Inside the world of Nigeria’s deadly money ritualists where human parts are traded like commodities (Part II)

I am flabbergasted after reading this investigative report of a courageous reporter who posed as a desperate internet fraudster who wants to ‘get-rich-quick’ by contacting herbalists tracked online. Her experiences are recommended reading!

It is hard to believe this happens in real life. Judge for yourself.
(webmaster FVDK)

Inside the world of Nigeria’s deadly money ritualists where human parts are traded like commodities (Part II)

Collage of Promise Oyewole’s (Ifa Tunde) BVN image and image obtained during WhatsApp callM

The craze for getting stupendously rich through the senseless killing of humans for rituals has reached an alarming crescendo in Nigeria. The phenomenon has thrown families of victims into untold anguish. For two months, posing as a desperate internet fraudster searching for mystical means to acquire wealth, our correspondent using the pseudonym, SEGUN ADESINA, met with herbalists tracked online for help

Published: May 14, 2022
By: Special reporters – Punch, Nigeria

Ifatunde’s identity unveiled

That same day, our correspondent set out for the agreed meeting point after receiving several calls from someone that claimed to be Promise, Ifatunde’s son.

At Ipeba, for safety reasons, our correspondent waited for Promise inside the commercial bus that conveyed him there, as he had yet to arrive. This move was pre-arranged with the bus driver before leaving the park.

After a while, a young man descended from a bike and moved toward the bus after scanning his surroundings suspiciously.

After locating our correspondent through repeated calls, he introduced himself as a 19-year-old Promise and demanded N20,000.

With his facial expression changing from that of shock to confusion when our correspondent refused to give him the money, he quickly hopped on the bike that brought him, which all the while was parked at a relatively safe distance and disappeared into a bush track. A frustrated Ifatunde would later call to ask why the money was not given to his son. He was told that the money would only be sent if the herbalist revealed his face via a WhatsApp video call.

Desperate to collect the last tranche of payment, Ifatunde agreed but insisted that our correspondent’s camera must be switched off.

At the agreed time, as soon as our correspondent initiated the video call and Ifatunde’s face became visible, a screenshot was quickly obtained.

When PUNCH Investigations compared the face captured with the one obtained from a source that carried out an independent background check on the Bank Verification Number of the account provided for the transaction, it was a match.

The 19-year-old Promise Oyewole, whom the old herbalist claimed was his son, was the manipulative voice behind the scene all the while.

When confronted with PUNCH Investigation’s findings, Ifatunde, still pretending to be an old man, vehemently denied being the same person and curiously asked, “How did you get the picture of my son?”

When he was told to refund the N30,000 paid for the money ritual or risk being arrested by the police, he went into an angry tirade and said, “I didn’t force you to bring the money. Even when we got to the police station, they would ask if I came to your house to collect it. They will also ask what you paid for. I am sure you can’t tell them you wanted to do money rituals.

“If you want to collect your money, I will send it, but you will have to be patient until I get another customer that needs the same ingredients.”

As of the time this report was published, Ifatunde had yet to make any refund and refused to pick up our correspondent’s calls.

Yet another

Still wanting to explore the murky waters of money rituals, PUNCH Investigations approached Fayemi Fafunke, another Facebook user posing as a herbalist.

Like others, he advertised his skilled ability at money-making rituals and was deft at using proverbs. He also sounded like an old man when a call was sent to him with a number found on his post. After our correspondent told him about his experiences with the two other herbalists, he was quick to condemn their actions.

However, PUNCH Investigations would later discover that he was no different.

When asked how much it would cost to prepare the ‘Osole Gbigbona’ money ritual, Fafunke said, “We have different types, and they range from N20,000 to N100,000. It depends on you.

“The one that would be prepared with human parts will cost you N100, 000. You will get a good result within a week. You can ask for a refund if nothing happens.”

When told that the amount available for the money ritual was N30, 000, Fafunke grudgingly accepted the amount.

It was agreed that an initial deposit of N10,000 would be paid to procure the items needed for the charm. At the same time, the balance of N20,000 would be brought by our correspondent to Ilaka, an area in Oyo State, to collect the charm.

Surprisingly, not long after N10,000 was transferred into a bank account provided by Fafunke, he called the next day to demand another N10,000.

Items bought by Ifatunde for the money-making ritual

“Things are now very expensive,” he claimed, adding, “In fact, when I got to where I would get the human parts, I was charged N18,000. You have to send N10, 000.”

When reminded of his earlier promise not to demand any additional money, Fafunke became furious and told our correspondent to send his account details for a refund.

An hour after the account details were forwarded, the herbalist called back and, in a calm tone, requested N5,000.

Fafunke said, “I want to help, and it’s for your own good. You can send N5,000. I am still in the market,” he said.

When our correspondent insisted on a refund, Fafunke claimed he had purchased some items already.

“So, what do you want me to do with what I have bought,” he asked and disconnected the call.

Since then, every attempt to reach the herbalist has proved abortive, and no refund has been made.

Human lives and sanctity violated

These encounters are just a glimpse into how individuals violate the sanctity and sacredness of human lives to carry out money rituals for an alarmingly increasing number of people (majorly young) possessed by a get-rich-quick syndrome.

Based on widespread reports, such adventures always have sad endings.

Despite dire consequences known to be associated with such actions, which include sudden loss of senses, loss of lives, including that of loved ones, loss of limbs, blindness, sleeplessness, and loss of properties, among other things, they are undeterred.

No week passes without the media reeling out graphic, horrifying activities of those caught with fresh or decomposing human parts or of mutilated bodies discovered in hotels or dismembered, with most victims being declared missing earlier.

While there has been glaring evidence and confessional statements from those arrested in possession of human parts or involved in the actual killing, linking their intent to ritual purposes, some victims have been suspected of being killed due to circumstances surrounding their demise for such purpose.

Distressing statistics

The menace, going by reports, is not peculiar to any region of the country, even though some have gained notoriety lately.

A report by the Foundation for Partnership Initiatives in the Niger Delta revealed that an estimated150 women and girls were killed for ritual purposes between January 2018 and December 2021 in the Niger Delta region of the country.

“Recent incidents also indicate an upsurge in targeted killings of women and girls for ritual purposes in the region, particularly in Cross River, Delta, and Imo States. In January 2022, for example, more than 10 girls were reportedly killed for rituals in Ogoja town, Cross River State. Some vital organs of the victims were allegedly harvested,” it stated.

The report, among other cases highlighted, revealed an attempt by a young man to kill his mother for ritual purposes in Owerri, the Imo State capital, and the killing of an 80-year old woman who had her body parts harvested for ritual purposes in Olomoro town, Isoko South Local Government Area, Delta State on February 7, 2022.

Hotbeds for ritual killings

Although the data only captured states in the Niger Delta, media reports indicated that the phenomenon had become endemic in states such as Oyo, Ogun, and Lagos.

Recall that several drainage tunnels were discovered to be used by ritualists in Lagos, while in Oyo State, the activities of ritual killers became known in March 2014, when a slaughter slab was uncovered in Soka, a few metres from the popular Lagos-Ibadan Expressway.

The abandoned building was initially a traditional treatment centre for mentally ill people.

A raid on the den by the Oyo State Police Command led to the rescue of malnourished victims meant for the slaughter slab and uncovered mutilated body parts of victims and decaying corpses.

Eight years after the sordid discovery, the business of abducting, killing, harvesting, and selling human parts for ritual purposes still thrives in Ibadan, PUNCH Investigations revealed.

This claim was mainly validated with the conversation and aborted transaction with Oladipupo, the Ibadan-based herbalist.

Money-making charms strange

While speaking with PUNCH Investigations, Dr Ajibola Olosun, a traditionalist, decried the alarming trend. The sexagenarian, who said he succeeded his father, Baba Olosun of Osogbo, in 1977, revealed that young internet fraudsters usually approach him with mouth-watering offers for money rituals but that he always declines.

“These Yahoo boys are not ashamed and don’t hide what they do. I am surprised because these recent developments are strange. Our forefathers don’t bequeath charms to just anybody. My father, the late Olosun of Osogbo, warned us against preparing charms for fraudsters and robbers,” he said.

On the rising use of human parts for money rituals, Ajibola, who is also a law student, told our correspondent at the Ifetedo campus of the Osun State University, where he is studying, that those killing for money rituals were not traditionalists.

“Those killing for money rituals are not traditionalists because the tradition has ethics and taboos. Ifa asks us to pray every day, how then do you do evil and keep praying? Yoruba tradition does not support such evil,” he said.

He, however, said, “Sometimes, we can use bones of the dead for rituals, but it’s not fresh ones. Maybe when you see a human bone after erosion must have washed it to the surface, you can pick it up and keep it for use. In fact, we are not allowed to exhume dead bodies.”

In the background of claims by Ifatunde, the Ibadan-based herbalist who said that traditionalists preparing money charms are not meant to meet with a client, Ajibola said in Yoruba tradition, transactions must be transparent.

“Why would he not meet with his client? I have not heard it in my life. You have to know the person you are dealing with when it involves money.

“Some taboos associated with such charm might be that a woman should not touch it or that the charm must not touch the ground. Others might require a naira note to be placed underneath,” he clarified.

All money rituals have dire consequences

The traditionalist warned that money rituals have rebounding consequences.

“My fear is that some of these things have repercussions. Some of these Yahoo boys run mad because Osole Gbigbona, requires sacrifices, and it has an expiry date. When it expires, no one can predict the repercussions. It’s like a give and take arrangement,” he warned.

Ajibola said it might be difficult to curb the excesses of individuals like Oladipupo because they are not under any recognised body.

He then advocated education as a viable tool to curb ritual killings and money rituals.

A country’s weak fight against money ritual

Embarrassed by the global outcry over the rising trend in Nigeria, especially with enthusiasts, mostly teenagers, claiming to have carried out ritual murder or taken an interest in money rituals after watching a series of trending videos online, the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, said steps would be taken to ensure the responsible use of social media. He also said national awareness would be raised against the scourge.

He said, “For those who may still be in doubt, ritual killings have assumed a worrisome dimension in recent years. Recently, in Ogun State, four young men, one of whom is 18 years old, murdered their 20-year-old female friend for money rituals.

“One of them said they learnt about using human parts for money rituals from social media. Of course, you are also aware of a case involving a female student of the University of Jos, allegedly killed by her boyfriend for ritual purposes. These killings have been widely reported by the media.”

However, based on PUNCH Investigation’s findings, nothing beyond the categorical statement had been done by the Federal Government.

Five ritual cases reported in six months —Police

The spokesperson for the Nigerian Police Force, Muyiwa Adejobi, while speaking with PUNCH Investigations, revealed that cases of money rituals were rampant in the South West.

He said, “In other parts of the county, we just have some isolated cases. In the South West, the state that has recorded the highest number is Ogun. Within six months, we recorded almost five cases in the region. Fifteen suspects were arrested, and almost all of them confessed to the crime. They have been charged to court.”

Adejobi advised parents not to entrust their children to strangers or estranged friends, adding that the police had embarked on enlightenment programmes, especially in schools to curb the menace.

“Be careful. Don’t just keep your children in neighbours’ hands,” he warned.

How ritual killers operate —Amotekun

The Oyo State Commandant, Western Nigeria Security Network, code named Amotekun, Col. Olayinka Olayanju (retd), revealed that three groups involved in human parts sales were arrested within two years of its operation.

He revealed that those into money rituals had targets and could trail their victims for some time.

“They know the identity of their victims and sometimes can trace the body of a dead victim to the burial site and have it exhumed to remove the part needed or take the whole body.

“Some will kill physically and extract the part they want for ritual purposes. As for those that sell, some people patronise them, but I don’t know much about that. They will only tell you they have lots of clients.”

PUNCH Investigations gathered from the retired military chief that most of those patronising body parts merchants are affluent.

“People now call it Yahoo Plus, no longer Yahoo Yahoo. It’s purely money rituals and what they use are human parts,” he added.

Slow justice system

On the challenges faced by the outfit in arresting and prosecuting suspected ritual killers, Olayinka complained about the slow justice system and the friction with the police.

The Amotekun boss said that while some were being tried by the police, others were prosecuted by the Oyo State Directorate of Public Prosecution.

“We arrested a suspect and handed him over to the police, but he was returned to us. The police claimed that we didn’t follow proper procedure. We approached the DPP and threatened to release the suspect.

“He (suspect) actually killed a 73-year-old man. The DPP took it up, and he has been remanded in Abolongo prison pending when the case would be charged to court,” he said.

Olayinka called for better synergy between the police and Amotekun corps to succeed in the fight against ritual killings.

Oyo State upholds prosecution –Oyo AG

The Oyo State Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Prof. Oyelowo Oyewo, said the state upholds the law when it comes to prosecuting ritual killers, adding that the DPP has not failed to wield prosecutorial powers when necessary.

“Investigations and prosecution are not the sole prerogatives of the Ministry of Justice. It is the police that will arrest, and we will write a legal opinion on whether there is enough evidence,” he added.

Our members not ritualists —OPC reacts

When contacted, the Chairman, Oodua People’s Congress, Oyo State chapter, Rotimi Olumo, denied the alleged involvement of its members in ritual killings or human body parts sales.

“The OPC, led by Iba Gani Adams, is only concerned about the security of the people,” he told our correspondent.

Psychologist harps on empowerment

A clinical psychologist, Olawumi Oluwatosin, attributed the trend to unpleasant childhood or life experiences, peer pressure, and mid-life expectations.

She recommended that empowerment programmes should be part of incentives through which the government can curb the menace.

Oluwatosin stated, “It might be difficult to convince a person already exposed to large amounts of money, rituals, and other bad things, except to replace the pleasure, which is money, with something else. But it can be done by probably providing an alternative source of livelihood like empowerment programmes.”

Source: Inside the world of Nigeria’s deadly money ritualists where human parts are traded like commodities (Part II)

Inside the world of Nigeria’s deadly money ritualists where human parts are traded like commodities (Part I)

I am flabbergasted after reading this investigative report of a courageous reporter who posed as a desperate internet fraudster who wants to ‘get-rich-quick’ by contacting herbalists tracked online. Her experiences are amazing!

It is hard to believe this happens in real life. Judge for yourself.
(webmaster FVDK)

Inside the world of Nigeria’s deadly money ritualists where human parts are traded like commodities (Part I)

From the left: Initial preparation as sent by Ifatunde; Ifatunde preparing the money-making charm and Oladipupo

Published: May 13, 2022
By: Segun Adesina – Punch, Nigeria

The craze for getting stupendously rich through the senseless killing of humans for rituals has reached an alarming crescendo in Nigeria. The phenomenon has thrown families of victims into untold anguish. For two months, posing as a desperate internet fraudster searching for mystical means to acquire wealth, our reporter, using the pseudo name, SEGUN ADESINA, met with herbalists tracked online for help

What was uncovered was a frightening, sadistic romance involving young men, voodoo, and traditionalists that are ready markets for booming human parts harvesters.

Oladipupo Olalere looked remarkably fresh for an herbalist. His eyes were fixated on a book of mystics propped on his lap. Not even the presence of a potential customer could distract him. He only managed to nod his head to acknowledge the presence of our correspondent, pointed to a weather-beaten wooden bench and went on to flip through the pages of the book, mumbling inanities.

The 30-year-old plies his trade somewhere inside the densely populated area of Oja-Oba in Ibadan, Oyo State. His shrine is a ramshackle building sandwiched between two old structures with brown corrugated iron sheets. His dimly lit room was littered with fetish objects, mostly wrapped in red cloth. While some were displayed on wooden tables, others thickly coated with dust, hung loosely on the dirt-stained wall. Inside the room, which was crammed with other odd-looking objects, was an area demarcated with a cream cloth.

Staring at the space generated an eerie feeling as it oozed secrecy. From all indications, it was not meant for prying eyes. Before the visit, our correspondent had been in talks with the herbalist, who has over four thousand followers “liking and sharing” his fetish suggestions.

Known as Ifatunde Ifayemi on Facebook, his timeline is littered with adverts beckoning on individuals interested in all manner of charms, especially those that hold great promises for individuals seeking avenues to get rich mysteriously.

With his page, a beehive of interactions, he constantly fed fans with content that boasts his mystical powers and deep-rooted traditional beliefs. With flagrant disregard for identity protection, he flaunts his clients as a way to prove his success rate as a money-ritual guru.

It was from one of his posts that our correspondent got his phone number and began a negotiation that, with time, led to a face-to-face meeting.

Initially, when the conversation was initiated, the picture painted by our correspondent to Oladipupo was one of a frustrated Yahoo boy (Internet fraudster) faced with a life of struggle and lack, and was ready to stake his neck to hit the goldmine through money ritual.

Oladipupo flanked on both sides by two clients

A journey into the mysterious

Excited by the call from not only a new client but one ready to go the whole hog, Oladipupo, with-no-holds barred, revealed and explained coded traditional terminologies, which he said were only known by money ritual underdogs.

PUNCH Investigations gathered from him that various types of money rituals had their attached consequences. Oladipupo said the two in high demand were ‘Osole Gbigbona,’ which required human parts, and ‘Osole Tutu,’ the one prepared with animal parts.

Following promises by our correspondent to ensure a huge return after hitting it big and sensing his desperation, the herbalist voluntarily opted to prepare the ‘Osole Gbigbona’ money ritual.

While still marketing the extraordinary potency of this particular charm, he warned that it would cost quite a lump sum of money. Still, he refused to divulge the amount on the phone. Oladipupo later gave our correspondent an address in Ibadan for a physical meeting to finalise the arrangement.

Meeting days later, Oladipupo ranted about popularly held perceptions on the potency of money rituals and boasted about a sizeable number of Nigerians he had made stupendously rich. The conversation, which was more of a self-advertisement, appeared to be a mind-playing gimmick meant to mentally prepare our correspondent for what was ahead.

He said, “Osole Gbigbona is real. Some are more potent and effective than others. I have done so many money rituals. From Abuja to Abakaliki, I transfer the charms. I have clients abroad and send the charms through courier,” he boasted with a glint in his eyes.

Oladipupo said he relocated to Ibadan from Ogun State because of the huge patronage he enjoys from mostly young Internet fraudsters.

He said, “I have more customers in Ibadan than Ijebu Ode. You know that a prophet is not respected in his own town. I have customers that sometimes lodge in hotels for weeks, and when it’s time to eat the concoction made for them or to collect the charms, they will come to my place. Two friends came to me from Abuja and another from Abakaliki. I posted about them on my timeline,” he said.

A vivid description of the individuals matched some uploaded pictures discovered on his Facebook page by PUNCH Investigations.

The actual cost of money rituals made with human parts

Delving deeper into the mystery, Oladipupo explained what each money ritual entailed and asked our correspondent, “Do you want the one that will yield money immediately or that which would make people start rendering monetary favours to you?

“There is money-making soap that will be prepared for you with parts of a dead body. When bathing with it, the dead body will appear. You may not see the spirit, but you will hear words like ‘give me my head or give me my flesh,’ depending on the part used. The potion prepared with body parts is more potent than those made with the head of lizards or other animals.”

Our correspondent asked for the cost after Oladipupo’s earlier advice to go for the money ritual prepared with human parts due to its efficacy.

Ingredients for rituals bought by Ifatunde.

“Osole Gbigbona will cost you N250, 000. I am offering you this charm at a cheap price. If you can get me the money, you will have so much money within one week. You will see money and become afraid,” he blurted with accompanying incantations.

The herbalist further boasted that the charm prepared with human parts can last for three years, adding, “By the time it expires, you would have made more than enough money.”

Asked if there are accompanying repercussions, Oladipupo answered, “Since you are not the one that killed the person, there won’t be any problem.”

Pretending to be pleased and convinced, our correspondent asked Oladipupo for his bank details, promising to transfer the amount needed for the money ritual once he gets to Lagos.

Surprising ease of obtaining human parts

Before taking his leave, pretending to be worried, our correspondent asked the herbalist how he intended to source the human parts required for the money ritual.

He dismissively answered that he was unaware but later said it could be harvested from accident victims or dead bodies.

After a deep thought, he (herbalist) claimed to also source from herb sellers and “from old members of Oduduwa People Congress.”

In order not to arouse suspicion by probing further, our correspondent left with a promise to transfer the N250,000.

However, three days later, instead of returning with the money, our correspondent called to make an odd urgent request – to procure a human toe for personal reasons.

Without hesitating, Oladipupo promised to contact his supplier and revert back on the price and mode of delivery.

A few minutes later, he called back with the news that the toe could be delivered at any location. He (herbalist) was ready to act as a middle man to broker the deal.

He revealed that it would cost N50,000, but after negotiation, the duo settled for N40,000.

“Once you send money and it is confirmed, I will get it from the supplier and bring it to your place. If you send the money today, I will bring it to Lagos today. My delivery fee is N5,000,” he said.

PUNCH Investigations, however, aborted the mission by not contacting Oladipupo, as it was unclear where the toe would be sourced from.

It is worth noting that the transaction was hinged on an agreement of payment before the supplier would source for it.

After two weeks of silence, the herbalist sent a message to our correspondent to find out why he had yet to hear from him, but he got no response.

Enter Ifatunde, 19-year-old herbalist cum swindler

In Oyo State, Ifatunde, a 19-year-old, who hoodwinked our correspondent into believing he was in his 70s, held sway.

He was the second herbalist that PUNCH Investigations’ search unearthed on Facebook and was contacted via a number advertised on his posts. In what could pass as a veiled attempt to deceive desperate victims, Ifatunde had the ‘Odu Ifa Corpus’ symbol as his profile picture.

However, PUNCH Investigations stumbled on another of his Facebook accounts with another mystical symbol used as a display picture through a WhatsApp number given to our correspondent by the herbalist, which he claimed belonged to his son.

Findings showed that the first Facebook account had 2,140 friends, while the second had 1,000.

He spoke with an unadulterated Ibadan accent in a series of telephone conversations with our correspondent that spanned two weeks. He pretended to be a gruffly old man. He continuously referred to our correspondent as ‘Omo mi’ (my child).

Still sounding like a desperate Internet fraudster, our correspondent reeled out why he needed to become rich. Ifatunde wasted no time boasting that he possessed the ultimate mystical power to conjure wealth and success.

However, his bill was small compared to that of the Ibadan-based herbalist.

“Are you ready for it now?” he asked after days of back and forth on the phone with our correspondent.

“I will charge N95,000 for the one that needs human parts. Since you are 30 years old, there is no problem. If you are not up to a certain age, you cannot use it. Some people that are 19 and 20 years old have approached me, and they got what they wanted. Put your mind at rest,” he said.

After pleading with Ifatunde to reduce the fee, the amount was brought down to N40,000. It was agreed that the amount would be paid in two instalments of N20,000.

The herbalist explained that the deposit would be used to buy the human parts and other items needed to perform a particular sacrifice. At the same time, the balance of N20,000, would be paid once the charm was ready.

“I will do it for you. I hope you won’t be an ingrate because the N40,000 is too small. Do you have the money with you now,” he asked.

However, the money ritual came with a clause – no physical meeting between him and our correspondent until the charm is ready.

“Seeing me would render the charm useless,” he warned.

In what appeared to be a tactic to avoid being traced, Ifatunde requested that the money be transferred to a POS operator, claiming to have issues with his bank account but when our correspondent insisted on paying through a bank or back out, he agreed to send the bank details of his son.

He kept demanding more

After an account with the name Promise Oyewole was sent, the first instalment of N20,000 was paid. However, two days later, Ifa Tunde called to demand an additional N10,000 to purchase ‘essential materials’. He claimed the N20,000 was insufficient and highlighted the dangers of aborting the ritual halfway. The money was sent but with an agreement that only a balance of N10,000 would be paid when the charm was ready.

Surprisingly, the herbalist called the next day to demand another N20,000, to carry out another special sacrifice to fortify the money ritual. He said, “Something appeared to me last night, and I had to suspend the preparation. Before I finish the process, we need to make a sacrifice. I saw something with positive and negative side effects. If the sacrifice is made and you start using the charm, you will get results within three days, but if not, it won’t work.

“It seems that you have been using other charms before now, and they don’t work. I don’t want that to happen again. And you know that there is no way we can perform the sacrifice without money. N20,000 should be enough.”

At this point, it dawned on our correspondent that he could possibly be dealing with an Internet fraudster masquerading as an herbalist.

Our correspondent offered to bring the N20,000 to his shrine, pretending to play along. Still, Ifatunde refused and voiced fears that it portended danger.

He referred to an earlier discussion wherein he warned that the charm forbade any physical meeting with a client. Instead, he proposed sending his son, Promise.

“He would wait for you by the roadside at Ipeba to collect the money,” he said.

Findings by PUNCH Investigations showed that Ipeba is a remote village along the Ogbomoso-Oyo Road.

To be continued

Source: Inside the world of Nigeria’s deadly money ritualists where human parts are traded like commodities (Part I)

Nigeria: ‘Stop Ritual Killings’ Campaign taken to Secondary Schools

The alarming increase in reported cases of ritual murders in the country – nothing less than human sacrifices – has inspired a number of muslim youth in Nigeria to start a campaign addressing the youth in secondary schools in Ibadan, Oyo State.

I have mixed feeling reading this news. On the one hand, it makes me feel good that people speak out against the crime of ritual murder – senseless, criminal, outrageous, unnecessary, based on greed for power, status or wealth – and take concrete action against it. The example deserves to be followed on a national level. On the other hand, it is sad that such a campaign is still necessary in the year 2022. We are living in the third millennium!

By the way, where are the nation’s rulers in all this, the government, the people’s representatives in parliament? It may be useful to recall a recent decision of the House of Representatives asking the Federal Government to declare a state of emergency on ritual killings in the country (see my February 11, 2022 post)?
(FVDK)

A group of muslim youths under the aegis of Majlis Khuddam ul Ahmadiyya Nigeria (MKAN) has embarked on a sensitization campaign to secondary schools in Ibadan (Oyo State)

Published: March 19, 2022
By: National Insight, Nigeria

Appalled by the increasing rate of crime especially ritual killing in Nigeria, a group of muslim youths under the aegis of Majlis Khuddam ul Ahmadiyya Nigeria (Cocacola Dil’a) has embarked on sensitization campaign to secondary schools in Ibadan.

The focus is to enlighten the younger generations on the dangers ahead if the incessant ritual killings and other form of crimes is not abated.

Some of the school visited included Community grammar school Mokola Ibadan, Awotan / Araro community High School , Apete, Humani Alaga high school sango, Akufo High school among others.

They noted that ritual killing (human-based sacrifice) has been on the increase as the number of missing persons reportedly killed gruesomely for ritual purposes increases all over the country in the recent time.

The group also attributed the major cause of the menace to get-rich-quick syndrome among young adults in the country, i.e, the urge to get rich earlier has led lots of youths into engaging in money ritual activities.”

“Teenagers who are expected to be preparing themselves for the future have now began to think about owning exotic cars and houses. Many resort to internet fraud and other cyber crimes, and when that seems not to be working as expected, they engage in ritual to enhance their fraudulent activities and to maintain the affluent life they had begun to live.”

Oyo State, Nigeria

Nigeria: a frightening analysis of ritual killings in the southwest of the country (2014 – 2021)

During the past year, many of my posts on this site focused on Nigeria and the alarming scale of ritual murders and related crimes in this country, contributing to a nation-wide security problem though, one knows, Nigeria’s security problem has many faces. See my February 2, 2021 post Security challenges in Nigeria.

This post was the third in a row focussing the growing security problems which nearly 200 million Nigerians face daily. On January 30, I published Nigeria: curbing the menace of ritual killings in the South West and on January 31, I posted Nigeria: Insecurity: Government must keep its end in this social contract, says Ekhomu.

Also this year I drew attention to the scourge of ritual killings in Nigeria (on May 11) and published a plea ‘Let the carnage of ritual killings in Nigeria stop‘ (on March 7). 

On May 26, 2021 a Nigerian reporter, Ayodele Oluwafemi, of The Cable, a Nigerian news outlet, published a frightening analysis of mysterious disappearances and ritual murders during the past seven years. Already the list of missing and/or murdered persons is impressive.  

“Although reported cases of ritual killings show that the incident happens in all regions of the country — media reports suggest that the south-west accounts for a large percent of the killings.”

Subsequently the author analyses some of the media reports published in the past few years on ritual killings in the south-west region of the country.

Warning: the graphic description of the ritual murders may upset certain readers (FVDK).

NB: The links included in the following Cable article are the original links and consequently, I am not responsible for their proper functioning (FVDK). 

Overview: how south-west is becoming a hotbed of ritual killings in Nigeria

Published: May 26, 2021
By: Ayodele Oluwafemi – The Cable, Nigeria

In recent times, reported cases of ritual killings have surged in many parts of the country. Law enforcement agencies have arrested many suspects of ritual killings — with gory pictures of human skulls and dismembered bodies.

Aside from the arrest and parade of suspected ritualists by the police, the Nigerian social media space has become a place where users mobilise members of the public to help find missing friends, colleagues, and family members.

As a result of this trend of missing persons, Enough is Enough (EiE), a civil society organisation, created a website alongside social media platforms to document cases of missing persons.

“Nigerians are reported missing daily. But most often, there are no records of these missing people, it is our mandate to document these records and make it easy to find those who are lost and missing,” an excerpt on the website’s front page says.

In most cases, some of these persons declared missing are found but many remain missing — with the hope of getting found by their families and friends dimming every passing day.

The trend of missing persons and the police’ arrest of suspected ritual killers suggest that many of those declared missing may have been victims of ritual killers.

Although reported cases of ritual killings show that the incident happens in all regions of the country — media reports suggest that the south-west accounts for a large percent of the killings.

TheCable analysed some of the media reports published in the past few years on ritual killings in the south-west region of the country.

On March 24, 2014, the nation was thrown into a moment of confusion when a kidnappers’ den was discovered in Soka community, Ibadan, Oyo state.

The den was discovered by some commercial motorcyclists, popularly known as ”okada”, who were searching for two of their colleagues after they took two passengers to the community without returning.

After the den was busted, human skulls, dried human parts alongside malnourished victims which were reserved for ritual purposes, were discovered.

Personal items like bags, shoes, and identity cards which appeared to be victims’ belongings were also seen at the den.

Since the 2014 shocking discovery at Soka, there have been multiple revelations of suspected ritual killings, especially in the south-west of the country.

On May 6, 2015, the decomposing body of Precious Kessington Omorodion, a 23-year-old, was recovered in a  kidnappers’ den at Ota, Ogun state after 18 days of disappearance.

The police also rescued a 28-year-old woman found in the uncompleted building.

In 2016, the Ogun police discovered a ritualists’ den located within an abandoned filling station at Iyana-Ilogbo axis of Sango-Ota of Ogun state, following a tip-off from a member of the community.

The police arrested two suspected ritualists in connection with the activities carried out in the den.

On August 30, 2017, two people were killed by a mob in the Mushin area of Lagos state over alleged involvement in kidnappings and ritual killings. 

The incident was said to have happened at Challenge bus stop, Mushin, after a vulcaniser sighted a suspected mad man discussing with someone in a tunnel at the bus stop.

On October 7, 2017, the Ogun police arrested six members of a syndicate allegedly involved in killing people for ritual purposes at different locations across the state.

The police said two members of the syndicate were caught with a bag containing fresh and dried human parts.

On August 20, 2018, the Lagos police arrested Taiwo Akinola, a suspected cult member, for allegedly attempting to kill Alice Akinola, his mother, for money rituals.

It was reported that the assailant attacked his mother by hitting a plank on her head at their residence at Raji Ajanaku street, Alaja road, Ayobo axis of Lagos after he had sent his nephew to go and buy a white handkerchief and a pack of cigarette.

On November 27, 2018, two brothers identified as Saheed Obadimeji and Ayodeji Obadimeji were said to have beheaded a teenage boy at an uncompleted buildingin Sapati town, Ibeju-Lekki, Lagos.

It was reported that the suspects cut off the boy’s head for the purpose of selling it for N200,000.

The suspects have been remanded in prison.

On January 18, 2019, the Ekiti police busted a ritualists’ den in Odo, Ado Ekiti, and arrested two suspected ritualists, after a tip-off from members of the community on suspicion of ritual activities in the area.

On June 20, 2019, Dotun Ogunlade, a prophet popularly called ‘Arole Jesu’, was arrested in Igboora area of Oyo state for the alleged murder of Bosede Ogunlade, a 25-year-old housewife for ritual purposes. 

 The prophet was said to have lured Bosede, who hailed from Ilorin in Kwara state, with the promise of providing solution to her economic and marital problems. 

On October 5, 2019, the Ogun police arrested two men, Emmanuel Aro, aged 25, and Anu Olofinju, aged 25, with a human skull along Ijoun road, Eggua axis of the state.

The two suspects were said to have been sighted at a cemetery, digging the grave of the mother of one Amoo Bankole.

In June 2020, residents of Akinyele LGA in Oyo state were thrown into panic over the series of rape and murders that occurred in the area.

Within one month, three young ladies — Grace Oshiagwu, Barakat Bello, and Azeezat Somuyiwa — were murdered in their residences located in Akinyele LGA in a pattern that suggested ritual killing.

On the Akinyele killings, the police arrested one Sunday Shodipe, a 19-year-old suspect, who confessed that he received food and N500 for each of the six persons murdered in the area.

He said he was sent on the mission by a 50-year-old herbalist, whom he claimed was his master.

“Anytime I’m to go for the killing, baba (referring to the herbalist) will give me some charms and also teach me some incantation to be recited so that nobody will see me at the scene of the crime,” he said.

On August 14, 2020,  the Ondo police arrested one Festus Adebayo, a 65-year-old pastor alongside Gbemisola Olufusi for alleged involvement in ritual activities.

The duo was accused of using the menstrual pad of one Oluwasemilore Iluyomade, a 20-year-old girlfriend of Olufusi for ritual purposes.

On 29 October 2020, Rotimi Olukoju, a guard with a microfinance bank was reportedly killed by suspected ritualists and his head cut off at Okia area of Oka-Akoko, Ondo state.

The deceased met the suspected ritualists on his way to the farm.

On December 7, 2020, Osun police uncovered a ritualist den allegedly operated by two siblings identified as Monsuru Tajudeen and Lawal Tajudeen, located around Yemoja area in Iwo, Osun state.

The suspects were arrested after a phone belonging to a missing person was tracked to one of the suspects. Corpses were also discovered in the suspects’ house — a development that made angry youths in the area raze the building.

On January 17, 2021, an elderly man, who according to residents, usually acts like a mentally unstable person, was arrested by the police for alleged kidnapping and ritual activities in Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti state.

The police discovered some items belonging to his victims like cheque books, wigs, and ATM cards in an abandoned uncompleted building adjacent to the Ekiti State Teaching Hospital, where the suspect lived.

On April 12, 2021, a woman — identified as Iya Elekuru — was murdered in a building by suspected ritualists in Ile-Ife, Osun state. Her killers were said to have lured her into the building under the pretence they went to buy food from her.

When her corpse was discovered, the head and hands had been cut off.

RIGHT TO LIFE

Every Nigerian citizen is entitled to the right to life as enshrined in section 33 of the 1999 constitution (as amended).  The right to life can only be denied if such a person is sentenced by the court when found guilty of a criminal offence.

Those who engage in ritual killings risk heavy punishment when convicted by the court as states have legal provisions to punish ritual killers and kidnappers.

Despite the legal provisions against ritual killings and other related capital offences, ritual killings still persist.

Source: How south-west is becoming a hotbed of ritual killings in Nigeria

Nigeria: ‘The spate of kidnap for ritual killings in Kwara State is worrisome; ritual killers operate freely in different parts of the state’

Last month I published several posts on ‘money rituals’ in the southwest and southwest of Nigeria, where every man, woman and child knows what ‘money rituals’ stands for: ritualistic murders and related superstitious activities. In Ondo State a ritual killing network was uncovered; in Ogun and Oyo states police arrested several ritualists suspected of engaged in ‘money rituals’ and in Rivers State police paraded three suspects over the alleged ritual killing of a 9-year boy.

The following article reports on money rituals in Kwara State, also in the southwest of Africa’s most populated country. It is not the first time reporting on ‘money’ rituals’ in Kwara State. See my posts dated May 11, 2021 The scourge of ritual killings in Nigeria and December 20, 2020 Nigeria: Ritual killings everywhere (a 2014 article) and February 4, 2020 Nigeria: Ritual killings on the increase, aw well as November 20, October 30, and May 24, 2018.

Kwara State Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq came under fire recently from the Kwara State chapter of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP). The party accused him of not demonstrating any commitment to deal with the situation, referring to the rise in kidnap for ransom and ritual killings. Party officials complained that criminal elements including kidnappers and ritual killers now operate freely in different parts of the state.

Kwara State is in this respect no exception, as my previous posts on Ondo, Ogun, Oyo and Rivers states amply demonstrate.

As we will see in the next few days, other states in Nigeria share the same horrid situation. Both state government and the federal government fail to address this national curse adequately (webmaster FVDK).

Kwara PDP tasks Gov Abdulrazaq on citizens security

Kware State Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq

Published: November 25, 2021
By: Abdulrazaq Adebayo – Daily Post, Nigeria

The Kwara State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has tasked Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq, to wake up to his responsibilities and rescue citizens from the current insecurity in the state.

Reacting to the murder of a kidnap victim, Adegboyega Onijala, the PDP alleged that despite reported cases of kidnappings and killings in different parts of the state, “the governor has not demonstrated any commitment to deal with the situation.”

The party in a statement in Ilorin on Thursday by the state Publicity Secretary, Tunde Ashaolu, condemned the murder of Adegboyega Onijala noting that ” the spate of kidnap for ransom and ritual killings in Kwara State in recent times is worrisome and quite unfortunate.”

The party lamented that criminal elements including kidnappers and ritual killers now operate freely in different parts of the state, destroying lives and throwing families into a state of sadness.

” What is more worrisome is that the state government, saddled with the responsibility of protecting lives and property, appears helpless in securing the lives of Kwarans who live in perpetual fear of attacks and kidnappings,” it added.

The party charged security operatives to investigate the sad incident and bring the perpetrators to book.

It commiserated with the family of the victim and the people of Isin Local Government Area in general.

Recall that the Police on Wednesday recovered the corpse of Adegboyega Onijala who was kidnapped at about 7pm by unknown gunmen last Saturday in Olla community of Isin Local Government Area of the state.

He reportedly died at the hands of the kidnappers in the forest as a result of the severe machete cut injuries inflicted on him during the attack.

DAILY POST gathered that the kidnappers had collected about N400,000 as ransom but eventually killed the victim.

Source: Kwara PDP tasks Gov Abdulrazaq on citizens security

Nigeria: arrests of ritualists accused of ‘money rituals’ in Ogun and Oyo states

Introduction
The alleged money ritual described in the first article below is not a ritual murder in the traditional sense. However, this is not meant to say that ‘traditional’ ritual murders are not repulsive and not criminal. All ritual murders are cruel and criminal.

The ritualistic act planned or performed by the three West Africans involved in the first reported case here – a Nigerian, a Togolese and a Benin national – has in common with ‘traditional ritualistic killings’ that the perpetrators act in the firm belief that their nefarious act will bring them luck, more wealth or increased power. in short, superstition in combination with unscrupulous behavior. 

Unfortunately, this case is not an isolated case. On November 1, men of the Amotekun Corps in Ogun State arrested two ritualists who were in possession of a casket containing the dismembered corpse of a man, victim of a ritual killing. Operation Amotekun was created in January 2020 by the governors of six South Western states, namely: Oyo, Ogun, Osun, Ondo, Ekiti and Lagos  in order to combat the widespread insecurity in the region. Operation Amotekun is a kind of paramilitary security network and was declared unconstitutional by the FG in Abuja. 

The two suspects who were arrested have confirmed that the corpse in the casket was for money rituals. The State Commander of Amotekun Corps in Ogun, David Akinremi, confirmed to the press that the two suspects have been handed over to the Police for further investigation.

The third case is about the arrest of two suspected ritualists in Oyo State. With their arrest, the police recovered a fresh human head and the dismembered body of the victim of a ritual murder, a young Lagos girl.

It illustrates that money rituals take place all over the South West of Nigeria, if not in more states. Sadly, if I were to report on alle cases of money ritual in Nigeria, I would fast run out of space and time.

This is a sad conclusion but unfortunately very true (webmaster FVDK).

Ogun police arrests Benin national, Togolese for killing daughter, beheading neighbour’s corpse for money ritual

The two suspected ritualists 

Published: November 15, 2021
By: Otuya Daniel – The Street Journal 

Men of the Ogun State Police Command have arrested two suspected ritualists, Monday Karezu, 32, a national of Benin Republic and Anagonou Kamelan, 44, a Togolese for unlawful possession of a fresh human head.

The suspects were arrested at the house of a herbalist while attempting a money ritual, Punch Nigeria reports.

The state Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Abimbola Oyeyemi, in a statement on Sunday, said the suspects were arrested on November 3, 2021, following information received by men of the Modus Operandi Section of the State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department.

The PPRO added that the policemen got a hint that some men were going to a herbalist’s house with a human head to make a money ritual. He said, “Upon the information, the DSP Nurudeen Gafar-led team swiftly moved to the area where the herbalist’s house was situated and laid ambush there.

Two hours after being there, the two suspects arrived on a motorcycle with a bag containing the human head, and they were promptly arrested.

On interrogation, Karezu informed the police that he got the head from a place known as Ijale Papa.”

Further investigation revealed that Karezu is a resident of the Sabo area of Abeokuta, and that the human head with him was that of a woman who died three months ago during childbirth and was buried not too far from his house.

It was further discovered that the suspect had one time killed his nine months old daughter and used her head for the same purpose, but did not succeed.

He had also exhumed another corpse, removed the head and used it for money-making ritual, but failed.

The latest one that landed them in trouble was introduced to him by Anagonou Kamalen, a Togolese, who informed him that he knew a herbalist who could do an original money-making ritual for him with a human head, hence he exhumed the corpse of the woman buried not too far to his house, cut off the head and in the company of his accomplice, took it to the herbalist’s house, where they were apprehended before delivering it.

Oyeyemi said the state Commissioner of Police, Lanre Bankole, had ordered a full investigation into the past activities of the suspects with a view to charging them to court at the end of investigation.

Source: Ogun police arrests Benin national, Togolese for killing daughter, beheading neighbour’s corpse for money ritual

And:

Ogun Amotekun arrests two ritualists with casket of dismembered corpse

Published: November 2, 2021
By: Otuya Daniel – The Street Journal 

Two suspected ritualists, Dare Banjo and Toheeb Talubi were arrested by men of the Amotekun Corps in Ogun State on Monday, November 1st, 2021 in the Ijebu-Igbo area of the state with a casket of a dismembered corpse, Daily Post is reporting.

The State Commander of Amotekun Corps in Ogun, CP David Akinremi (rtd) said in a statement on Tuesday that the suspects were apprehended following a tip-off that “some persons were sighted bringing in a casket in the middle of the night.”

As a result of the information, Akinremi said his officers quickly mobilized to the scene, where they arrested Dare Banjo, who claims to be a herbalist and one of his accomplices, Toheeb Talubi.

The statement reads, “At about 8pm yesterday, November 1st, 2021, Amotekun operatives in Ijebu Igbo received an information that some persons were sighted bringing in a casket into a house in Fara area of the town.

“The operatives quickly mobilized to the scene and on arrival, they discovered that the building is the residence of one Dare Banjo, who is a herbalist.

“A casket was seen at a corner of a room in the house and the stench from the casket triggered suspicion. The herbalist, Dare Banjo was then asked to open the casket.

“Behold, inside the casket was a dismembered corpse, without head, of a suspected male victim of ritual killing by the herbalist and his cohorts.

“Hence the said Dare Banjo and of his accomplice named Toheeb Talubi ‘m’ were immediately arrested.

“The two suspects who confirmed the corpse was for money rituals have been handed over to the Police for further investigation,” Akinremi concluded.

Source: Ogun Amotekun arrests two ritualists with casket of dismembered corpse

And

Two ritualists behead Lagos girl lured to Ibadan

Published: October 28, 2021
By: Otuya Daniel – The Street Journal 

Operatives of the Nigeria Police  Force Oyo State Command have arrested two suspected ritualists, Ismaila Wasiu and Mutairu Shittu and recovered a fresh human head from them,Vanguard is reporting.

The state Police Public Relation Officer, DSP Adewale Osifeso made this disclosure in a statement issued on Wednesday, October 27th, 2021 in Ibadan, the state capital.

Osifeso said that the police received credible intelligence from residents of Ayekale, Saki Area of Oyo State, at about 2:30 pm on Monday who alleged the suspected ritualists, Ismaila Wasiu, 29, and Mutairu Shittu, 35, were in possession of a fresh human head.

He said, “Oyo State Police Command attached to Saki Divisional Police Headquarters immediately swung into action which resulted in the arrest of the duo, the recovery of the fresh human head and the dismembered body of the victim, who has been identified to be one Mujidat.

“Preliminary investigation reveals that the victim was lured from Lagos through a phone call by one of the suspects, Ismaila Wasiu, before they killed her.”

Osifeso said that the investigation into the incident was ongoing and the dismembered body of the victim has been deposited in a morgue.

“The dismembered body has been deposited at the morgue, while intensive investigations regarding the incident continues,” he added.

He noted that the suspects will be charged to court after investigation.

The Commissioner of Police of Oyo state, CP Ngozi Onadeko urged citizens to draw lessons from the gruesome murder of the victim.

She also called on all law-abiding people resident in the state to give their unwavering cooperation towards the rendition of timely and actionable information capable of fueling the Command’s crusade against crime in the state.

Source: Two ritualists behead Lagos girl lured to Ibadan

Nigeria Humanist Movement leader Leo Igwe comments on the arrest of suspected ritualists in Ibadan, Oyo State, Nigeria

Leo Igwe is a well-known human rights advocate, specialized in campaigning against witchcraft and cruel ritualistic practices. I mentioned him before on this site (see my June 24, 2018 post on Superstition in Mozambique) and also elsewhere, when he spoke out against ritual murders in Africa: in his home country Nigeria in 2004, in Swaziland (nowadays called Eswatini) in 2008, and in African countries in general in 2010 and 2012. Recently, the infatigable human rights campaigner was again in the spotlight when condemning ‘money ritual’ practices in Nigeria, calling the criminal acts ‘useless’ and trying to persuade ritual killers to give up their ‘useless’ practices.

I wish to commend Leo Igwe for his tireless efforts to end these cruel, criminal and senseless practices. The world and Africa in general need more Leo Igwe’s to condemn and end ritualistic murders on the continent (webmaster FVDK).

Nothing like ‘money rituals’, ritual killers are killing in vain – Nigerian human rights advocate Leo Igwe

The leader of the Nigerian human rights group reacts to the recently reported arrest of suspected ritualists in the Boluwaji area of Ibadan, Oyo State.

Published: September 24, 2021
By: SaharaReporters, New York

The Nigerian Humanist Movement has urged Nigerians to stop believing they can get rich or become wealthy through the killing of fellow citizens for money rituals.

NHM, a group that advocates the principles of humanism, urged Nigerians to understand that the notion of ritual money and wealth is completely baseless and invalid.

The rights group was reacting to the recently reported arrest of suspected ritualists in the Boluwaji area of Ibadan, Oyo State.

Reports emerged during the week that members of the Western Nigeria Security Network, codenamed Operation Amotekun had arrested suspected ritualists, who were in possession of the body parts of a 73-year-old man.

The suspects, during interrogations, had told operatives of the security outfit that a Muslim cleric, whom they identified as Alfa Salam Salam, asked them to get some human body parts for rituals.

But in an interview with SaharaReporters on Thursday, NHM, through its National Director, Leo Igwe, said irrational conceptions of how to make money or become wealthy and successful often lead to killing of innocent people in vain.

“I don’t think there is any way the claim ritual money is validated, at least in a way that can be confirmed by a third party.

“For example, if you want to make money using human body parts. Do you want to make it in naira, or dollars or pounds or euros? Actually, if it is true that you really want to make money through rituals, why are Nigerians not making money in these foreign currencies that I mentioned that have more value than naira if we are to go by that. That’s number one.

“Number two. We know very well that the Central Bank or an affiliated bank agency is responsible for printing currencies and they come with specific numbers. In other words, if we have to account for the money these people say they are making through rituals, where are they getting the numbers that tally with what is in circulation?

“Let assume you go and bring it from the vault of First Bank, what happens to that branch where the money disappears from? What happens to the Branch Manager? Are they not going to account for it? If that’s the case, you know how many branch managers of banks would be crying out every day that money has disappeared?

“We have not heard from any of these commercial banks that they are looking for money. Now, even if it disappears, how are we not going to probe the way that it was stolen?”

Igwe further argued there is a possibility of people stealing public money and hanging it around a money ritual that does not exist.

“My point is that let’s put all these superstitions aside and accept that some people actually steal to make money and tie it around money rituals. People can actually make money by conniving with bank officials in a way we don’t know and start flaunting it that they did money rituals. It doesn’t make sense!

“So what am I trying to say? It doesn’t make sense at all. It is important for us to begin to openly challenge this claim. The reason is that our young people are dying. Honestly, I’m in pain. I’m not joking. When I see how young men are killing their fathers, mothers, and relatives in the name of rituals for money, I cry because it is an illusion.

“It is baseless and does not exist anywhere. Instead of providing them with evidence-based ways of making money, they will tell them to go and bring the heads of their family members,” he added.

Source: Nothing Like Money Rituals, Ritual Killers Are Killing In Vain – Nigerian Humanist Movement

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