Residents of Lagos and Ogun states appear to be on high alert as the end of the year approaches following an incident on Monday in which two suspected ritual killers were arrested in the Jibowu area of Yaba with the lifeless bodies of two young boys stuffed inside a sack and hidden in the trunk of their car.
Although the inquiry into what the accused planned to do with the corpses of the deceased kids is still continuing, locals speculate that they wanted to use them in money rituals.
The preliminary investigation conducted by detectives in the homicide unit of the Lagos State Criminal Investigation Department (SCID), Panti Street, Yaba, revealed that the children died of suffocation while still alive when they were allegedly abducted, fueling speculation that their abductors intended to use them in a money ritual.
Days earlier, four young men who left their Lagos home to seek the assistance of a herbalist in Ijebu-Ode, Ogun State, for a money ritual were apprehended by detectives assigned to the South West regional security agency, Amotekun.
The suspects were apprehended on Maborede Street by security officers who grew suspicious of their motorbike activity.
During questioning, the suspects said that they paid N25,000 to the herbalist for a money-making charm that would allow them to become wealthy.
David Ajibola Akinwumi, a former commissioner of police and the commander of Amotekun in the state, ordered his troops to pursue the herbalist.
On Wednesday, October 6, a young lady called Ijeoma left her home extremely early in the morning to go to her job on Victoria Island, unaware that the wolves in sheep’s clothing were already on the prowl for prey.
She boarded a car, which the driver said was headed to Victoria Island, naively. “At the Mangoro bus station, I boarded a vehicle calling for passengers heading to Victoria Island,” she narrated her experience. I went in, unaware that it was a ‘one-shot deal.’
“As we continued, the driver directed us to another route leading to Ogba. When I attempted to raise the alarm, I was strangled from behind and threatened with death if I screamed. I was assaulted and my phones, ATM, and cash were seized. Then they put “Aboniki,” a heated ointment, into my eyes. They threatened to send me to a herbalist, and I kept my lips shut. I prayed earnestly, and they later tossed me off the car.”
She was released from the hospital on Friday morning, but is still suffering from eye discomfort.
Residents of the Oke ljebu neighbourhood in Akure, the capital of Ondo State, awoke about a week ago to find the body of a middle-aged lady discarded by the roadside.
It was claimed that she was abandoned by several suspected Yahoo guys who exploited her for a money ritual.
None of the locals who trooped out to get a sight of the body were able to identify it.
They said that various things such as cream, sponge, pills, bras, and clothing were put near the body in black nylon bags.
Additionally, a telephone number was scribbled on a tiny piece of paper inside the black nylon, along with the name Joy.
A guy called Samuel Lucky Akpan was arrested a few days ago for reportedly kidnapping a four-year-old child in the Alagbaka area of Akure with the intention of selling him for N200, 000.
As previously reported, Lasisi Oluboyo, the daughter of a former Ondo State deputy governor, was murdered by her lover about two years ago during a money ceremony.
Khadijat Oluboyo, the deputy governor’s daughter, was a student at the time at Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba Akoko.
Adeyemi Seidu, a graduate of the Federal University of Technology, Akure (FUTA), has been condemned to death by hanging for murdering and burying her in his chamber.
Adekunle Ajisebutu, the Lagos State police public relations officer, urged parents and guardians to exercise more vigilance, pledging that law enforcement officials will deal with anybody engaged in unlawful activities.
He, however, denied reports of an increase in ritual murders committed by Yahoo + youths. He said that these were just guesses.
“While we cannot reject all accusations completely, there is nothing quite like an upsurge in ritual slaughter,” he added.
The method through which victims are attracted
Residents of Port Harcourt, the capital of Rivers State, awoke to the gruesome sight of an eight-year-old Chikamso Victory’s mangled corpse, who was a victim of a Yahoo-Yahoo ritual murderer who happened to be her cousin.
Ifeanyi Dike, the deceased’s mother’s brother, brought the little girl to his flat and snuffed out her life in 2017. Following her murder, Dike, who was sentenced to death by a Port Harcourt High Court last year, removed many of her critical body parts. However, his luck ran out when he was apprehended by a vigilante group while attempting to dispose of the deceased’s corpse.
The act sparked outrage across Rivers State and beyond.
Dike was allegedly a member of a lethal ritual gang. He admitted during his first questioning that he intended to sell the body parts of his victims to a specific businessman in Port Harcourt.
Another pitiful tale is that of Gracious David-West, a serial murderer located in Port Harcourt.
David-West, who was also condemned to death earlier this year, was the mastermind behind the deaths of around 12 teenage girls in Port Harcourt hotels in 2019.
The prisoner enticed his victims to various hotels, where he drugged and murdered them.
Following the assassination of his victims, David-West would bind their wrists and necks with white linens.
Given the manner in which he killed his victims, his crimes were seen as ritual killings.
He was apprehended when surveillance video from the hotel where he murdered his victims revealed him.
Chokocho Etche in Rivers State’s Etche Local Government Area has also become a haven for ritual murderers.
A victim of ritual activity in the region recently described how she saw human people being slaughtered and their body parts being sold to eager purchasers.
The victim, whose identity cannot be revealed for security reasons, boarded a bus with other passengers but was dropped off in Chokocho forest, a hotbed of fatal ritual killings.
She described to media in Port Harcourt how victims in the ritual murderers’ custody were slaughtered and sold to customers who went into the bush in fancy vehicles to purchase human parts.
The Rivers State police command said that it was on the lookout for ritual murderers.
Females are enticed by Yahoo guys with rich promises.
The activities of ritual murderers dubbed yahoo guys have sowed fear among female students in all Bayelsa State educational institutions, as they entice the majority of them with tempting promises and hard currency.
According to a female student at the Federal University of Otuoke who requested anonymity, the majority of ritualists come from the neighbouring state, driving fancy vehicles and wearing costly jewellery to lure their would-be victims.
She said that they always promised to take their victims to upscale hotels and nightclubs in town and compensate them with a fair sum of money at the end of the day, but sadly, the majority of them did not survive.
Last month, the police in the state saved Deborah Emafridom, a female student at the Niger Delta University (NDU), from being decapitated by a suspected yahoo boy known as Sunday Favour Ojo, with the help of youths from the Ogobiri village in Sagbama Local Government Area.
Local youths informed Daily Trust on Saturday that the student was enticed to the region by the accused ritual murderer with money and they dated for a while.
They said he persuaded her to accompany him along the Setraco Road, along Ogobiri-Toruebeni Drive in Sagbama Local Government, on the day he attempted to behead her.
The suspected ritualist had bound the girl’s hands and legs and was on the verge of cutting her neck when the community’s youth, who had tracked his earlier movements via a revelation from a nearby person, apprehended him with the assistance of men from Operation Doo-Akpo, the state government’s special security squad.
S.P.Asinim Butswat, the police spokesperson in Bayelsa, acknowledged the event in a statement and encouraged the people to always give valuable information to the police to ensure the safety of the environment.
In Edo State, the Yahoo+ problem and ritual killings for money have heightened public awareness of the wealth shown by youngsters aged 15 to 30.
Nowadays, the majority of individuals, particularly the middle-aged and elderly, are sceptical of taking money from young men regarded as yahoo boys.
Young people are being enticed by suspected yahoo guys with presents and other tempting promises.
A middle-aged lady named Juliet told our reporter that people were fearful of receiving items from youngsters considered to be yahoo guys.
“I boarded a car on my way from Agbor Park to Ring Road and saw a little kid bring out a large sum of money and hand it to the driver, claiming to have paid for everyone in the vehicle, but the driver was instructed not to take the money on their behalf. They made the payment out of their own wallets.
“Numerous ladies are reported to have gone insane after alighting from fancy vehicles purportedly owned by yahoo guys,” he added.
Additionally, Isaac Abu said that people were growing fearful of youngsters who got wealthy without an apparent means of subsistence.
“About two months ago, at the famous Kada Plaza, teenagers suspected of being yahoo boys attacked the scene, mounted the top of their fancy car, and sprayed bundles of N1,000 bills, but no one picked,” he said.
In 2018, authorities in Edo State arrested an 18-year-old man, Samuel Akpobome, for allegedly murdering his mother for a money ritual.
He informed police that he strangled his mother, Christiana Ighoyivwi, as she slept in her Ologbo, Ikpoba-Okha Local Government Area, home on Market Road.
He said that he subsequently had sexual relations with his mother’s body at the direction of an unnamed indigenous doctor.
Akpobome, a Delta State native, said, “The indigenous doctor advised me to do so and to preserve her body for two days.”
While the yahoo problem is not widespread in Bauchi State, the state is allegedly fighting rapists connected with ritual activities who teach their customers, mostly young men and middle-aged adults, to rape youngsters in exchange for easy money or advancement in society.
Despite the state’s law prohibiting violence against persons and the ministry of justice’s efforts to secure a significant number of convictions for rapists, as well as numerous other rape cases pending in various courts, rape continues to endanger young children and girls in both urban and rural communities across the state, eliciting an active response from critical stakeholders, including the government and civil society organisations, to address the menace.
On Saturday, the Daily Trust reported that two young men in Jama’are Local Government Area severed the genitals of a six-year-old girl for ceremonial purposes.
Adamu AbdulRa’uf, 20, of the Gandu neighbourhood in Jama’are town, is one of the suspects who has been detained and is being prosecuted by the police.
“I and a buddy brought her to the place where her private part was taken on the advice of one native doctor (ritualist), who said that he would utilise it to earn money for my friend,” he stated after his trial.
Abdukadir Wada Haladu, his accomplice, also said, “I am not the one who removed the victim’s genital organs. Although it was a buddy, I accompanied him and assisted him throughout the surgery. While he was cutting the genital, an almajiri entered the straightforward structure, and we hurried out and went to the ritualist.
“I met my buddy at the ritualist’s home, and the guy gathered and wrapped the two knives used in the procedure. My buddy likewise removed the cloth he had been wearing throughout the procedure, and the ritualist motioned for us to go. When I learned that police officers were searching our home for me, I fled since I was aware of the immoral deed we had done. I regret my actions since this is something I cannot do to my younger sister. “
Shortly after the event, Samaila Jarma, the chairman of Jama’are Local Government, ordered the immediate destruction of Gidan Zana, a renowned criminal hideaway, and other hotspots, in order to halt the spread of such terrible crimes.
Additionally, he ordered the immediate arrest of any indigenous doctor engaged in rituals, as well as his customers who are in a rush to get money without accomplishing anything significant.
The mother of a 4-year-old child who was raped in Bauchi metropolis by a serial rapist inside a mosque expressed her anguish, demanding the creation of a mobile court to handle ritual crimes.
“The event continues to haunt my spirit due to its savage and unholy character. The most heinous aspect of the event is that it occurred within a mosque, “she said.
The serial rapist, like many others, was said to be acting on the orders of a ritualist.
The Bauchi State police command, on the other hand, reported a decrease in gender-based violence, noting that it registered just 53 instances this year, down from 149 last year.
Wakili credited the decline to the police and other security agents’ concerted efforts to combat the threat, noting that the command established gender violence desks in each division to address the issue.
Missing people cases in Borno
In Borno State as well, a police official said that the yahoo threat was not severe; nevertheless, instances of missing people, particularly children, do occur on occasion.
According to a source, the majority of the missing individuals were reportedly kidnapped for ceremonial purposes.
Such occurrences were often publicised in mosques after a congregational prayer, with worshippers urged to remain vigilant.
On Friday, the head imam of Bayan Texaco Jumaat Mosque on Baga road in Maiduguri reported the disappearance of a seven-year-old child and asked the public to assist in his search.
Residents in Jalingo are concerned.
The rising number of missing persons occurrences in Jalingo town, Taraba State, is instilling anxiety among locals, particularly parents.
When Sulei Musa Kantiyal went missing and his corpse was discovered the next day in a corn field in the Mile 6 region, many body parts had been taken. Hussein Maigari disappeared nearly simultaneously, although he has yet to be located.
Both guys were husbands and fathers.
Similarly, an almajiri was discovered dead with many body parts taken in the Kona region of Jalingo.
The police detained many individuals in connection with the almajiri’s killing, but it was unclear if they were convicted.
Residents said that many similar incidents occurred but were not reported to the police.
In the Tanakaban and Bashin regions, there have been complaints of missing children.
According to the results, all of the events were connected to an increase in the number of ritual killings.
Furthermore, it was claimed that the perpetrators ride tricycles, motorcycles, and automobiles.
This is in addition to the many reports of abduction for ransom in various areas of the state capital and its surroundings.
During his Friday sermon, Mustapha Nuhu Lau, the senior imam of the police Masjid, encouraged people to join hands in prayer to seek Allah’s assistance.
DSP Abdullahi Usman, the Taraba Command’s public relations officer, did not pick up our correspondent’s phone or reply to a text message given to him on the subject.
Why, Yahoo guys, are kidnappers on the loose?
According to a psychotherapist, Habibu Ismail, the get-rich-quick mentality is to blame for the rise in instances of ritual murders.
“Parents have abandoned their moral upbringing duty, and society has devolved,” he added.
“Parents, educators, and clergy must take responsibility for correcting the trend by encouraging the next generation to pursue riches legally,” he added.
Barrister Shehu Aliyu, an Abuja-based legal practitioner, said that the judicial system is ineffective, and as a result, individuals are unconcerned about the repercussions of their acts.
“We need to clean up the judicial system and treat criminals as such. “Police should be authorised to pursue cases aggressively, and courts should not spend time convicting criminals, “he added.