By Peter Oriyomi
The operatives of the Osun State Police Command have arrested and paraded three men for killing a 53-year old widow, Aishat Yekeen, for money ritual.
The suspects, an Islamic teacher and Okada rider; Muyideen Tunji Nafiu (43), and an Islamic scholar and farmer; Yusuf Muslim (44), a palm oil trader and native doctor; Rabiu Fatai (51), killed the victim and cut her vital parts for ritual at Ile Ogbo in Ayedire Local Government Area of Osun State.
The state Commissioner of Police, Olawale Olokode, who addressed newsmen on the incident, said detectives from the Anti-Kidnapping Squad of the state command began investigation when the deceased’s son on March 28, reported that his mother was missing.
According to the police boss, the mother was said to be seen last on March 8.
He said: “A team of police detectives immediately swung into action by visiting the house of the victim at Ile Ogbo in Ayedire Local Government Area and gathered some information available. The detectives worked on the information available to them and extended their investigation to Lalupon in Oyo State, where the first suspect, Muyideen Tunji Nafiu, was arrested on the 5th of April, 2022.
“He confessed to have conspired with one Yusuf Muslim and killed the woman for ritual in his house at Ile Ogbo. He stated that they severed the deceased’s head, hands, legs and heart before they buried the remaining part in a nearby bush at Ile Ogbo.
“Yusuf Muslim was arrested in his house at Agoro Road, Iwo town, while Rabiu Fatai, alias Orela, the receiver of some of the body parts, was also arrested.
“Meanwhile, the remains of the deceased have been exhumed and autopsy was conducted by a government pathologist. The suspects will be charged to court upon completion of investigation.”
The suspects during their parade spoke with newsmen about their roles in the murder of the widow:
According to the principal suspect, Muyideen Tunji Nafiu, who is an Okada rider: “I’m 43 years old. I’m a father of six children. Their mother and I are separated but the children are living with me. I’m a commercial motorcycle (Okada) rider and also a Quran teacher (Alfa). I introduced Aishat Yekeen to Alfa Muslim to date but it ended in her being killed, with her head, hands and legs cut for ritual.
“Alfa Muslim and I have been friends for four years. About four months ago, he advised me to stop riding okada for survival and told me to seek some other means of making a living. He advised me to get human hands for money ritual. He added that I should also look for a white duck and a gorilla’s hand.
“I thought he only wanted to date the woman when he gave me a ride, in March this year, from Iwo town where he is domiciled to my house in Ile Ogbo and sighted her. I had once dated the woman myself. She was a widow and was dating men to make ends meet. But I didn’t tell Muslim of my past affair with her.
“On the day they came together in my house to have intercourse, I left them inside. Few minutes after, I came back inside and met them naked, with both of them struggling and dragging with each other. The man was on top of her. I thought the woman was rejecting his sexual moves, so I held her legs. Muslim held her by the throat until she gave up. It was on March 8 at about 8.00pm. And that was the first mistake I made.
“We took her body to a bush and buried it in a shallow grave. On March 9, I went to his house and told him there was no problem about the woman’s killing. On March 10, Muslim called and told me he needed one of the woman’s hands. That was when I asked him if that was what he intended doing by killing her. He said I should not worry as it was part of the ritual process he told me about.
“We went back to the woman’s grave and cut her hand at the wrist. The Alfa also cut a piece of flesh from the remaining part of the hand. We went back to his house in Iwo and burnt the hand with other ingredients he had added. He also buried the piece of flesh he cut in his compound. After burning the hand to ashes, we shared it in two. I was told to consume it after mixing it with alcohol or milk. I had yet to take it when our atrocities were discovered.
“As I left Muslim’s house, I went to Kuta town to meet my mother’s kinsman, Rabiu Fatai. I told him all that had happened and he asked if nobody was aware of it. I answered that we were covered. That was how he followed me back to the grave and removed the woman’s head, heart, legs.
“On March 12, he also started burning the parts he took with the remaining hand and I left before he finished because it was late.
“On March 13, I returned to him and met him playing a draft game. By then, officers of Amotekun Corps had started looking for me. The family of the woman had reported her missing, and the Amotekun Corps officials were picking all men known to have had affairs with her. They arrested about 13 people. Because I didn’t want to be among those arrested, I stopped sleeping at home. I was sleeping in a family house.
“I collected my kinsman’s motorcycle because there was no fuel in mine. After buying fuel into my motorcycle, I took it to him and escaped from my town with his own bike.
“At first, I went to Osuntedo, then to Iwo town. While there, I learnt that some people were being arrested too in connection with the killing. I decided to sell my kinsman’s motorcycle and used the proceeds to rent a room at Lalupon in Oyo State. To my surprise, police operatives from Anti-Kidnapping Section in Osun State came there to arrest me. I had just spent about three weeks at Lalupon. When I was arrested, I took the police to where we buried the woman.”
In his own account, the second suspect, Yusuf Muslim, who claimed to be an Islamic scholar and farmer, said: “Muyideen brought the hand to me, saying that he wanted to use it for money ritual. Before then, he had been telling me that he wanted money ritual to be rich. I told him to get gorilla’s hand. We met again and he told me he was about getting what I said would be needed. I didn’t know he wanted to kill someone.
“On the day he brought the hand, I added other ritual ingredients such as honeycomb, alligator pepper, chameleon and Nigerian currency in N1,000, N500 and N200 notes, after which we burnt them with the human hand. He gave me some of it and took the rest away.
“I didn’t befriend the victim. Muyideen is just trying to rope me in. It’s just like a dream the story he has been telling about my involvement.”
The third suspect, Rabiu Fatai, a farmer, palm oil trader and herbalist, said: “On March 9, I was about going to my oil mill when I received a call from Muyideen. He said he was waiting in my home and that I should come. Before then, his brother, Kazeem, had also called me to announce that Muyideen brought two hands to him and that he told him he was not interested in them.
“As I got home, I saw a box and asked what was in it. Muyideen said it was human head and other parts. I told him that I was not used to such ritual, and I asked him to take them away. I went to the oil mill. When I returned home at about 4.00pm, I met him burning the body parts. I joined him and we finished everything together. He gave me part of it and went away with the rest. We burnt the head, heart and legs. He did not bring the hand to me. Two days after, he told me that the issue had boomeranged. He came to stay with me and started helping at the oil mill. On March 17, he rode his bike to my place and took mine away. It was after his departure that I was arrested.”
Meanwhile, the victims’s son, who was present when the suspects were paraded by the police, gave a a different account,
Preferring to be annoymous, he spoke with newsmen and said: “Nafiu, my mother’s murderer was living in our community in Ileogbo, but he had always had criminal tendencies. There was a time he set a woman’s palm oil on fire and the entire building was gutted by fire. He ran away from the community and returned later.
“It is not true that he was dating my late mother. To the best of my knowledge, his mother was selling beans around the place where my late mother was selling pepper. I used to go there and we normally saw each other.
“He used to come to our house, where he would eat and even sleep at times and he had that privilege because of my younger sister’s predicament. My younger sister, who was married in Kuta was having problems in her marriage and the suspect was privy to the information.
“So, he offered to help by preparing spiritual soap for both my sister and my mum. On the day my mother went missing, he called her to come and get the soap. She left home and never returned.
“After about five days of looking for her, the suspect met me and my brother on the road and sympathised with us. He even suggested that maybe my sister’s predicament led to my mother’s disappearance. But the next day, a woman in his house told us that she saw my mother entering his room but did not see her leaving. That was why we reported the matter to Amotekun operatives.
When he was apprehended, he confessed to luring her to the house, while his friend was already there. Immediately she got there, they hit her with a charm on the chest which made her lose consciousness before collecting her phone and destroying the sim card.
“He buried her in a bush not too far from his house and the way they did it showed that they might have been doing such an act before.
“My siblings and I were devastated especially, when we went to the grave to exhume her body and discovered that her body parts were severed from the rest of the body.
“The most painful part of the whole scenario was that our mother was killed by someone who ate and slept in our house. My 52-year-old mother had seven of us and I am the second child.
“We want justice. People like Muideen should not be living among humans because we will all be endangered. Imagine someone who would sleep and dine with us eventually killed our mother. He should be made to face the wrath of the law.”