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Anxiety as ritual killings, yahoo-plus, rape cases spread

As the end of the year draws nearer, residents of Lagos and Ogun states seem to be on the red alert following an incident that…

As the end of the year draws nearer, residents of Lagos and Ogun states seem to be on the red alert following an incident that took place on Monday when two suspected ritual killers were arrested around the Jibowu area of Yaba with lifeless bodies of two young boys stuffed inside a sack and tucked in the trunk of their car.

Although an investigation is still ongoing on what the suspects intended to do with the bodies of the dead schoolchildren, residents are speculating that they were planning to use them for money rituals.

The preliminary investigation carried out by detectives in the homicide unit of the Lagos State Criminal Investigation Department (SCID), Panti Street, Yaba, showed that the children died of suffocation as they were still alive when they were allegedly abducted, fuelling the belief that their abductors intended to use them for money ritual.

Days earlier, four young men who left their Lagos residence to seek the help of a herbalist in Ijebu-Ode in Ogun State for money ritual were arrested by detectives attached to the South West regional security outfit, Amotekun.

The suspects were arrested at Maborede Street by the security men when their movement on a motorcycle became suspicious.

During interrogation, the suspects alleged that they paid N25, 000 to procure a money-making charm from the herbalist to enable them to become rich.

The commander of Amotekun in the state, David Ajibola Akinwumi, a retired commissioner of police, ordered his men to go after the herbalist.

On Wednesday, October 6, a young woman named Ijeoma set out very early in the morning to go to her workplace at Victoria Island, unknown to her that the wolves in sheep’s clothing were already out looking for whom to devour.

She innocently boarded a vehicle, which the driver claimed to be heading to Victoria Island. Narrating her ordeal, she said, “At the Mangoro bus stop, I entered a vehicle that called for passengers going to Victoria Island. I jumped in, not knowing that it was ‘one chance.’

“As we moved on, the driver diverted towards another road, going towards Ogba. When I tried to raise the alarm, I was strangulated from behind and threatened that if I shouted I would be killed.

“I was manhandled, beaten, and my phones, ATM and cash collected. Then they rubbed a hot ointment known as ‘Aboniki’ into my eyes.

“My mouth was closed as they threatened to take me to a herbalist. I prayed fervently and later they threw me out of the vehicle.”

She was discharged from the hospital on Friday morning, but still battling pain in her eyes.

About a week ago in Akure, the Ondo State capital, residents of the Oke ljebu area woke up to discover the corpse of a middle-aged woman dumped by the roadside.

It was said to have been allegedly dumped by some suspected Yahoo boys who had probably used her for a money ritual.

It was observed that none of the residents who trooped out to catch the glimpse of the corpse could identify it.

They said some items such as cream, sponge, tablets, bra and clothes packed inside black nylon were placed beside the corpse.

A telephone number written on a small sheet of paper with the name Joy was also seen inside the black nylon.

A few days ago, a man named Samuel Lucky Akpan was arrested for allegedly kidnapping a four-year-old boy at the Alagbaka area of Akure, with the intent of selling him for N200, 000.

It would be recalled that the daughter of a former Ondo State deputy governor, Lasisi Oluboyo, was killed by her boyfriend about two years ago for a money ritual.

The deputy governor’s daughter, Khadijat Oluboyo, was a student of Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba Akoko at the time.

The boyfriend, Adeyemi Seidu, a graduate of the Federal University of Technology, Akure (FUTA), who killed and buried her in his room has since been sentenced to death by hanging.

The Lagos State police public relations officer, Adekunle Ajisebutu, advised parents and guardians to be more vigilant, vowing that the law enforcement officers would deal with anyone involved in illegal activities.

He, however, dismissed claims of the rise in ritual killings by Yahoo + boys. He said it was mere speculations.

“Although we cannot entirely dismiss all the allegations, there is nothing like an increase in ritual killing,” he said.

Another yahoo plus boy that was apprehended recently


How victims are lured

Residents of Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital, woke up to a gory sight of a mutilated body of an eight-year-old Chikamso Victory, who was a victim of a Yahoo-Yahoo ritual killer, who happened to be her cousin.

Ifeanyi Dike, a brother to the mother of the deceased, who lived in the same compound with them in 2017, lured the little girl to his apartment and snuffed life out of her. After killing her, Dike, who was sentenced to death last year by a Port Harcourt High Court, removed some of her vital body parts. But luck ran out of him as he was arrested by a vigilante group when he made his way to dispose of the body of the deceased.

The incident generated public outcry in Rivers State and beyond.

Dike was alleged to be working for a deadly ritual group. He confessed at the early stage of his interrogation that he wanted to supply the body parts of his victims to a certain businessman in Port Harcourt.

Another pathetic story is the case of a Port Harcourt-based serial killer, Gracious David-West.

David-West, who was also sentenced to death early this year, was the brain behind the death of about 12 young girls in different hotels located in Port Harcourt in 2019.

The convict had lured his victims to different hotels, where he drugged them before killing them.

After killing his victims, David-West would use white cloths to tie their hands and neck.

His atrocities were seen as ritual killing, given the way he murdered his victims.

He was arrested when CCTV footage of the last hotel he killed his victims exposed him.

Chokocho Etche in Etche Local Government Area of Rivers State has also become a den of ritual killers.

A victim of ritual activities going on in the area narrated recently how she watched human beings butchered and their parts sold out to willing buyers.

The victim, whose name could not be disclosed in this report for security reasons, boarded a bus with other passengers but ended the journey in Chokocho forest where deadly ritual killers operated.

She told journalists in Port Harcourt how victims in the custody of the ritual killers were butchered and sold out to buyers, who she said drove into the bush with expensive cars to buy human parts.

The Rivers State police command said they were trailing ritual killers.

Yahoo boys lure females with lucrative offers

Activities of ritual killers called yahoo boys have caused panic among female students in all the tertiary institutions in Bayelsa State as they lure most of them with lucrative offers and hard currencies.

According to a female student from the Federal University, Otuoke, who declined to be named, most of the ritualists come from the neighbouring state with exotic cars and adorned with expensive jewellery to entice their would-be victims.

She said they always offered to take their victims to expensive hotels and clubs in the town and give them a reasonable amount of money at the end of the day, but unfortunately, most of them don’t come back alive.

Last month, the police in the state, through the assistance of youths from the Ogobiri community in Sagbama Local Government Area, rescued a female student of the Niger Delta University (NDU), Deborah Emafridom from being beheaded by a suspected yahoo boy identified as Sunday Favour Ojo.

Youths of the area told Daily Trust Saturday that the undergraduate was lured by the suspected ritual killer with money and they had dated for some time.

They said he convinced her to escort him to a location along the Setraco Road, along Ogobiri-Toruebeni drive in Sagbama Local Government that faithful day before he tried to behead her.

The suspected ritualist had tied the girl’s hands and legs and was at the verge of cutting her neck before the youth of the community, who had traced his earlier movements through a revelation from a nearby person, caught him with the assistance of the men of the Operation Doo-Akpo, the state government’s special security squad.

The spokesman of the police in Bayelsa, SP Asinim Butswat, who confirmed the incident through a statement, urged the public to always volunteer useful information to the police for the security of the environment.

How the elderly rejects money from youths out of fear

In Edo State, the  Yahoo+ menace and ritual killing for money have put people on alert due to the display of affluence by youths between the ages 15 and 30.

Most people, especially the middle-aged and the elderly, are sceptical about accepting money from young persons perceived as yahoo boys these days.

Young persons are being lured with gifts and other lucrative offers from the suspected yahoo boys.

Speaking with our correspondent, a middle-aged woman called Juliet, said people were afraid of accepting things from youths perceived to be yahoo boys.

“I entered a vehicle from Agbor park to Ring Road and witnessed when one young boy brought huge money out and gave it to the driver, saying he paid for everyone in the vehicle and left, but people told the driver not to accept the money on their behalf. They paid from their pockets.

“Many girls have allegedly run mad after alighting from exotic cars that allegedly belonged to yahoo boys,” he said.

Also, Isaac Abu said people were becoming afraid of youths who became rich without a visible means of livelihood.

“About two months ago, at the popular Kada Plaza, youths suspected to be yahoo boys stormed the area, climbed the roof of their exotic vehicle spraying bundles of N1,000 notes, but people didn’t pick,” he said.

In 2018, an 18 year-old-man, Samuel Akpobome, was arrested by the police in Edo State for allegedly killing his mother for a money ritual.

He told the police that he strangled his mother, Christiana Ighoyivwi while she was asleep in her residence on Market Road, Ologbo, Ikpoba-Okha Local Government Area of the state.

He said he later had sexual intercourse with his mother’s corpse as instructed by an unidentified native doctor.

Akpobome, who hails from Delta State, said, “The native doctor told me to do so and keep her corpse for two days.”

A victim of yahoo plus


Rape associated with rituals in Bauchi

In Bauchi State, yahoo menace is not prevalent, but the state is reportedly battling with rapists associated with ritual activities, who instruct their clients, usually young men and middle-aged people to rape children as a precondition to make easy money or attain higher positions in the society.

Despite the law prohibiting violence against persons in Bauchi and efforts of the ministry of justice to secure a good number of convictions of rapists, and many other rape cases pending in various courts, rape continues to endanger young children and girls in both urban and rural communities across the state, a situation that prompted an active response from critical stakeholders, including the government and civil society organizations, to tackle the menace.

Daily Trust Saturday recalls how two young men in Jama’are Local Government Area cut the genitals of a six-year-old girl for ritual.

One of the suspects, who was arrested and being persecuted by the police is a 20-year-old Adamu AbdulRa’uf of Gandu area in Jama’are town.

He said during his conviction: “I and my friend took her to where her private part was removed on the instruction of one native doctor (ritualist) who said he would use it to make money for my friend.”

His accomplice, Abdukadir Wada Haladu, also said, “I am not the one that removed the genital part of the victim. It was my friend, but I accompanied him and took part in the operation. While he was cutting the genital, an almajiri entered the uncomplicated building, so we rushed out of the building and ran to the ritualist.

“I met my friend in the house of the ritualist and the man collected the two knives used in the operation and wrapped them. My friend also removed the cloth he used in the operation and the ritualist asked us to go. When I heard that policemen were in our house looking for me, I ran away because I knew the ungodly act we committed. I regret my action because I cannot do this to my younger sister.”

Shortly after the incident, the chairman of Jama’are Local Government, Samaila Jarma, ordered the immediate demolition of Gidan Zana, a notorious hideout for criminals, and other black spots, to stem the spread of such heinous acts.

He also ordered an immediate arrest of any native doctor involved in rituals and his clients who are in a hurry to make money quickly without doing anything meaningful.

Demanding the establishment of a mobile court to try ritual cases, the mother of a 4-year-old girl who was raped in Bauchi metropolis by a serial rapist inside a mosque said she was pained.

“The incident is still chasing my soul because of the barbaric and ungodly nature of the thing. The worst part of the incident is that it was carried out inside a mosque,” she said.

The serial rapist was said to be acting under the command of a ritualist, just like many others. 

The Bauchi State police command, however, said there had been a reduction in gender-based violence, saying it recorded only 53 cases this year, unlike last year when they had 149 cases.

Wakili attributed the reduction to the intensive fight against the menace by the police and other security agents, adding that the command opened gender violence desks in every division, to tackle the problem.

Cases of missing persons in Borno

In Borno State too, a police officer said yahoo menace was not pronounced, though it may occur differently, cases of missing persons, especially kids, occur from time to time.

Most of the missing persons were allegedly abducted for ritual practices, according to a source.

Such incidents were normally announced in mosques after a congregational prayer where people were asked to be on the lookout.

On Friday, the chief imam of Bayan Texaco Jumaat Mosque, along Baga road, Maiduguri, announced that a seven-year-old boy went missing and urged the public to search for him.

Jalingo residents worry

Increasing incidents of missing persons in Jalingo town in Taraba State is causing fear among residents, especially parents.

When Sulei Musa Kantiyal got missing and his dead body was found a day after at a maize farm, along the Mile 6 area, many parts had been removed. Hussein Maigari also got missing almost at the same time but he is yet to be found.

Both men were married with children.

Similarly, an almajiri was also found dead with many parts of his body removed around the Kona area in Jalingo.

Some suspects were arrested by the police in connection with the death of the almajiri, but it was not known if they were prosecuted.

Residents said there were many such cases but not reported to the police.

There were reports of missing children in the Tanakaban and Bashin areas.

All the incidents, according to findings, were linked to growing incidents of ritual killing.

It was also alleged that perpetrators operate with tricycles, motorcycles and cars.

This is in addition to incidents of kidnapping for ransom reported in many parts of the state capital and environs.

Speaking on the incidents during his sermon on Friday, the chief imam of the police Masjid, Mustapha Nuhu Lau, urged residents to collectively embark on prayers to seek Allah’s intervention.

The police public relations officer, Taraba Command, DSP Abdullahi Usman, did not pick our correspondent’s call and did not respond to a text message sent to him on the issue.

Why Yahoo boys, kidnappers are on the prowl

A psychologist, Habibu Ismail, said get rich syndrome was responsible for the rising cases of ritual killings.

“Parents have abandoned their role of moral upbringing and there is decadence in the society,” he said.

“Parents, teachers and clerics must take the responsibility of reversing the trend by talking to the younger generation to seek wealth through legal means,” he said.

Barrister Shehu Aliyu, a legal practitioner in Abuja, said the legal system is weak and therefore, people don’t fear the consequences of their actions.

“We need to tidy the justice system so that criminals would be treated as such. The police should be empowered to prosecute cases diligently and judges should not waste time in convicting offenders,” he said.

Eugene Agha, Christiana T. Alabi (Lagos); Raphael Ogbonnaiye (Ado-Ekiti); Bola Ojuola (Akure); Victor Edozie (Port Harcourt); Bassey Willie (Yenagoa); Iniabasi Umo (Uyo); Usman Bello (Benin); Hassan Ibrahim (Bauchi); Misbahu Bashir (Maiduguri) & Magaji Isa Hunkuyi (Jalingo)

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