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Shallow graves discovered in Lagos ‘house of horror’

A traditional healing home that also doubled as a white garment church located in an estate on the outskirts of Lagos at Aderinola Olamiju Close,Ojodu…

A traditional healing home that also doubled as a white garment church located in an estate on the outskirts of Lagos at Aderinola Olamiju Close,Ojodu is now abandoned with no human activities.
The healing centre now referred to as “Harmer House of Horror” became desolate after the police raided the place and rescued about 28 people – 13 children and 15 adults – who were chained and locked up in a filthy area behind the house, by one Emmanuel Adeyemi, at the Oke-Ira area of Ojodu.
The Lagos State Police boss, Fatai Owoseni, in a review of what led to the operation said, they got a tip off from officials of the National Human Rights Commission, (NHRC) who informed them of the criminal activities around the home.
Owoseni said armed with the information, detectives from Ogba swung into actions and found a toddler around noon penultimate Friday, in the home.
This discovery, according to him, later opened a huge can of worms. The activities around the house had gone on for years without the public noticing.
Owoseni said a further probe into the activities led to discovery of 28 persons chained to the ground and another tied to a door.
He said: “The children were found after officials of the National Human Rights Commission called to say they suspected children were being abused at the home. They said they got information that they heard crying coming from the backyard.
“Policemen arrived the house, they knocked on the front door and no one answered. They got a ladder to look over the fence and that’s where they saw the chained persons,” Owoseni said.
He said. “The victims were chained to the ground. It was obvious they had all been there a while. There are obvious signs of abuse.”
He explained that most of the children also had sores and were possibly malnourishment. He said that the children found in the backyard were taken to the Lagos State Corrective Homes while a few others were admitted at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH) and that they are being treated for a variety of issues.
“All of the children found at the home cum prayer centre are presently in the care of the Lagos State Government,” he said.
Daily Trust investigations revealed that after the rescue operation, two of the children remained in the hospital late Saturday afternoon.
Medical staff at LASUTH who do not wish to be named said one of those admitted has a fractured right ankle and a 3-year-old, had superficial injuries which she sustained from the chain.
What the self-acclaimed prophet had to say
The self acclaimed prophet, Emmanuel Adeyemi alleged that he operates a traditional healing centre where sick persons are cured.
He claimed that those found chained up in his compound are mad people who were brought to him by their different relations for cure. Adeyemi said: “I am a prophet and I operate a traditional healing centre. I have cured various sick and mad people who were brought to me by their family members in the past.
“I put them in chains to restrict their movement and to prevent them from harming themselves. I do not sell human parts or use them for any rituals.”
He also said: “Those who live around here know me and they come to watch how I heal the sick once in a while. At times I flog them with horse whips to bring them back to their senses. Anytime they see me with my horse whips, they maintain themselves in other not to be flogged.
“I am assisted by my wife and some members of my church. But at times some of their relations assist me too.”
Prophet Adeyemi said: “Most of those who brought their sick here for healing are poor people who do not even have money to feed. I augment whatever amount they give me with the money I collect from members of my church.
“Two or three persons have died here since I started the healing centre. I buried those who died behind my church with the consent of their family members” he said.
Residents around the healing centre
Residents around the healing centre disassociate themselves from the place and do not wish to be identified with the home.
Balogun Ojo, a Lagos based businessman who lives within the estate emphasized the importance of people calling authorities when they suspect that something might be wrong or that children are being abused.
He said: “To call this horrific is an understatement. It is disgusting. It’s sad. It’s unbelievable. And we want the public to know that we will use every ounce of our energy to make sure the people who did this are held accountable and that these children are never hurt like this again.
“We are grateful that the prophet’s son was brave enough to expose the wrong doings if his father. I don’t even want to think about how this could have happened, how this could have played out, had our police not gotten there when they did,” Balogun said. Fatai Animashaun, who lives nearby, said he was horrified to find out this was happening so close to his house.
“When I heard of it, it was shocking. Especially something happening across the street and we didn’t even know about it or see it.” he said
Police investigation:
Owoseni disclosed that detectives had also discovered shallow graves in the house and in the swamp behind the house.
Woseni said that despite claims by the suspect that all those chained up were mad, investigations revealed that one was a cancer patient, who had developed sores from being chained up. He said, while 27 others had been taken to the Lagos State Rehabilitation Centre, one was however taken to the hospital, as she was very weak and had terrible sores gotten from the chains.
Although the initial intelligence report was that a teenager, Adeyemi ‘s stepson, 17-year-old Toba Adedoyin, was chained, subsequent intelligence by the police revealed that 27 others were also locked up.
Owoseni said they had initially invited the suspect to the station based on a tip-off, and he claimed he chained up his stepson, to cure him from the spirit of stealing.
He said: “When we got information that a teenager was locked up in a house, the area commander had invited the suspect, who claimed that his son was known for stealing and so he locked him up in chains to cure him of stealing.
“While we were still on that case, we got another credible tip-off that there were other people chained up in that same house.
“Of course, we carried out a raid and confirmed the allegation to be true. But before then, we had contacted the Lagos State Government because we don’t have the facility to keep the rescued persons.
“He claims now that he is a herbalist, but why didn’t he tell us that when we first invited him to the station over locking up his stepson? He only told us that he wanted to cure his son of stealing.”
On shallow graves discovered in the residence, Owoseni said: “We had another tip-off that there were people he buried in that compound and he confirmed it during interrogation.
“Because the area is swampy, the suspect had allegedly buried some people in the swamp and about three others in the house.
“When we asked him of their identities, he said there were some of his patients who were brought to his home from the hospital, after they were given up for dead and finally died in his care and were buried in the swamp.
“When we also queried him on the claims that he used the body parts of the deceased to sell to ritualists, he swore that he was only a traditional healer and not a human parts seller.”
Owoseni said investigation is ongoing, as the police is working assiduously to get the root of the matter.

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