Police arrest three suspected ritualists,18 others in Abeokuta, Ogun State

Abeokuta Mr Idowu and two suspected accomplices, Alfa Bamgbola Edun, and, Matthew Odunewu, had perfected plan to kill the young man for ritual at Oriyanrin area of Abeokuta.

This was disclosed on Wednesday at the police headquarters at Eleweran in Abeokuta by the state Commissioner of Police, Ahmed Iliyasu during the parade of 21 suspects who he said were arrested for various crimes, including armed robbery and kidnap attempt.

Iliyasu also stated that from April till date, his command had recovered five AK-47 rifles, 19 pump action guns, 26 locally-made guns, 246 pieces of ammunition and 216 live cartridges.

Speaking on the arrest of the suspected ritualists, the police commissioner said that the command got an intelligence report about their activities and their plan to kill one Akanni for ritual.

“The Divisional Police Officer in charge of Adigbe Division, under whose jurisdiction the incident was to occur, was directed to work with the operatives of the Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad to save the victim’s life and bring the culprits to justice.

“In compliance with the directive, operatives from the two formations embarked on 24-hour surveillance of the area at the bank of Ogun River.

“Their efforts paid off on August 30 at about 11 p.m., when four men were sighted coming to the river bank, with three of them holding polythene bag each.

“On getting to the river bank, the three men grabbed the fourth person, who was the youngest among them, laid him on the ground, and were about to slaughter him like a sacrificial lamb when police operatives swooped on them and arrested them,” Iliyasu told journalists.

Nigerian Tribune also learned that Akanni, who was orphan, started living with Idowu about two months ago, unknown to him that he might be targeted as an item for ritual.

In an interview, Idowu told the Nigerian Tribune that it was Edun, who was introduced to him by one of his friends, who suggested to him that he could make N11 million if he could get a human being that would be used for ritual.

According to the suspect, “I initially wondered where I would get a human being, but on the third day after he told me, he came to me again, telling me that I should try and get the human being to be used for the ritual.

“After a while, he came to me again informing me that he had cast a spell on someone; and that I should go and carry him so we could do the ritual, but I told him I was not interested.

“Later, he spoke with one of my apprentices, Taiye, and they discussed how they would use another boy, Akanni, who was also an apprentice, for the ritual.

“The Alfa said that after killing the boy, he would cut the necessary parts to make the ritual. The targeted young man just got to my place about two months ago. He has no relatives.

So, on the chosen date, we had gone to where we would use the boy for the ritual when the police came to arrest us.”

But Edun (50) denied being part of the plan, though he disclosed that he left his residence to sleep in Idowu’s house on the day of the ritual.

He said: “It is true someone introduced me Ganiyu Idowu, but it was because I needed his assistance to secure accommodation. He was popular in his area and had a connection to secure accommodations for people.

“I was staying in an apartment belonging to someone, but some weeks ago, he told me he wanted to renovate his apartment, so I had to look for somewhere else. That was how I got introduced to Idowu.

“On the night that I was arrested, I had gone to his house to discuss the issue of the accommodation, but I decided to spend the night there. The fee of accommodation he initially secured for me was on the high side.

“After a while, in the night, Idowu said he wanted to go and take his bath in a river. He took a calabash, local sponge and went out. He asked me if I would join him, but I told him I had taken my bath in the morning, and that was how he left.

“After about 30 minutes, his wife came to me, informing me that she could not get her husband on phone. I also tried his mobile phone and could not reach him.

“Not too long after, policemen entered the house and arrested me, claiming I was the one who said Ganiyu should kill his apprentice and after the killing, he should call me so I would come and remove the necessary parts. He is telling a lie. He was the one who even told me that the boy was not behaving well and that I should talk to him to change his ways. He is just lying.”

The third suspect, Odunewu (62), who said he was an okada rider, told the Nigerian Tribune that he took the Alfa to Idowu’s house and was instructed to come back the following morning to pick him.

“I didn’t know anything about killing. It was when I got there the following morning to pick Alfa that I found many people there. I was even scared, thinking something terrible had happened. It was during my inquiry on what went wrong that some people shouted that I was the one who brought the Alfa.

“That was how I was arrested. I don’t know anything about killing or ritual,” Odunewu said.

The Commissioner of Police said that all the suspects would be charged to court after the conclusion of investigations

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