One of the three suspects arrested over the serial killings in Akinyele area of Ibadan, Oyo state, says he received food and N500 for each of the six persons murdered in the area.
Within a month, at least five persons, including a pregnant woman and two students, were hacked to death in the community.
The suspect was among the 19 suspects paraded on Friday by Nwachuckwu Enwonwu, the state commissioner of police, for offences ranging from armed robbery to defilement, motorcycle theft, among others.
The 19-year-old suspect said he was sent on the mission by a 50-year-old herbalist, whom he claimed was his master.
“Anytime I’m to go for the killing, baba will give me some charms and also teach me some incantation to be recited so that nobody will see me at the scene of the crime,” he said.
“I will hit the victims with a shovel and recite the incantation immediately I saw blood coming out of the victims’ body.
“Baba instructed me to always move around the victims at the scene after killing them and then turn my back on them, staying there for like three minutes; which I did and nobody will see me.
“Baba said the spirits of the victims will come to him after I killed them. Baba did not tell me the reason for the killings, but does buy me food and gives me N500 after each of the killings I carried out for him.”
But the herbalist denied the accusations, saying the suspect was brought to him by his parents to learn about herbs.
“The boy was brought to me in 2016 and only spent six days with me and I sent him away and since then I have not seen him,” the herbalist said.
“I only saw him some days ago when he came with the police, though I do give him food.”
The CP said the 19-year-old suspect was arrested through a phone he stole from one of the victims, Azeezat Shomuyiwa, and he later led operatives of the special anti-robbery squad to the hideout of the herbalist.
Enwonwu said the modus operandi of the suspect was to target female victims and attack them with dangerous weapons, rob them before hacking them to death.
He said the suspect confessed to masterminding various criminal activities within Ojo’o, Akinyele and Moniya areas of Ibadan.
“He attacked and killed an 18-year-old, Barakat Bello, on June 1; attacked and killed 21-year-old Grace Oshiagwu on June 13; killed five-year-old Mojeed Tirimisiyu on June 22, all in Akinyele,” Enwonwu said.
“His last operation was carried out on June 29 when he attacked Mrs Adeola Azeez and her daughter with a shovel.
“The duo were seriously injured on the head. He carted away their phones and money. The victims are currently responding to treatment at the hospital.”