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Benue’s mass graves: Police parade suspected serial killers, gang leader

The Police in Benue State on Friday paraded suspected serial killers, who allegedly operated the mass graves in Gbatse community of Ushongo Local Government Area…

The Police in Benue State on Friday paraded suspected serial killers, who allegedly operated the mass graves in Gbatse community of Ushongo Local Government Area of Benue State.

Daily Trust reports that the graves were discovered in the premises of the alleged gang leader, Iorwuese Kpila, few days ago after he was arrested by the police and made confessional statements.

The State Commissioner of Police, Mukaddas Garba, who paraded the ring leader of the killer squad before newsmen at the police headquarters in Makurdi, disclosed that, the suspects are kidnappers, serial killers and armed robbers.

“Intelligence was gathered that a kidnap/robbery gang operates within Ushongo Local Government Area of Benue State. Upon receipt of this information, a crack squad was deployed to the area for investigation.

“On 21/09/2019 at about 4:30pm, the gang leader, one Iorwuese Ikpia and five other suspects all male of Mbagwaza council ward, Ushongo were arrested in connection with the case.

“During interrogation, the suspects confessed that they have been armed robbers operating within zone Ukum, Kwande, Kastina-Ala and Ushongo LGAs who opted for kidnapping as a result of tight deployment of security operatives on the high ways,” he said.

Garba added that the suspects specified that the gang kidnapped 16 persons, robbed them of their vehicles, motorcycles and other belongings, killed their victims, buried the corpses and planted cassava on the graves as a way of covering the crime.

He said that further investigation led to the discovery of 16 shallow graves of which 11 corpses had been exhumed and identified by their family members, disclosing that a receiver of the properties stolen by the gang; one Shizoon Nyityo of Zaki-Biam had also been arrested.

The police commissioner listed items recovered from the suspects to include, one locally made single barrel gun, a rope used by the gang members to strangulate their victims and assorted charms.

Speaking with journalists,  Kpila, popularly known as “Doctor,” admitted that his gang killed 16 people within the space of three months.

The 30-year-old also confessed that the killings were means to acquire powers from a spirit being referred to as queen mother and that he was to kill more four people to bring the numbers of victims to 20 which was the target set by the spirit mother.

“My late father was a native doctor and worked with many spirits. So when we kidnap people, we kill them and give the blood to queen mother. We collect items of victims like, cars and motorcycle and sell them,” the suspect added.

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