Not a job the kids would be proud of. But murder for body parts to use in rituals are shockingly common.
A self-proclaimed Islamic cleric and native doctor has been arrested by the Lagos State Police Command for selling human parts.
60-year-old Gazali Akewadola, was said to have killed innocent people and used their parts to perform rituals.
Akewadola from Owode Yewa, Ogun State has since made confessions of his own following his arrest by the Special Anti-Robbery Squad defending his act as a means to cater for his eight children. He also reportedly disclosed that he began making money buying heads at the cost of N3,000 but the price went up to N8,000 so he decided to start buying human beings and then dismembering the corpses which he would use for various purposes.
The man was previously connected with stealing corpses. But he says live people are better because they can give you blood. He also notes he would never kill his children for parts. That’s why he is doing this job, to support them.
This piece has a bit more detail.
What a strange story. Why is he telling it? He confessed to doing it. What are we to think of it? It turns out its not that uncommon.
Leo Igwe writes this about rituals in Nigeria:
In September 2001, the mutilated body of “Boy Adam” was found by the British Police floating in the River Thames, near Tower Bridge in London. A top police source suspected that Adam might have been a victim of a style of ritual killing practiced in west and southern Africa. And forensic examination revealed that Adam lived in southwestern Nigeria.
Generally, ritual killing is a common practice in Nigeria. Every year, hundreds of Nigerians lose their lives to ritual murderers, also known as headhunters.
These head hunters go in search of human parts-head, breast, tongue, sexual organs-at the behest of witchdoctors, juju priests, and traditional medicine men who require them for some sacrifices or for the preparation of assorted magical potions.
Recently, there have been several reported cases of individuals who were kidnapped, killed, or had their bodies mutilated by ritualists in Nigeria. The most notorious of them is the one associated with one Chief Vincent Duru, popularly known as Otokoto.
Igwe gives three reasons why this is happening in Nigeria: Religion, Superstition and Poverty. This is truly a shocking expose as Igwe notes this belief in ritual killing is in other parts of sub-Saharan Africa – Ghana, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Liberia, and Uganda.
This report also includes references that this is a common practice.
The response has been inadequate:
According to the research associate at the University of London, “there is no recognised, institutionalised response [to ritual murders] from police or state”. The research associate added, further, that because of corruption in police and state institutions, “any action or inaction wouldn’t necessarily be transparent”.
In October 2012, the Governor of Zamfara State, in response to “reports of incessant killings and disappearances of persons,” especially children, reportedly warned “ritual killers and cultists” in a public address to leave the state, adding that they would be subject to the death penalty if found guilty of murder (Daily Trust 20 Oct. 2012). Further information on the response by state authorities to ritual killings could not be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate within the time constraints of this Response.
Tip: David O’Hare