July 12, 2014
While the dust raised by the kidnappers’ den discovered at Soka in Ibadan, Oyo State, is yet to settle, another criminal dungeon was uncovered in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital, this week fuelling concerns in the community about the activities of kidnappers. Weekly Trust reports.
The Kwara State police command astounded the public this week when they revealed the discovery of an uncompleted building used as a hideout by people involved in ritual activities in Ilorin. The building, located along Airport-Eyenkorin road, near NASFAT Village, a suburb of the state capital, was discovered following complaints from residents.
Commissioner of Police, Mr. Ambrose Aisabo, said the: “The command’s special undercover agents on June 28 at about 0700hrs while acting on a potent intelligence discovered the hide-out for criminals dealing in human parts. When we visited the place, we discovered a bizarre scenario. Among the items recovered are decomposed headless bodies, human feet, snail shell and clothes suspected to be used in strangulating their victims. I think that place is used as a market where people who are involved in ritual activities buy human parts, investigation is still going.”
Weekly Trust findings show that the criminal den has been is an uncompleted storey building owned by an 85-year-old woman who is said to be under interrogation. Located just a stone’s throw from NASFAT Village, was just by the roadside but covered with bush, which did not make it easily noticed. It was littered with at least three decomposed, headless human bodies, National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) caps, female bras and sandals.
Residents have had to dispense jungle justice on suspected kidnappers, who were accused of being responsible for kidnappings in the community.
Early last month, a 35-year-old man, Mallam Salman Rafiu of Okelele, Ilorin, who was declared missing, was found alive around the uncompleted building, where he was rescued by passersby around 10pm.
Rafiu, who is Secretary of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), Shao Garage branch, Ilorin, stated that he went to a bank ATM to withdraw money where he met five other customers in the queue. “Some others came later and the man next to me asked if the ATM is dispensing and I said yes, that was all I could remember when I found myself in the hands of kidnappers in a dirty room,” he said.
Rafiu added: “I spent three days in the room with a N30 loaf of bread and a sachet of pure water in their shrine and I was ordered to kneel down in front of a large bowl.”
Three days after, another mutilated body of a woman was dumped in a gutter, raising concern about the increasing activities of kidnappers around the area. However, infamous building was discovered by the police acting on intelligence from members of the public. By then, residents estimate that hundreds of people might have been murdered by the suspected ritual killers.
The Ilorin Emirate Descendants’ Progressives Union (IEDPU), through its National President, Alhaji AbdulHamid Adi, condemned the kidnappers and commended the police command for “a job well done.” But the opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in a statement by its State Publicity Secretary, Chief Rex Olawoye, says the discovery of the criminal hideout is a case of failure of government. Speaking with Weekly Trust, the state Commissioner for Cnformation and Communications, Prince Tunji Moronfoye, described the PDP’s allegation as “laughable.”
Moronfoye added that: “It has nothing to do with the PDP or APC or the government, it has to do with our failure in terms of our culture. Herbalists would promise you, ‘don’t worry, I will make you rich by tomorrow, all it has to take is go and bring a six-year-old boy’ and that is what people would do not thinking about what would happen to the family of the six-year-old or the child himself who they would mutilate and do anything like that.”
Speaking with Weekly Trust, chairman of NASFAT, Kwara area, Prince Ayo Fagbemi, condemned the activities of the kidnappers, which he described as “barbaric and unorthodox.” He said the suspected ritual killers lack the fear of God, adding that it was embarrassing that such ritual activities could be carried out near a praying ground.
The state Commissioner of Police said five suspects have been arrested, adding that investigation was still ongoing.