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Alleged Ritual Killings: Disquiet In Kwara

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OLADIPO MAGAJI in this report chronicles the controversy that the transfer of eight suspected human parts dealers by the police in Kwara state to the force headquarters in Abuja, has generated.

The recent transfer of suspected human parts dealers to the Force Headquarters in Abuja by the Kwara state command, has stirred fresh controversy in the state over the proprietary of the police action.å

This is the second time within a space of 10 months that the Kwara state police command would be transferring cases on alleged crimes committed within the state to the police headquarters in Abuja, after the completion of investigations on such matters.

The first instance was the issue of the April 5,2018 deadly armed robbery attacks which generated a lot of controversy, leading to protest and counter protests by various grouped in the state.

When the state police command announced the arrest of eight suspected human parts dealers in whose possession 11 human skulls were found, the state House of Assembly was the first to commend the police over  the fest.

The legislature made the commendation on the floor of the House, following a Matter of General Public lmportance, raised by the House Leader, Hon. Hassan Oyeleke.

Reading the resolutions of the House, the Speaker, Dr Ali Ahmad, expressed delight over the arrest of the suspects and enjoined  the police to return the suspects to the  state, to face the most comprehensive law enacted by the House, to tackle the menace,pointing out that the case should not be politicised like offa armed robbery saga.

The Legislature,while urging the Police to publish the names of the suspects’  sponsors, enjoined traditional rulers and the general public to be wary of strange  movements in their localities and alert the police of such movements to stem  the tide of human parts trafficking and dealing in the state.

The House Leader had while moving the Motion, disclosed that the law enacted by the House, provided stiffer penalties for the culprits, landlords and other accomplices.

Other members who spoke on the Matter, said that there should be no sacred cow,but insisted that it should not be politicised, like the Offa Armed Robbery saga,to avoid miscarriage of justice.

Responding, the Speaker,Dr Ali Ahmad who described Kwara State as the best place for the suspects to be tried, expressed confidence that the State Administration of Criminal Justice Bill,2018, just passed by the House,would fast track the trial of the suspects and their accomplices.

Dr Ahmad while calling on Governor Abdul Fatah Ahmed to quickly assent to the law, described the just passed bill as the most efficient and sophisticated law on criminal justice in the country.

However, the House of Assembly had a cause to address a news conference during the week.

The chairman of the House committee on Information, Hon. AbdulRafiu AbdulRahman noted that ” While this press conference is not intended to dissuade the Nigeria police from performing its statutory duty, it must be reiterated that the law enacted by the Kwara state House of Assembly on human trafficking is sufficient to try the suspects and convict them accordingly if found guilty.

Answering a reporter’s question, the Assembly’s spokesman said Kwara boasts  of the most comprehensive law on the issue of dealings or trafficking in human parts.

“Kwara state prohibition of dealing in human parts law 2018  is the most comprehensive law on the subject matter in the country as it provides stiffer penalties as offenders on conviction is liable to a term not less than 10 years but not exceeding 15 years and also a fine of N100,000, while accomplices such as any person who permits his property or premises to be used to commit the offence is liable to imprisonment for a term not less than five years but not exceeding 10 years,” he stated.

But, in a swift response, the Force Headquarters, denied the insinuations  by the Kwara state House of Assembly, saying that the innocent has nothing to fear about the transfer of the case to the Force Headquarters.

The police made this asertion in a statement by its spokesman, Jimoh Mashood.

Meanwhile, angry residents of Olopa area of Aromaradu in Adewole area of Ilorin have demolished a six-room apartment from where policemen discovered 11 human skulls.

Eight suspects are currently in police net over the discovery but a wife to one of them told LEADERSHIP Sunday  that her husband was innocent of the alleged crime saying they had only recently moved in as tenants to the house.

The young lady, who identified herself as Rukayat and claimed to have been married to her husband for just six months before his arrest said her husband works as an electrician and does part-time commercial motorcycling riding to augment their family income.

When our reporter visited the area residents and onlookers from afar were milling around the demolished building which is beside the road. Many of them expressed surprise that an evil of such magnitude was taking place under their noses without anyone being aware.

But contrary to claims by the chief suspect, Azeez Yakubu that he is a driver, residents said until his arrest he used to  work as an Islamic cleric and that he used to host visitors at the house.

They also claimed that the suspect had two other houses in the metropolis and  bought a  new vehicle two days before his arrest and that during the payers for the vehicle he slaughtered two cows to entertain guests.

But Rukayat, whose husband, Abubakar Isiaka, is one of the suspects in the case, tearfully told our reporter that her husband only returned home from work and was picked the following morning by policemen. Neighbours who have been consoling the young lady since the incident lamented that she had refused to take her meal since the arrest.

Briefing newsmen on the development penultimate Friday the commissioner of police, Bolaji Fafowora said eight of the human heads found at the home of the suspects were already dried while the remaining three were fresh.  Investigators also found suspected human hair in possession of the suspects.

He listed the suspects as Azeez Yakubu,  Salima Azeez,  Isiah Wasiu,  Abubakar Isiaka and Soliu  Yakubu. The chief suspect,  Yakubu is 37-year old and works as a commercial driver.

The police boss said: “acting on intelligence available to the command about suspected ritual killings around Adewole area of Ilorin by some ritualists,  detectives from the police command swooped on a building located at No. 20, Ile-Opa area of Aromadu,  Adewole and one Yakubu Azeez and four other suspects were rounded up,  a search was conducted in the building and 11 human skulls,  several suspected human bones,  a bunch of suspected human hair and other items were recovered. ”

It was gathered that some of the skulls were recovered from the ceiling where Yakubu and his wife lived while the others were recovered from the wife’s shop.



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