Wole Balogun, Ado Ekiti
When Yetunde Ogunje, a final-year student of the Ekiti State University, arrived Ado-Ekiti, capital of the state, three years ago, to resume at the institution, the first warming handed down to her by her uncle, Gbenga Adeseke, a lecturer at the school, was: “I congratulate you for being admitted to study a course of your dream, but I must warn you to beware of Yahoo Boys masquerading as children of the rich and the powerful on this campus, so that you won’t end up becoming their pawn for money-making rituals.”
The warning gave Yetunde the shock of her life as she had never heard of Internet scammers and fraudsters, commonly known in the local parlance as Yahoo Boys, being involved in voodoo.
In Lagos, where she grew up, she knew the Yahoo Boys as some smart Internet-savvy youngsters who outsmart gullible and/or greedy white women and men in search of fun or involved in some businesses that would bring massive interest on investment. She equally had identified the Yahoo Boys as those crazy youngsters who spent stupendously on ladies, ride very expensive cars, and lavish money on one another and the ladies in nightclubs and parties.
It never occurred to her that the smart guys had graduated from using their brains to using juju to make money. It is now called Yahoo Plus.
Yetunde said: “The Yahoo Boys who use girls for money-making rituals are real here in Ekiti. It appears that merely using their brains to cajole their white victims or some dubious moneybags no longer yields results. So, they have chosen other heinous ways to make huge money and this is, indeed, diabolical.
“I was curious about my uncle’s warning. I had some friends who were into Yahoo business in Lagos and what they did was to take ladies out and spoil them silly.
“ut on getting to the campus here, I heard so many gory stories of pretty campus girls missing after going out at night. The bodies of such girls were found later without some sensitive parts such as vagina and breasts. Sometimes, their bodies were never found at all. They were victims of Yahoo Boys.”
Funmilola Ojo, an undergraduate at the lkere College of Education, in Ikere Ekiti, is one of those who would have fallen victim of the rampaging Yahoo Plus boys, but for heeding the warnings from some friends on campus.
She said: “I am an outgoing person naturally and as such l like partying a lot. So, once I arrived on campus, I already had a mindset to indulge myself in partying and regular nightclubing. And I can tell you that there are many of such activities here in Ekiti.
“Although when you come to school from a bigger city such as Lagos, you are tempted to look down on Ekiti as a local place, where nothing really serious is happening in terms of social life, there are lots of fun places in Ado-Ekiti. The city bubbles at night because of the huge presence of Yahoo Boys.
“It does seem this is the headquarters of those boys in southwest Nigeria from my experience.
“So, when I started clubbing here, our friends, who already understood the terrain, gave us some tips on how to play safe.
“Asking too many questions from a rich Yahoo guy may land you in trouble as that gives him a warning signal that you might have had foreknowledge of what he really does and going to a club in a group of other girls may put you in safe company as this does not put you in lonely danger zone with a Yahoo Plus guy.”
Recounting some ugly experiences on campus, Rosaline Agu, an undergraduate of Federal University, Oye-Ekiti, said: “We have had cases of some girls who were used by Yahoo Boys. We know of a lady who suddenly became ill after spending a few days with her Yahoo boyfriend. She eventually bled to death and people said she must have been used for money rituals.
“While there are many cases of girls missing and never found, there are also instances of those who were found dead in the bush or gutter, with sensitive parts of their body severed. Such body parts include their public hairs and breasts.
“There was the case of Mercy, a student of Ekiti State University, who was taken away by her rich guy and when she returned to campus two days later, she started vomiting blood and blood gushing from her nostrils. She was rushed to the hospital but she died. What many people could make out of that strange thing was that she was used by Yahoo Plus boys.”
Saidi Adegbite, a secondary school teacher in Ekiti, told the reporter that the Yahoo Plus boys murder their victims in a most gruesome manner and harvest their blood or body parts. He recalled that some recent murders were speculated to have been carried out by Yahoo Plus boys.
Consider this: An old woman in Ajilosun, Ado Ekiti, a retiree from the old Ondo State civil service, Madam Akande, was found in a pool of blood, with her head smashed, by some church members and neighbours.
One of her daughters, who challenged the police to fish out the killers of her mother, said she suspected some Badoo or Yahoo Plus boys must have murdered her mother.
A 25-year-old mother of two, Kehinde Olomola, was on August 29, 2018, clubbed to death by a young man who had been making love advances towards her that she had reportedly rejected on a number of occasions on the ground that the man was involved in drug abuse.
A neighbour found Kehinde’s lifeless body one early morning in her one-room apartment in Igede Ekiti community, Ifelodun/Irepodun Local Government Area of the state. Her torn underwear and an axe were found in the room suggesting that she must have been clubbed to death after being raped and beaten mercilessly in her struggle with her assailant.
Similarly, some young men suspected of indulging in money-making rituals have been seen running mad on the streets of the city.
In October 2018, one of such young men suspected to be involved in Yahoo Plus had gone to have his expensive car washed in Ado-Ekiti.
He was said to have dropped his car key for the car wash attendants, who were as usual awed by the beauty of the car and decided to step beyond their boundary by ransacking the luxurious vehicle. They eventually found the abominable in the booth of the car: It was a live tortoise allegedly emitting crisp naira notes.
However, the shocked car wash boys were said to have stuffed some of the naira notes into their pockets and carefully locked the booth. But then, some signals had been sent to the Yahoo Plus boy who rushed back from where he had gone, panting and demanding to get the car key and immediately made for the booth.
“On seeing the strange object in the booth of his car and the strange thing it was doing, the Yahoo boy went wild with regret, asking “Why did this happen to me?” He instantly became berserk and started removing his clothes and displaying other insane manners.
“That was because his money-making secret had been blown open,” a witness said.
Yahoo Plus boys in Ekiti also do other appalling things to get rich. One of such is eating fresh human excreta.
A young man in his 30s said to be a cleric was caught consuming human excreta in the Odo-Ado area of Ado Ekiti on January 21.
An old woman who alleged that she saw the pastor feeding on the excrement raised the alarm, saying: “Everybody come. They have come again o. This one is eating shit. We have warned our people to stop open defecation but they would not listen. See this man; he is feeding on their excreta now.”
The man was promptly apprehended by an irate mob and he was lynched. He was stripped naked and paraded around the town. Thereafter, they put a used tyre around his neck, poured fuel on him and set him ablaze before security agents arrived the scene.
Encounter with Ekiti Yahoo Plus boys
The reporter was on an official trip to Osun State to cover the last governorship election. He had boarded a commercial bus that evening and found himself among some young men in the uniforms of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC).
In a chat, one of them said: “With this iPhone, I make millions every hour. I have my laptop in my bag. I am doing the NYSC in Ekiti but I don’t ever teach at the school that is my place of primary assignment. I am a big boy. I ride Honda Evil Spirit and I have other cars such as Muscle Camry. I don’t downgrade myself following some corrupt politicians who will promise heaven and earth to their foolish supporters only to get there and become unreachable and unapproachable.
“I am a big boy. Once I have a tortoise or some object from my Baba under my laptop, whatever command I give to those white folks is promptly obeyed and I rake in millions of naira into my many accounts. I only pretend to be a small boy when I come to sign at my place of primary assignment in Ekiti. Back in Oshogbo, I am a big boy and my parents are happy with me.”
Determined to get more information from him and two others who joined the discussion, the reporter said: “But using juju to make money is evil and has consequences.” He replied: “Yahoo Boys don’t use juju to harm anyone. We only use what we have to retrieve the wealth of Africa the white men took when they colonised our forefathers. We are taking those things from them. When we were using our brains to take it, they got smarter over time and no longer fell for our tricks but now, except you have no human blood in your veins, my juju and incantations from the spirits must capture you for me.”
It was learnt that some herbalists are usually consulted by Yahoo Plus boys to make juju that hypnotise their victims on the Internet. So, Daily Sun decided to investigate the veracity of the claims by visiting some herbalists.
For Chief Odofin Oluwo, he knows that Yahoo boys consult some of his colleagues who are fond of doing juju charms for them but he has never done it for anyone as his spiritual powers are not meant for such evil. He, however, narrated the encounters that some of his colleagues have had with Yahoo boys.
His words: “I recall an encounter a colleague of mine who used to be involved in such practices had with a certain Yahoo Plus boy whom he had requested to bring a lady that could be used for money rituals.
“The requirement, according to him, was that such a lady must possess some spiritual fortunes such as a bright future, which could be manipulated through diabolical means in favour of the Yahoo boy. Once such a lady is found, she would be used and the Yahoo boy would have to continue to take good care of her. The consequences for the lady is that she would never be able to have success or breakthrough in any of her endeavours in life as those fortunes have been converted to the Yahoo boy’s fortune who may end up marrying her or sending her away with a huge amount of money to fix her life.
“Such ladies who fall victim would end up not being able to give birth to a child or she would nurse a strange sickness throughout her lifetime.
“The way the Yahoo boys do this is to introduce the lady to the herbalist who normally would disguise as a friend or relative of the boy and, over time, administer some concoction or the other on the girl to cure some ailment such as menstrual pains or other common ailments for ladies.
“I feel so sad for ladies in Ekiti because one day my friend and colleague told me that there was a certain boy who was instructed by the herbalist to bring one of his girlfriends for such rituals. It happened that the boy had to bring up to 25 girls who were undergraduates for the money-making ritual but none of the girls qualified for the rituals because the herbalist found out that they had all been already used by some other Yahoo Plus boys who earlier dated them.
“Eventually, it was about the 26th or 27th girl the boy brought that qualified for the ritual, to show you how many young greedy girls have ruined their lives in Ekiti with their relationships with Yahoo boys.”
Responding to the issue of prevalence of Internet fraudsters in Ekiti, the state police public relations officer, Mr. Caleb Nwachukwu, said: “When you say that Yahoo-Yahoo boys are everywhere, how can the police know, when not informed, because we are not spirits.
“One of such cases on ritualists that we have caught, like you said, was in Odo-Ekiti, where we busted a shrine of suspected ritualists in their den. We can actually link that to money swindlers and we can say such people are fraudsters.
“But I want to urge members of the public to be very careful and be contented with what they have. It is when you are greedy that you can easily be duped or defrauded. We also wish to advise bank managers to ensure that they screen anyone they are hiring to man their use of technology for banking very well before hiring them. Customers of banks too should be very careful not to give out details of their banking activities such as their password and all that. What I can confidently say is that the police do not just go after some people. It doesn’t mean that we can’t work on suspected cases. If anyone reports cases of fraud to us, the police will investigate. And if such a case is one that doesn’t fall within our purview, we will refer such case to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and the ICPC. There is a synergy between the sister organisations and this is being done to ensure effective and efficient security operations.”