The gory, barbaric details of the gruesome fate that befell persons declared missing anywhere within the Lagos-Ogun axis came to light as detectives unravelled the mysterious disappearance of a middle-aged woman in Ifo, Ogun State. At the end of the day, nemesis caught up with a sinister syndicate of human hunters who for over a decade had operated undetected, snaring and slaughtering the unwary. Theirs is an ugly, inhuman story of men who murdered other humans and sold their body parts for profits and charms.
The suspects, rounded up in Ogun and Lagos states, were identified as Segun Olaniyi, Babalola Akanbi and Adeifa Sogbeyinde. Others are Shilola Amodu, Mustapha Iliya, Razaq Araba, Sunday Akinyemi and Mustapha Ajibola. The rest include Jamiu Abass, Adewole Oluwafemi, Amoo Kazeem and Ademola Oduyemi.
One missing person too many
Their heinous act was discovered after their latest victim, a mother of five, identified as Abosede Adeyemi Iyanda, went missing and her father, Segun Adeyemi, decided to petition the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mohammed Adamu over the sudden disappearance of his daughter.
The task of unravelling the mystery fell on operatives of IGP, Intelligence Response Team (IRT), headed by DCP Abba Kyari. The detectives began their mission with intelligence gathering and were able to establish the fact that the missing woman contacted one Segun Olaniyi the day she mysteriously disappeared.
Olaniyi, tracked down by operatives from the IRT Ogun State annexe office, was arrested inside his shrine. Faced with incontrovertible facts, the suspects made a clean breast to the police. He confessed that himself, one Babalola Akanbi and AY conspired and indeed killed the victim.
And her body? Butchered and quartered, sold to numerous body parts customers.
Following his chilling confession, other suspects were arrested except one, AY, who remains at large. Those arrested turned out a mixed bag of herbal doctors, pastors, Muslim clerics and businessmen.
Police also recovered decomposing human breast (believed to be part of Abosede’s body), pieces of human skull and bottles of concoction that contained ground human parts.
The gory details of how she was slaughtered
Of the three prime suspects, Segun Olaniyi is the man at the centre of the crime. The 42-year-old, a native doctor with some reputation in Ogun and Lagos states, is an indigene of Odo Otin Local Government, Osun State, married to two wives and father of four children.
He claimed to have been worshipping Ifa for more than 15 years.
“All you need do is to find your way to Ifo, pick a bike or bus to Itori, ask anyone about the Babalawo’s shrine near the Baale’s house.”
He claimed to have provided solutions to problems of those seeking good luck, wealth, cure from ailments and those seeking power or spouses.
“I have so many pastors, Islamic clerics, herbal doctors, politicians, businessmen and several others on my list,” he stated. “All they need is to give me the cash and I will procure the ingredients and produce the charm.”
He did not deny using human parts in preparing his potions. “For faster results, we normally use human parts, especially the head and bones; we mix them with other ingredients, like a chameleon, alligator pepper, hot drinks, black soap, vulture and many other things. I am not a fraudster, my charm is potent.
On the case that got him entangled in police net, Olaniyi claimed the deceased was his former girlfriend. “I met her a long time ago before I became Babalawo (native doctor). Back then, she was in secondary school. We dated for six months and I had reason to travel to Benin for a welder work. By the time I came back months later, I was told that she had relocated to Ogun State with her family. I moved on with my life. But sometime in July, I received her call. She said that she heard that I have become a native doctor. She said she wanted to see me because her family life was in a mess––she was married with five boys and her husband does not have a stable source of income. I gave her my address and she came to see me. I listened to her story and I felt pity. One thing led to another and we started dating again. She’d come around to stay a few days with me, and then go back to her family with lots of money.
He narrated how he arrived at the evil idea of killing her: “She was gradually becoming a burden; she was demanding all my attention, forgetting that I have two wives and other concubines. She told me that her husband and family were not aware that she came to my place. It was in an attempt to get rid of her that I accepted the idea to kill her. I have some boys working for me whose job is to source for ingredients for my charms. It was when I told them my predicament that they suggested that I should kill her since we have a line-up of customers looking for fresh human heads.”
On the day she was killed, Olaniyi claimed he had travelled to Lagos for a business transaction when she called him that she was on her way.
“It was on October 15. She told me she used her last kobo to pick a bus to my shrine. I was not happy, but for old time’s sake, I called Akanbi and asked him to give her N2, 500, so that she could go back as I was not in the mood for her demands. Akanbi said he was broke, so I called AY who knew her very well. He also said he had no money. He was the one who suggested that I should kill her. I thought about it and told them to hold on that I was on my way back.
“Unfortunately, before I got back to the shrine, they had killed and deboned her. They were only waiting for me to arrive and tell them how to share the flesh. I was sad. But what can I do? I simply collected the head and two hands. I also took part of the flesh.”
He sold the head for N40, 000 and the hands at N15, 000 each.
“I then packaged my share of the flesh into bits, sold off at N5, 000 per portion to my buyers. I reserved some parts, especially bones, for use in the shrine,” he said.
He claimed he was sorry. For what? “I am sorry that I was too careless and they killed her,” he stated. “I tried my best not to be involved in the killing of people, and instead buy from those who have the mind to do that.”
However his claim, that he was neither aware nor consented to the killing of the victim, was refuted by Akanbi, his accomplice, who rebuked him sharply: “Babalawo stop lying. We are all in trouble and I will not allow you to push the blame on me.”
Akanbi not only queried him––“If you did not agree why did you collect the biggest share?” ––he went ahead to set the record straight with his version of the story that in part did not jell with the version from Olaniyi, but seemed to fill in the gaps.
He alleged he was summoned by Olaniyi on that day. To do what? Just to kill the deceased.
His attestation: “I am 48, a native of Ayetoro and a commercial motorcycle rider. I got to know this Babalawo (Olaniyi) through another Babalawo known as AY. Anytime they want to buy a scarce ingredient or perform a sacrifice, I am the one they would call to help them. I was busy working when Olaniyi called me to notify me about a job. He did not give me the details until I arrived at his shrine. He was there when I got there and we went to the back yard with AY to discuss. It was there that he told me that the lady in his shrine was to be killed. He assured us that no one knows that she came to our area. They bought food for her, and after she finished eating, Olaniyi told her to go to the riverside and take her bath as part of a special prayer ritual. While she was doing that AY pushed her towards me and I pushed her into the river. We jumped in and held her down till she drowned. This was the only way to ensure that she would not scream. Olaniyi stayed by the roadside and watched to be sure that no one was coming around that side. I and AY used very sharp knives to cut her into pieces. My share was the breast and parts of the flesh. I sold the flesh and buried the breast, waiting for the buyer when the police arrested me. Olaniyi was the mastermind, it was his job; we only helped him to execute it.”
Buyers of human parts
Though they all denied ever participating in the killing of any human being, the second set of suspects admitted they engaged in buying and selling of human parts (including that of the deceased) at one time or the other.
One of them is Adeife, 37, who lamented that he was yet to see the effect of using the head of the late Abosede for ritual.
His confession: “I am a herbal doctor. I met Olaniyi through a friend at a party. When he learnt that I am a herbal doctor, he asked if I was also using human parts to make my medicine. I told him that I don’t and will never do. He took time to explain to me that that was the reason I am not excelling. I remembered what I heard about the potency of herbs mixed with human parts, especially the skull of a man. I wanted wealth and more customers and I told him that I needed if available. Days later, he called and said it was available. I asked for the source and he said it was from the mortuary. Normally, the public cemetery used to exhume decayed bodies when there is a lack of space. So I assumed that was the source.
“I bought it from him at the price of N40, 000. I got a chameleon, alligator pepper, Indian hemp and burnt all of them together. I turned it into soap and used it to bath for seven days. I was also told not to admire or have sex with any woman for 16 days.”
He was waiting for results when police came knocking and he found himself in handcuffs.
“The only possible sign of progress is that the man that I borrowed N500,000 from, sent a car to me and called me that I should pay back whenever I can,” he stated.
Another buyer (name withheld) claimed he is a cleric at a white garment church, somewhere in Cele Egbe, Ikotun, Lagos.
“I initially bought the flesh for N1000 and used it to prepare bathing soap. I needed good luck because members of my church were running away. They wanted miracles and I discovered that anytime I use that soap to bath, members will be receiving healing. I knew that Sunday was selling human parts so, I contacted him and bought some,” he confessed.
The third buyer is a self-acclaimed Muslim cleric, Mustapha Ajibola. He linked another cleric, Mustapha Iliya, to Olaniyi and both of them bought N10, 000 worth of human flesh.
According to Ajibola, the use of human flesh to produce soaps helped in curing illnesses for his customers.
“They normally succeed in their businesses and other areas of their lives. It has worked for me, that was why I introduced Iliya to it,” he confessed.
Iliya claimed he had rejected the flesh after a dream in which his father had warned him that the use of human flesh will land him in jail. “My father warned me. Initially, I thought they got it from the cemetery. When my father warned me, I returned it to Ajibola who sold it to others,” he said.
The fifth suspect, Ademola, has a popular stand at Oyingbo market in Lagos. He insisted he was not part of those who bought and sold the flesh of the deceased. “I am a traditional medicine dealer. I have done this business for more than 20 years in that market. One of my customers, Sunday, came to my shop and asked if I can get human bones for him. He was willing to pay N5, 000 for a few. I know that such can be found at Ebute Meta Cemetery, so I went there and gathered some and sold to him. The cemetery is open to everyone, and those bones are scattered everywhere. As an old man, no one cares if I enter there for any reason.”
Meanwhile, Sunday, the man many of the buyers accused of being their supplier of human
flesh, claimed he, in turn, bought from Olaniyi.
“I bought a bucketful of human flesh from Olaniyi for N10, 000, shared it in parts and sold it at N10, 000 per portion to my customers. I know Olaniyi because I normally supply bones from the cemetery to him,” he stated.
Agony of the bereaved family
Abosede’s mother, Alice Adeyemi, is still in shock over the barbaric killing of her daughter. “On the day, that she went missing, I spoke with her and she told me she was going to see her brother in Ogun State,” she said.
She dismissed Olaniyi’s story: “My daughter was a loving wife and mother to her children. I do not believe all these useless stories. They hunted my daughter and killed her. It was at the police station that, police showed me messages that they sent to her,” she declared, urging the government to dispense justice in the case.
“I pray they will all be killed in the same manner that they butchered my daughter like a fowl,” she cursed.
The deceased’s husband, Wajud Iyanda, who was at the police station with their five young sons, also dismissed the story of the suspects. “I love my wife and I did everything within my power to make her happy and provide for my children. We never had any issue; they are cooking up stories to tarnish her name,” he railed.
He corroborated his mother-in-law story that on the day of her disappearance, the deceased told him where she was going, which was her brother’s place in Ifo.
“I don’t know what to do with these boys now that their mother is dead. Where will I start?” Iyanda wailed.
Pressure on Police to free suspects
Despite the overwhelming evidence, faceless members of the public have been putting pressure on the police to release the suspects, especially Olaniyi, who was described as a potent native doctor, sources told Saturday Sun.
Those calling for his release include “politicians, successful businessmen and some head of security agencies,” said the source.
The IGP, however, has assured the family that justice will be served and has therefore ordered that the suspects be arraigned in court.
“It is embarrassing and amazing the number of calls that we have received over this matter. They are offering millions to release Olaniyi whom they claim is needed in society to continue his job,” the police source said. “We have done our part, namely to arrest Olaniyi and his accomplices. Whatever is left of the body will be handed over to the victim’s family for burial.”