From Oluseye Ojo, Ibadan

The police, in Oyo State, on Wednesday, arraigned three suspected ritualists for allegedly killing a 33-year-old cashew merchant, Mr. Akintoye Oyeyemi, in a cashew farm, and severed some parts of his body for money rituals.

They were arraigned before an Oyo State Chief Magistrate Court presided over by Mrs. A.F. Richard, who did not take their plea, ordered them to be remanded in Agodi Prisons and adjourned the case to May 8, 2017, for legal advice from the Directorate of Public Prosecution.

The accused are Tunde Jimoh, 37, Gbenga Babalade, 40, and Olatunji Hammed, 42. They were among the four suspects paraded by the Commissioner of Police in the state, Mr. Abiodun Odude, on Thursday, March 23, 2017, at the state police headquarters,  Eleyele, Ibadan, for the offence.

But the fourth accused, Abubakar Agboola, who was said to be an herbalist, was not arraigned, on Wednesday.

He was said to have been arrested at Ipe Village in Kwara State. His arrest was said to have led to the arrest of three other suspects.

During the parade, Babalade had told newsmen that he wanted to make money rituals and he contacted Abubakar Agboola, who allegedly demanded for the human parts to prepare the rituals. He contracted his friend, Tunde Jimoh, with whom he allegedly beheaded the deceased and removed his body parts.

When they took the human part to Agboola, he told them he could not perform the rituals for them, hence he purportedly referred them to Olatunji Ahmed, a herbalist and an ‘Alfa.’

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Odude had said: “The suspects conspired together to make money rituals involving the use of human heart. To carry out their evil plan, the duo of Tunde Jimoh and Gbenga Babalade under the pretext of doing business, on February 24,2017, at about 9:00a.m., lured their victim, robbed him of N100,000, and subsequently gruesomely murdered him in cold blood.

“Having killed the victim, the suspect removed the deceased body parts, including the heart, head and wrists for ritual purpose.”

In the court yesterday, the prosecuting police officer, Mr. Sunday Ogunremi, an Assistant Superintendent of Police, preferred a five-count charge against the suspect. The first count said the Tunde Jimoh and Gbenga Babalade between February 24,2017 and February 25, 2017, at about 3pm to 1pm between Atiba in Oyo State and Igbo Nla Area of Kwara State conspired to commit felony to with murder.

The second count said Tunde Jimoh and Gbenga Babalade within the period killed one Akinteye Stephen Oyeyemi with intent to use his heart for money ritual, and thereby committed and offence.

The third count stated that “The duo while they armed themselves with a single barrel cut-to-size gun, cutlass and knife robbed Oyeyemi, now deceased, of the sum of N100,000, and thereby committed an offence.”

The fourth count said “Tunde Jimoh and Gbenga Babalade on March 14, 2017 unlawfully had in their possession, one cut to size gun with two live cartridges, and thereby committed an offence.”

The fifth count said that “Olatunji Hammed Ganiyu on March 14, this year,  “assisted Tunde Jimoh and Gbenga Babalade, who to your knowledge have committed a criminal offence of murder but you intentionally concealed the information and failed to report the offence to the police and thereby become an accessory after the fact to the murder.”