- Dismembers body for rituals, flees home as police initiate manhunt
From LAYI OLANREWAJU, Ilorin
seven days after presiding over the funeral rites of his bosom friend, an Islamic cleric in Ilorin, Kwara State, Folorunsho Babatunde, has bolted from his home after allegedly committing a sacrilegious act.
On Wednesday, July 26, 2017, the deceased, Sulaiman Abdulahi, had shortly after returning from a social outing with the cleric described as his childhood friend, reportedly complained of stomach ache for which he was rushed to an undisclosed hospital. He died barely 24 hours later and was buried same day, in accordance with Islamic injunction.
Expectedly, Folorunsho, played a prominent role in the burial rites. Besides performing the Muslim bath of his late friend, he also led the Janaza (funeral) prayer before the corpse was lowered into the grave.
Seven days after, precisely on August 2, he returned to the graveyard and exhumed the body, which he discreetly took to his residence at Eleran quarters in Oloje area of Ilorin, the Kwara State capital, and dismembered it in a macabre display of barbarism. It, however, turned out that he couldn’t cover his tracks well enough.
It was learnt that the stench from the decomposed body attracted the attention of neighbours, who traced the source to the residence of Folorusho, who is said to be a bachelor in his early 30s.
Sensing danger, he reportedly bolted through a rear door before the arrival of irate members of the community who broke into his apartment to behold the gory sight of Sulaiman’s dismembered body, an act he was suspected to have committed for ritual purposes.
Having fled his home, enraged residents descended heavily on the suspect’s father, before dragging him to the divisional police headquarters in the area. They also allegedly demolished the suspect’s family home.
Meanwhile, homicide detectives at the Criminal Investigation Department of the Kwara State Police Command, are on the trail of Folorunsho, but there seems to be no clue as to his whereabouts. Spokesman of the command, DSP Ajayi Okasanmi, told Sunday Sun that investigation was ongoing, just as he confirmed the recovery of some human parts from the suspect’s home before it was demolished.
Investigations by Sunday Sun indicated that the shocking find at Folorunsho’s home brought to the fore, the rising activities of veiled men of the underworld engaged in rituals in the state. No fewer than three of such discoveries are said to have been made in Ilorin alone, within the past three weeks.
A few days before the latest incident, residents of Kokorokan Street, Abata Suban area of Ita Kudimo, Ilorin West Council Area of the state, had cause to pull down the abode of a suspected ritualist, Wasiu Iseoluwa, also known as Baba Muri, allegedly caught red-handed in the act.
A source who does not want his name in print, gave an insight into the incident. “Earlier in the day, a man who is a customer to Wasiu’s wife went to the house to buy local gin. He knocked severally on the door but didn’t get a response, but heard a sound as if someone was cutting something with cutlass; out of curiosity, he forced the door open and saw the suspect removing human parts from a dead baby. Before then, residents had seen Baba Muri go into his house with a pregnant woman but no one saw the woman come out of the house. It is suspected that he dismembered and removed the baby in her womb,” the source alleged.
Caught in the act, according to reports, the suspect had attempted to attack the intruder, the wife’s customer, with a machete. He raised the alarm, which attracted members of a socio-cultural cum regional security outfit, Oodua Peoples’ Congress (OPC), to the scene.
Unlike Folorunsho, Wasiu was not lucky to escape; he was nabbed and almost lynched by a mob, but was rescued by a team of policemen who took him into custody at the ‘D’ Division, Adewale Ilorin. However, the mob demolished his home and set his car ablaze, after the OPC men had allegedly recovered various items including human skulls, bones, students’ uniforms, human hair, and charms, among others, from the two-room apartment.
Boldly written on a part of the demolished building were mobile telephone numbers suspected to belong to his patrons. “Apart from being a vigilante, Baba Muri is also a bricklayer, well digger, who also reared cattle. So, no one suspected he was into such ritual activities,” said a bewildered resident who was among a crowd, which thronged the scene when Sunday Sun correspondent visited.
Confirming the incident, DSP Okasanmi said the case had been transferred to the state police headquarters for diligent investigation. “We are interrogating him to know those involved in the business with him; we have commenced investigation into the matter,”he remarked.