The suspects –, Jamiu Adeleke, Ajibade Rafiu, Fatai Akiwowo, Kazeem Sanni and Agboola Kolawole – had at different times sold human parts in Owode, Ogun State.
The Police Public Relations Officer, Lagos State Command, Ngozi Braide, said Adeleke was arrested by the police and through his confession, were able to apprehend the others.
She said, “On May 15, 2013, Adeleke was arrested by operatives of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad while he was trying to sell human hands for N21,000. Upon interrogation, he confessed that he bought the parts from Sanni at the cost of N6,000.
“Police arrested Sanni and he in turn confessed that the eight hands which he sold belonged to his siblings- his two brothers and sisters. He confessed that he went to their graves and cut off their heads. He confessed that he sold the heads for N8,000 each while he sold the hands for N4,000 each.
“Investigations led to the home of an herbalist, Rafiu, who is also the receiver. He uses the human parts for rituals. In his house, police recovered fresh hands which he claimed was meant for jobs for his customers. We also saw a bottle which he said was crushed human skull mixed in fluid. He said it was for power and he uses it to make medicine for people.”
Braide said investigations showed that prior to his arrest, the herbalist had hired some of the suspects to help him get a living human being at the cost of N40,000.
Braide added that Adeleke, who is an Islamic scholar, however, died while trying to escape from police custody.
The suspects, who did not deny the allegations, said they never killed anyone but only exhumed corpses from graveyards.
Kolawole said he went into the business because he needed money to pay his children’s school fees.
He said, “I am a farmer and I live in a graveyard in Owo, Ogun State. In December last year, I went to see my friend and begged him to lend me money to pay my children’s fees. He then said if I could help him to get human skulls, he would pay me N8,000 for each.
“He came to my house at night and after he had exhumed two of the corpses in the graveyards, he gave me N16,000.
“In May, 2013, I needed money to purchase examination form for my child and I went to meet him again. He said he would give me N16, 000 for two more skulls, so he exhumed two more corpses.”
A 25-year-old suspect, Sanni, who claimed to be a commercial motorcycle rider, said he had only exhumed two corpses, adding that he ran out of the business when his clients started demanding for a human being.
He said, “Akinowo told me to get two skulls for him and I did. He gave me N6,000 and N8,000. He later told me to get a live human being for him but when I could not find one, they started disturbing me with telephone calls. I only sold two skulls.”
The herbalist, Rafiu, said he never exhumed any corpse rather, it was the other suspects that were always pestering him to buy body parts.
Rafiu, who claimed to be 28 years, said he did not use the corpses for money rituals but used it in preparing a potion which people drank for protection.
“I never sent anyone to supply me human parts. They always bring the parts to my place and beg me to buy,” he said.
Asked what was in the bottle recovered from him, he said, “The bottle I am holding contains a burnt and crushed human skull and schnapps. Anybody who drinks it will be immune to all forms of attack. I have been doing this for about seven years now but I have never drunk the potion. I am even scared to use it.
“I have a wife and child and it is this job I use in sustaining myself.”
Another suspect, Akinowo, said poverty pushed him into the illegal business. Akinowo, who spoke amid tears, said he was paid N8,000 for each body part.Akinowo said in his statement that he cut the heads of his late brothers and two sisters buried in private graves in his compound and sold them for N8,000 each.