• Why suspects don’t end up in jail –Lawyer
By Funke Busari
A recent confession of a suspect in Ogun State, 35-year-old Ifasoji Ayangbesan was indeed mindboggling.
The self-confessed herbalist, who also claimed to be a farmer, denied killing and dismembering anyone. But he admitted that he bought a pair of legs, belonging to a lady, one Oyindamola Adeyemi.
This latest incident gives credence to the fact that trading in human parts has surfaced again, Saturday Sun can report.
Ifasoji himself had said that he was arrested because an alleged murderer, who has since been apprehended by the Police in Ogun – a certain man named Lukman – had identified Ifasoji as the buyer of fresh human legs Lukman exhumed from the cemetery.
But this is no isolated incident.
In 1999, a man believed to be insane, Clifford Orji, reported to be a man-eating monster, was arrested in Lagos under the flyover leading to the airport just before Toyota Bus Stop on the Oshodi-Isolo Expressway alongside an accomplice, one Tahiru.
This incident took many by surprise. According to the then Police Commissioner, Sunday Aghedo, the suspect was found with a corpse and over a dozen human skulls discovered at his home under the bridge. The police said the man pretended to be mentally ill.
His case was however not concluded before his death in 2012.
Cases abound of many arrests as a result of illegal dealing in human parts allegedly for ritual purposes.
On January 7, 2022, a 300 level female student of University of Jos, Jennifer Anthony was found dead with both her eyes plucked out. In Delta State, it was reported on February 11, 2022 that suspected ritualists killed a lady, plucked her two eyes in Ogwashi-Uku area and dumped her body by the road side.
Daily, there have been reported cases of this act of inhumanity. This is despite several legislations that forbid it.
Specifically, Chapter 4 of Nigeria’s Constitution provides for an individual the right to life. The law states: “Every person has a right to life. No one shall be deprived intentionally of his life save in execution of the sentence of a court in respect of a criminal offence of which he has been found guilty in Nigeria.”
Shockingly, right now, Nigeria not only records the killing of its citizens but there now the trading in human parts.
Sometime around November 2022, Police Command Public Relations Officer in Ogun State, Abimbola Oyeyemi, a Superintendent of Police explained that one Idowu Abel had lured his bosom friend, Adekunle Muyiwa to a farm where he was killed, butchered and buried in a shallow grave.
Following his arrest, the Police narrated that Idowu Abel confessed that it was one herbalist who was introduced to him by a pastor that requested for human head, heart, two hands and legs for the sum of N200,000.
Also, a gang of alleged human parts harvesters were caught while they were hatching a plot. They were reportedly making a secret plan to carry out another round of human parts harvest from graves within Ososa Community in Odogbolu Local Government, Ogun State.
Five suspects, Oshole Fayemi, 60, Osemi Adesanya 39, Ismaila Seidu 30, Oseni Oluwasegun, 69 and Lawal Olaiya 50, were arrested in connection with this.
Police spokesman, Oyeyemi said the suspects were arrested after series of exhuming corpses from graves and removing parts of their bodies for ritual purposes.
The suspects confessed that they were actually into the business of exhuming corpses from graves, and that they sold parts from such corpses to ready buyers who needed the parts for money making rituals.
From the Police investigation and interaction with Ifasoji in Ogun State, human parts sale is real. In an encounter, Ifasoji said he indeed bought two human legs for N20,000.
He told Saturday Sun that he meant no harm as he purchased the commodity from the dealer who told him, he got the parts from a dead person. He said the human parts, when mixed with other items, were meant to serve as a means for him to become wealthy.
Contrary to his claim, the detectives are alleging that the suspect was responsible for killing Oyindamola. But he disagreed with this allegation during an interaction with him at the Ogun State Police Command in Eleweran, Abeokuta.Ifasoji claimed that a certain man called Lukman advertised the sale of legs to him.
His words: “Truly, I cannot deny this. I bought the legs from him. Lukman sold the legs to me, but I told him that I did not have the ingredients for the parts at the moment. He persuaded me to buy fresh legs of a human corpse. He told me that he saw the legs at a burial place.”
He added that despite telling him that there was no job he could use it for, Lukman allegedly informed him that a certain herbalist, Egbeji who he also called Oye in Ishiwo, might help him (Ifasoji).
In his confessional statement, Ifasoji said he called a third party that he has human legs. This third party allegedly informed him that he (the third party) had the ingredients to make the body parts work.
Ifasoji added that the work was for money or business accomplishments.
“When I received the works, I prepared them as I was instructed, I burned the legs using some other leaves into ashes, and I poured it into a container for my personal use. I am not lying. I have not use the by-product, but I have thrown it away into a bush. I bought the pair of legs for N20,000 only.”
He denied engaging in any previous money making ritual, claiming his action with regards to the deceased was for making a headway in life.
He also explained how he got involved in the crime. He said: “My friend, Oye was the one who told me I could become rich through money-making ritual. That was the reason I did it.” He said he had not started using the two legs when he was arrested by the police.
“On January 4, I was called about the incident by the police alleging that I bought some legs but I denied it, “he said. He explained that because he knew he actually committed the offence, he became afraid and went into hiding. “I hid in a remote part of Ijebu-Mushin in Ogun State,” he confessed.
When he was probed further, he denied that a police officer called him, insisting it was his daughter who called him on phone when the officers came to his house.
“But as she was calling to inform me that the police were searching for me, I knew the police were with her.”
He said he was at Ajah cleansing the heads of some people spiritually at an Ifa festival about the time the police came looking for him.
He said the police came to his house on Wednesday January 4, 2023 but couldn’t find him.
He said the police then removed his belongings, including his Bajaj motorcycle, cooking gas and wrist watch. That, he said, prompted his to return home. After confirming that his house had been raided, he said he met someone who promised to get him a lawyer. The lawyer the person found then went to the police station. He said the lawyer advised him to look for money to bribe the police officers in charge of the case. He said he thereafter started working like a jackal just to get money for the police.
After making some money, he said he went with the lawyer to the police station. “The police asked for N10 million. I said I did not have N10 million, but I would call my people. That was how I got N1 million that I gave to the police”
He said upon inquiry, he told the police that he did not inform anyone that they asked him to bring money, assuring them that he only told God!
He said the police then ordered him to sit on the floor and hold the money in his hands. They then took his photographs and locked him up at the Obalende Police Station in Ijebu-Ode in the state,” he said.
“It is true I tried to bribe the police, because I was aware the police were looking for me,”
He pleaded with the government to forgive him.
Ogun State Commissioner of Police, Olanrewaju Yomi Oladimeji however claimed that the suspect is a wanted ritualist working with a syndicate.
He said he was arrested on April 4 for allegedly killing and dismembering the body of Oyindamola at Ijebu-Ode. The police informed that he is a member of a syndicate, adding that other members of his gang had earlier been arrested.
The police authorities claimed that Ifasoji was apprehended following painstaking, intelligence-based investigation embarked upon by detectives from Obalende Divisional Headquarters, which led them to his hideout at Ijade Iloti area of Ijebu-Ode.
The Police claimed that Ifasoji had earlier been fingered as the buyer of two legs belonging to the murdered Oyindamola by some members of the syndicate earlier arrested.
Police said Ifasoji went into hiding immediately he got information that some of his alleged gang members had been arrested.
According to the police source, the Divisional Police Officer Obalende Division, Murphy Salami, a Superintendent of Police, had been on Ifasoji’s trail, detailing his detectives with a view to arresting him and possibly recover the deceased’s two legs from him and prosecute him with his colleagues in crime.
Oyeyemi said no police officer demanded bribe from the suspect but he offered the bribe to be left off the hook.
“Immediately he was arrested, the suspect made an offer of N1million bribe to the policemen, which was rejected.”
He told Saturday Sun that the suspect allegedly confessed during interrogation that he was part of the syndicate that killed Oyindamola, and that he was the person who severed the two legs of the deceased which he claimed he used for ritual purposes.
Commissioner of Police in Ogun, Olanrewaju Yomi Oladimeji who commended his men for a good job, has directed that the suspect be transferred to the State Criminal Investigation Department in order to prosecute him with other members of his syndicate.
According to Section (1)(b) and Section 2 of the constitution, “Any person who improperly or indecently interferes with or offers any indignity to any dead human body or human remains, whether buried or not; eats or receives for the purpose of eating any part of a dead human body, is guilty of a misdemeanor and is liable to imprisonment for two years.
However, it has been observed that most of these cases end after the arrest and parade by the police.
A legal practitioner, Wahab Abdulah, while speaking with Saturday Sun, identified factors that make it difficult for a successful prosecution of suspects.
According to him, while prosecuting a criminal case, the prosecution has to establish that a particular offence was committed and it is established that it is the same person that committed the offence and that that offence is also against what the law says.
On those dealing in human parts, he noted: “I can’t specifically say we have an example of such matter that has been prosecuted and timely, which is different from other criminal matters that are being prosecuted in court.”
He said what could have led to a delay might be an issue of scientific proof: that’s the issue of pathology and anything that is related to the establishment of that fact that that offence was committed by that person and at that particular period of time.
“For instance, if you say somebody’s eyes were plucked, the prosecution has to establish the process by which that plucking of the eyes was carried out, that is, the type of knife they used, how the act was carried out, who was responsible,” he added.
“Let assume about two or three of them, which will be an issue of conspiracy. Who and who carried out the specific act, that is the person that used his hand to remove the person’s eyes and the moment the prosecution couldn’t have all these elements present in his case, there may be probably some delay.”
According to him, most times, those people who are accused of committing such offence are not caught in the act and they will begin to blame shift.
In summary, the legal practitioner added that a criminal act has to be established and the other ingredient is that the person indeed committed the act of either murder or removing human parts and all those types of things.