Tension in Osogbo over rising cases of missing persons, ritual killings

The Osun State Commissioner of Police, Mr Fimihan Adeoye, has said that his command has adopted intelligence gathering and due prosecution of culprits as an approach to stemming the tide of ritual killings in the state.

For the past few months, residents of Osogbo, the state capital, have lived in constant fear over the growing cases of missing persons and ritual killings.

Since late last year, suspects have been arrested by the police virtually on a monthly basis for alleged involvement in killing people for ritual purposes.

Adeoye told Saturday Tribune in a telephone interview that: “We are thoroughly exploring intelligence gathering approach, prosecution of arrested culprits to frontally tackle the increasing cases of ritual killings in the state. We believe that timely arrest and prosecution of arrested suspects would serve as deterrent to anybody contemplating to perpetrate ritual killing and we are also embarking on sensitisation of the people of Osun State on how to avoid falling prey to suspected ritual killers.”

Desperation for quick riches is said to be driving some people to resort to the use of human parts for rituals in achieving this inordinate desire. And the usual suspects have been people believed to be clerics, popularly called alfa, and herbalists who carry out the rituals for their ‘clients’.

In December 2016, a 400 level female student of the Osun State University (UNIOSUN), identified as Rofiat Damilola Adebisi, was declared missing after attending a religious programme in Ikoyi town, off the Ibadan-Ife Expressway. After days of frantic search by her friends and family members, her corpse was found in Iragbiji in Boripe Local Government Area of the state. But after investigations, the police arrested two suspects in connection with the student’s murder. The suspects, Elijah Oyebode (22) and Yusuf Ajibade (25) were later remanded in Ilesa prison by a magistrate’s court sitting in Osogbo. They were said to have been remanded due to the gravity of their offence.

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Similarly, four students of the same university who were declared missing late last year are yet to be found, even though the commissioner of police, Mr Adeoye, told Saturday Tribune that efforts were still on to find the undergraduates.

However, the recent case of a final year student of the institution, Oluwafemi Shonibare, angered his colleagues who embarked on a violent protest, in Osogbo, of the kidnap and killings of their colleagues for money rituals. The decomposing body of Shonibare, who was declared missing on 26 June, 2017 by his colleagues, was discovered in a bush within the town.

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