Rofiat, a 400-level student of UniOsun, Ipetu-Ijesa campus, boarded a car driven by Oyebode and went missing.

However, a day after, Rofiat’s dead body was found by the Egbeda/Iragbiji Road.

Following investigation by the police, Ajibade was arrested for selling the deceased’s iPhone to one Kolapo Quadri on the instructions of Oyebode.

When apprehended, Oyebode claimed that Raji hired him to get a lady with the aid of a charm he gave him, which would make the victim to obey all instructions given to her.

Oyebode said Raji paid him N10,000 to bring the victim to his shrine, adding that he hit Rofiat with the charm, while she was putting her luggage in the car.

Giving evidence, a police officer from the Homicide Section of State Criminal Investigation Department, Adeyeye Simon, told the court that Oyebode, a commercial driver plying the Akure-Owena Road, took Rofiat to Raji house’s after he had sex with her.

He also claimed that Rofiat died at Raji’s house, while Oyebode assisted him to dump her remains on the road.

Another witness, Olatomiwa Alade, from the Department of the State Services, said the deceased’s phone was traced to Quadri, who claimed that he bought it from Ajibade.

The counsel for the accused, Suleiman Bello, urged the court to be merciful on his clients.

In his judgment, Justice Falola found Oyebode and Raji guilty of murder and conspiracy, and sentenced them to death by hanging.

The court, however, discharged and acquitted Ajibade on the counts of murder and conspiracy, but sentenced him to two years in prison for receiving stolen property.

Source: 2 Men Sentenced To Death For Using Uniosun Final Year Student For Money Ritual (Photos)

Related article: Two to Die by Hanging in Osun for Killing Final Year Student

Published: April 2, 2020
By: Sundiata Post

Abuja – Justice Jide Falola of Osun High Court sitting in Ikirun has sentenced two men to death by hanging for murder.

Falola, in his judgement on Thursday, said the prosecution counsel proved his case against the convicts – Elijah Oyebode, 25, Yusuf Ajibade, 28, and Jelili Raji, 35 – beyond reasonable doubt.

He, however, acquited the second convict, Ajibade, of two-count charge of murder and conspiracy but convicted him on the third count charge of receiving stolen property.

The judge sentenced him to two years imprisonment, while Oyebode and Raji were sentenced to death by hanging.

He also said that the shrine where the deceased was murdered be forfeited to the state government.

The convicts, who were first arraigned on Nov. 14, 2017, pleaded not guilty to three-count-charge of conspiracy to commit murder, murder and stealing preferred against them.

The State Counsel, Mr Kareem Adekilekun, had earlier told the court that the defendants murdered one Miss Rofiat Adebisi, a 400-level student of Osun University, Ipetu-Ijesha, on Dec. 22 2016.

Adekilekun said the offences were contrary to Sections 324 and 316, and punishable under Sections 319 and 322 of the Criminal Code Cap.3 Law of Osun, 2002, respectively.

The prosecution counsel told the court that on that fateful day, the deceased boarded a golf car with Lagos number plate FKJ 636 DL, driven by the first convict, Oyebode.

Adekilekun further told the court that on Dec. 23, 2016, the lifeless body of the deceased was found by the road side along Egbeda road in the state.

He said the convicts were arrested with help of the police through the iPhone 5 of the deceased, which was sold to Ajibade.

Adekilekun said Oyebode, in his confessional statement, said that Raji asked him to supply him a maid.

According to the prosecution counsel, a charm was given to Oyebode by Raji to charm any lady that he will bring and that such lady will be unconscious.

He also explained that in Oyebode confessional statement, he said the charm was used against the deceased.

He said Oyebode thereafter handed the deceased to Raji in his shrine and paid him N10,000.

He also told the court that the confessional statements of the three convicted persons were corroborated by the police, whose report showed that Oyebode had sex with deceased before taking her to Raji’s shrine.

Counsel to convicts, Mr Suleiman Bello, pleaded with the court to temper justice with mercy.(NAN)

Source: Two to Die by Hanging in Osun for Killing Final Year Student

Osun State Assembly okays death penalty for ritual killers and kidnappers (Nigeria)

Recently, on March 2, I posted an article – dated February 26 – on the subject mentioned in the heading: ritual killers and kidnappers who have been found guilty may face the death penalty in Osun State. I added critical comments which I won’t repeat here. Readers are referred my March 2 posting.

Now it has become official. On Tuesday, March 10 the Osun State House of Assembly has passed into law a bill that makes kidnapping, banditry and ritual killing a crime which is punishable by death. Will the capital punishment act as a deterrent? Or will in practice it serve s a means to revenge the heinous crime committed, not more and no less? Only the future will tell. We will follow up on the upcoming events in Osun State (webmaster FVDK).

Osun Assembly okays death penalty for kidnappers 

Speaker Timothy Owoeye

Published: March 11, 2020
By: The Nation – Toba Adedeji, Osogbo 

Osun State House of Assembly has passed into law, a bill prohibiting kidnapping, banditry and ritual killing.

The bill, which was passed into law on Tuesday, was read for the third time, having passed through debates to correct identified grey areas by the committee of the whole of the House of Assembly.

Speaker Timothy Owoeye said that with the passage of the bill, Section 364 of the Criminal Code Cap 38 Law of Osun, which stipulated 10 years for kidnappers, stood repealed and replaced with the death penalty.

He said: “Where the life of the person kidnapped, restrained or seized is lost in the process, the kidnapper(s) is liable on conviction and will be sentenced to death.”

Owoeye said any person who kidnaps another person by any means or instilling fears or tricks or compels another to do anything against his will commits an offence.

Said he: “Where the life of the person kidnapped is lost in the process and the kidnapper is liable on conviction, he or she is to be sentenced to death.

“Not lost in the process, but he is released upon payment of a ransom or performance of a ransom act, the kidnapper is liable on conviction to repay the sum he/she received as ransom and to imprisonment for life and the ransom act shall be reversed.

“Any person who knowingly or willingly allows his premises, building or place belonging to or occupied by him or her and which he has control over to be used for purposes or keeping a kidnapped person, commits an offence and liable on conviction to imprisonment for 15 years and such building shall be forfeited to the government for public use.”

Owoeye said the passed bill will soon be transmitted to Governor Gboyega Oyetola for his assent as soon as administrative processes are completed.

(…….)

Source: Osun Assembly okays death penalty for kidnappers 

Related articles: 

Osun Assembly passes death penalty for kidnappers 

Published: March 11, 2020|
By: Legit – Rahaman Abiola            

  • Osun state assembly has passed the bill seeking to impose the death penalty for kidnappers, bandits and money ritualists
  • The move became necessary in order to tackle the insecurity concern in the southwest state
  • Explaining the mission of the bill, Osun speaker Timothy Owoeye said the kidnappers will be sentenced to death should the victims die

    The war against kidnapping received a massive boost as Osun assembly completed the passing of a bill which will henceforth tackle abduction and ritual killing in the southwest state.

    The assembly passed the bill on Tuesday, March 10, which will also hopefully tackle the cases of banditry in the state, The Nation reports.

    Speaking at the assembly complex after the bill scaled through the legislative hurdle, Osun speaker Timothy Owoeye said any kidnapper found henceforth will be made to face the wrath of the law and be sentenced to death.

Source: Insecurity: Osun Assembly passes death penalty for kidnappers 

And:

Osun assembly okays death penalty for kidnappers, ritualists

Published: March 11, 2020
By: Blueprint

The Osun state House of Assembly has passed into law a bill that makes kidnapping, banditry and ritual killing punishment by death sentance.

The bill, which was passed into law on Tuesday, was read for the third time, having passed through debates to correct identified grey areas by the committee of the whole of the House of Assembly.

Speaking after the passage, the Speaker of the House of Assembly, Timothy Owoeye, said with the passage of the bill, Section 364 of the Criminal Code Cap 38 law of Osun, which stipulated 10 years for kidnappers, stood repealed and replaced with the death penalty.

“Where the life of the person kidnapped, restrained or seized is lost in the process, the kidnapper(s) is liable on conviction and will be sentenced to death.”

“Where the life of the person kidnapped is lost in the process and the kidnapper is liable on conviction, he or she is to be sentenced to death.

“Not lost in the process, but he is released upon payment of a ransom or performance of a ransom act, the kidnapper is liable on conviction to repay the sum he/she received as ransom and to imprisonment for life and the ransom act shall be reversed.

“Any person who knowingly or willingly allows his premises, building or place belonging to or occupied by him or her and which he has control over to be used for purposes or keeping a kidnapped person, commits an offence and liable on conviction to imprisonment for 15 years and such building shall be forfeited to the government for public use.”

Owoeye said any person who kidnaps another person by any means or instilling fears or tricks or compels another to do anything against his will commits an offence.

Owoeye said the passed bill will soon be transmitted to Governor Gboyega Oyetola for his assent as soon as administrative processes are completed.

Source: Osun assembly okays death penalty for kidnappers, ritualists

Kidnappers and ritual killers to face death penalty in Osun State (Nigeria)

Is the capital punishment a justifiable sanction or a sufficient deterrent to ritualistic murders, money rituals, muti murders, or whatever one calls the heinous crimes which ruthless criminals commit to increase their wealth, prestige or power? In Osun State, Nigeria, legislators contemplate to prescribe the death penalty for kidnappers and ritual killers. See the article below.

The United Nations has voted in favor of a moratorium on the death penalty (though Nigeria was among those voting against the resolution). It is to be doubted seriously if the capital punishment serves as a deterrent to ritual killers. Wouldn’t it be more logical and useful to eradicate superstition – which lies at the base of the belief in juju – by providing the necessary education and to create more job opportunities? (webmaster FVDK).

Kidnappers to Face Death Penalty in Osun

The Speaker of Osun State House of Assembly, Hon Timothy Owoeye

Published: February 26, 2020
By: This Day, Nigeria – Yinka Kolawole in Osogbo

The Speaker of Osun State House of Assembly, Hon Timothy Owoeye, yesterday said the state kidnapping and other related crimes (prohibition) bill 2020 would prescribe death penalty for kidnappers and also compliment efforts of the Amotekun Corps when fully inaugurated.

The Speaker at the public hearing on Osun State kidnapping and other related crimes prohibition bill 2020 stated that it is imperative to have an enabling law to ensure quick and diligent prosecution of kidnappers.

Owoeye pointed out that ever since the issue of Amotekun Corps arose, there has been a downward trend in the cases of kidnapping in Osun and other South-western states.

He held that the seveth Assembly under his watch is reviewing the existing laws on kidnapping which recommended that 14 years would be reviewed to death penalty.

The Speaker added that should the bill scale through the needed stages, those caught with human parts and kidnappers whose victims dies in the process of abduction would face death sentence as against imprisonment obtainable before now.

Owoeye noted that with the way kidnapping is becoming lucrative, it is sacrosanct that laws with severe consequences be put in place to protect Nigerians from kidnappers.

According to him, “Ever since the issue of Amotekun came up, I have noticed downward cases of kidnapping in Osun and other South-western states; however I am more afraid of the surge in ritual related cases.

“The country was saddened at the gruesome murder and dismembering of a 23-year-old 400 level LASU student, Favour Oladele, for money ritual purposes. We the Osun people are sadder that the killing took place in Ikoyi town, in our own soil.

“As parents and community leaders, we must begin to re-orientate our young ones on this prevailing get-rich-quick syndrome. There is no shortcut to success, the only way is preparation, hard work, patience and perseverance.”

Also, the Chairman of Osun Civil Society Coalition, Waheed Lawal, has given reasons for government at all levels to re-double their efforts to create job for employable youths, stating that it would go a long way in reducing the crime rate in the country.

Police Community Relations Committee Chairman in the state, Amitolu Shittu, on his own, commended the seventh Assembly for championing the crusade to bring sanity to the society.

Source: Kidnappers to Face Death Penalty in Osun

Nigeria: Hunchback hunters

Read this “chilling story of how a prison warden, moviemaker and con-herbalists abduct, butcher 30-year-old hunchback in Osun State, Nigeria, for money ritual.” The cold-blooded murder of an innocent man for money ritual occurred in September last year and the article was published in December.” Warning: the article contains graphic details of the heinous crime the accused allegedly committed (webmaster FVDK).

Reporters of the Saturday Sun were able to interview some of the suspects in police custody – which his amazing and raises several questions. Who authorized these interviews and why? Is this in conformity with the defendants’ rights, despite the horrible accusation against them and their alleged responsibility and guilt? What is the added value of interviewing people in detention who have not yet been tried by an impartial court?

The following article is a sad story. We sympathize with the victim and his dear ones. Once more, it is demonstrated that the belief in the power and juju obtained through ‘money ritual’ in Nigeria is widespread. We must fight against ignorance and superstition and compliment the Nigerian authorities for all efforts to help eradicating this evil from Nigerian society (webmaster FVDK).

Nigeria: Hunchback hunters

Published: December 21, 2019
By: The Sun, Voice of the Nation – Chioma Okezie-Okeh

On September 15, 2019, a 30-year-old hunchback, Olusegun Fasakin, was abducted from his home at Igangan-Ijesa, Atakunmosa East Local Government Area of Osun State. All efforts by the police, his family and friends to locate him did not yield any result. His abductors never called to demand a ransom. 

The truth of what became of him recently resurfaced. It was an accidental discovery by law enforcement agents tracking a suspect of a robbery case.

Since then, detectives have picked some of the suspects involved and interrogated them. The suspects sang like canaries, divulging the ghastly details. The suspects are a ragtag group of desperadoes, that include a prison warden (correctional officer) and a set of herbalists who are ex-convicts previously jailed for a similar offence.

Saturday Sun interviewed some of the suspects in police custody. Their stories add up to a macabre tale of the cold-blooded murder of an innocent man for money ritual.

Discovery by mistake

Acting on a petition by the victims of the armed robbery incident that took place in Ijesa, on October 10, 2019. Head of the Inspector General of Police, Intelligence Response Team (IRT), Deputy Commissioner of Police Abba Kyari, drafted operatives at its Osun annexe to investigate the case.

The IRT team, led by Chief Superintendent of Police Bisiriyu Akindele, tracked down one Akinyemi Oyebode who participated in the robbery. While on his trail, detectives intercepted a phone conversation between him and a prison warden. In the conversation, he was heard threatening to expose a prison warder if he fails to pay him some money.

He was grilled after his arrest, during which he made a clean breast that the incident he was talking about was the abduction and killing of Olusegun Fasakin, a 30-year-old hunchback.

Law enforcement agents consequently rounded up those allegedly involved in the crime. The suspects were identified as Akinyemi Oyebode, Jamiu Adeniyi, Isaac Ayandokun (a.k.a. Baba Niyi), Kehinde Oladokun (a.k.a. Alfa), Ojo Taiwo Olasukanmi (a.k.a. Ifa) and Mukaila Kolawole (a.k.a. Baba Beji) who all claimed to be herbalists, and Charles Adebusuiyi, a serving prison warder at the Ilesa Correction Centre.

Presently, all primary suspects, save for the prison warden, have been arrested

The search for a hunchback

Saturday Sun spoke with Akinyemi Oyebode, the suspect originally tracked by IRT operatives.

He alleged that several meetings were held inside the office of Charles Adebusuiyi at Ilesa Correctional Centre.

The 24-year-old, a native of Okemesi in Ekiti State, was a school dropout who trained as a vulcanizer, but has served time in prison, jailed in 2016 after he was found with wraps of Indian hemp during a raid by operatives of National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA). He was released earlier this year after three years behind bar.

His family sought to straighten his life. They bought him a motorcycle so he could earn his daily bread as a commercial bike man. He soon made a lot of customers including the prison officer.

“He was one of my early customers and I normally pick and drop him in front of the prison. One thing led to another and I told him that I have spent about three years in prison. Gradually we became friends and sometimes he will invite me to come and have a drink with him,” he said.

Oyebode insisted they held several meetings in his office at the prison premises.

“This was how I got to know the likes of Alfa, Baba Beji and Ifa who are all herbalists,” he said. “One of the days that I took Charles to Sabo, I overheard them talking about doing rituals to make money. I needed money at that time so I was interested. As soon as Charles came out and we were heading back to town, I told him that I am also interested in what I overheard and he assured me that he will alert me when everything is set. I was so excited especially when he told me that he was going to pay me one million at the end of the deal.”

Oyebode admitted he knew they were going to abduct someone for money ritual only that he was not sure who the target was.

His story threw illumination on the dark deed that took place on the night of September 15.

He narrated: “Few days later Charles called me to come and pick him up that we have an important job. I took him to where his car was. Three other persons were already there. They were not the regular faces that I knew.

“When we got to Igangan Square around 10 pm, he asked us to wait, while he and the three young men went into the neighbourhood. In less than 20 minutes, they came back dragging one tall man with them. The man did not resist or shout; he was just following them like a fool. They put him in the car and drove off. Charles told me not to worry that he would handle everything.”

After waiting for some days and it was clear Charles had no intention to give him any money, Oyebode called up and threatened to tell the police what he was up to.

The warden pacified him with N18, 000.  In the meantime, one of his friends invited him to join a robbery gang.

“We attacked a compound in August and raided the entire flats. I got a big phone which I sold for N16, 000,” he confessed.

That was to be his undoing, as IRT operatives who took charge of the case, tracked him down, for the robbery, and also routinely queried him about his telephone conversation with a “prison warden” he threatened.

With this background, the next logical question is, who commissioned the search for hunchback?

In their various depositions during interrogation, the suspects all claimed they were contracted by a shadowy figure, a medical doctor who promised them millions of naira in return for a real hunchback.

The answer could only come from Mukaila Kolawole, popularly known as Baba Beji. It was he who got the contract from a man whom he claims people know as a medical doctor.

The native of Iragbiji in Osun State earned a livelihood as a farmer. He was, however, jailed in the past for the killing of a hunchback. “I was framed,” he said.

He told Saturday Sun the details.

“In 2009, I was a member of Odua Peoples Congress (OPC). One of our members, known as Muritala, misbehaved and was suspended from the group. He got annoyed and formed his own local vigilante group. They were the ones who attacked a nearby village and abducted a woman with hunchback. We were at a meeting the night her mutilated corpse was found. The Muritala-led vigilante group raised alarm that we were the ones responsible for the murder. About ten of us were arrested that day and charged to court for murder. I was released last year after spending nine years.”

It was during those nine years he met Charles Akinbusuyi.

“He was our warden. He normally ‘dash’ us money. We became friends with him. He assured us that anytime names of those to be helped by government was compiled, he’d make sure my name was included.”

He was part of the inmates granted amnesty by the Chief Justice of Osun State in 2018.

Back to the business of September 15, he continued: “When I regained my freedom, I went back to farming but kept in touch with Charles. One day, he called me that he was tired of depending on monthly salary that he wanted a faster way of making money. He asked me if I knew anyone who is into money ritual and I said yes. I introduced him to some of my friends who were herbalists and they suggested to us different ways that we can make quick money. It was while we were at it that I received a call from my longtime customer and asked if I can help him abduct and kill a man or woman with a hunchback. He offered to pay us millions and I told Charles about it and he agreed to be part of it.”

It turned out that Baba Beji who claimed in the beginning of his confession that he knew nothing about hunchback killers, was the person who assembled the best hands to find a hunchback. “Millions were involved and I know that it is not a one-man thing,” he said. “I alerted my herbalist friends that I know and told them about the contract. Everyone started searching until Charles said that he knows of one in a village called Iwara where he normally goes to consult a native doctor.”

According to him, the prison warden planned the abduction. “Charles agreed to hire boys that will abduct the man,” he claimed. “He is a prison warden so he knows a lot of criminals.”

Kolawole took charge of the second part of the mission. “I assembled my fellow herbalists who would help in the killing and removal of the hump. All of us went to the area, and Charles and three other young men that I assumed are professionals, moved into the compound and asked us to wait. In less than 20 minutes, they came out with a man. The young men left and the rest of us entered the vehicle to an agreed place where we intended to slaughter him.”

Kolawole was the one who delivered the killing stroke. “When we got to a deserted area that night, I brought out my spanner, and because I knew what I came there to do, I quickly hit him on the head and he fell down. When I was sure he was dead, I used a knife to cut out the deformed part of his back.”

“We called Niyi, who is an expert in such things, to come and confirm if it was authentic.”

They received a big blow when the expert arrived and proclaimed the hump not useful because it was not a natural hump but a growth.

“We were disappointed. We had no choice but to discard the body and return to Osogbo.”

While he claimed that he had no idea what exactly the hump of a hunchback is used for, Kolawole admitted he knew native doctors use it to produce charm for wealth. “I heard that if you want good money from everywhere,  that some people used their (hunchback’s) bones to make bathing soap. This is what I heard, maybe doctor [the one who commissioned the job] will explain better.”

Additional information came from Olasukunmi, popularly known as Ifa, who claimed that he was lured into the crime.

“I am a movie producer and I have successfully produced three movies as far back as 2010. During my spare time, I also do herbalist work which I learnt from my father. I am still working on one of my movies when police arrested me,” he stated.

His connection to the group was Akinbusuiyi, the prison warden.

“I knew Charles in prison when I was arrested by the police during a raid. I didn’t spend much time with them before I was released from prison,” he said.

He was present on the killing ground.

He explained his role: “On the day of the incident, I met them at the express. They asked me to help hold the torch because it was late at night, at about 11:30pm. I held the torch while Baba Beji cut him open. I was not the one who killed him.”

Ifa tried to distance himself from the murder, saying: “I am a herbalist and my stock-in-trade is assisting fraudsters to be successful.”

He explained he got entangled in the plot hunchback plot. “Baba Beji came to me and asked if I knew where we could get a man or woman with a hunchback. I told him to leave me alone as I was not into any money ritual. He called me one day to join him and I asked him what it was. He said that one of his friends who can pay very well wants to see me. I thought he was real till we got to the forest,” he narrated.

He tried desperately to justify his role: “I was scared, that was why I joined him. I know how these things work out ––if I don’t join them, they will kill me.”

Baba Niyi is the expert in the group, the man who could identify the hump of a natural hunchback.

He, too, once spent time in Ilesha prison. He was one of the vigilantes that were jailed alongside Baba Ibeji over the killing of a hunchback.

He, also, knew the man who commissioned the job. “I have known the doctor for many years. He normally asked for herbs. This was why he asked me to go and cross-check. I went there and discovered that it was not real,” he said.

Baba Niyi insisted on his innocence. “I did not follow them to kill anyone,” he submitted.

What became of the body?

They claimed the remains was dumped inside the bush along Osun-Ibadan expressway.

The fugitive prison warden

Charles Adebusuiyi, the prison warden, has since vanished into thin air. His office, Nigerian Correctional Services, confirmed no one has seen him at work since  the case broke out. He has been declared wanted by the police.

From others’ confessions, it was he who allegedly contracted the services of the abductors –Emmanuel, Kazeem and another popularly known as MTN –  to go to Igangan and abduct the victim. The three abductors, presently on the run, are suspected criminals who were once inmates at the Ilesa correction al center, where Adebusuiyi was a warden until he became a fugitive.

The victim’s family

Saturday Sun spoke with one of the relatives, Olatunji Fasakin, who was at the police station.

“I am his nephew and we live at Igangan-Ijesa, Osun State,” he introduced himself.

According to him, the family had given up hope of finding when they heard that IRT operatives had cracked the case.

He gave his side of the story thus: “On September 15, 2019, around 6 pm, I left to the forest to hunt. At about 8 pm, my wife called me that they have kidnapped my nephew and urged me to hurry back home. Upon my return, I met his mother and grandmother in tears. They told me four men took him away on a motorcycle. I took my motorcycle and drove towards the direction they were heading. When I got to Iwara junction, the persons that I met said that they have left and that some of the villagers who tried to stop them were beaten up. I returned to the village and reported the matter at Igangan police post.”

Although, some community members who heard of his abduction had rightly deduced that he was picked  because of his hunched back, the family, nonetheless, had hoped his abductors would, in time, call to demand a ransom.

“But they never did,” he said, “When we couldn’t find him, everyone assumed that he was used for money ritual.”

He explained why his cousin was not a natural hunchback: “He had been sick right from birth, the constant ill-health affected his growth and he was no longer walking properly. Anyone that saw him would assume he had a hunchback. He wasn’t a hunchback.”

On how they got the news of the arrest of his abductors and killers, he said: “A family friend at Ayesan police post informed us that it was IRT Osun that arrested them.”

He said the family is still in mourning, stating, “but now we know what really happened to our brother.”

The family pleaded with the police to help them find his remains so that they can give him a befitting burial.

Source: Hunchback hunters