Residents of Obele community in Oko-Agbola, Magbon area of Badagry, Lagos, were taken aback at the sight of policemen at the site of a swimming pool around the area on February 13, 2015. However, before their arrival, a crowd had gathered to watch the bloated headless body of a man in the river. At the approach of the policemen, the crowd disappeared into thin air for fear of possible arrest.
On closer observation , it was discovered that the headless man also had other parts of his body mutilated. For instance, his two breasts were slashed off, his two wrists chopped off and his chest region dissected, revealing a conspicuously deep hole. Not only that, his stomach was also discovered to have been sliced open with the intestines missing, as well as his manhood.
Before the arrival of the policemen, the crowd reportedly tried in vain to fathom the true identity of the headless man who was dumped in the river, stark naked. However, the nut has been cracked by operatives of the Homicide section of the State Criminal Investigations Department ,SCID, Panti, Yaba, following the arrest of a Muslim cleric , otherwise known as Alfa.
The 27 year-old suspect, Alfa Fatai Aderomu, an Arabic teacher popularly known around Oko-Agbonla area of Magbon, is currently cooling his heels inside the dreaded cell at Panti. He gave a shilling account of how the headless body found its way into the river.
JOURNEY OF NO RETURN
The headless man was later discovered to be one Rafiu Suleiman , a father of one, who also lived around the area. Further checks showed that he left home for his place of work in Apapa on Valentine day, February 14, 2015, but never returned. Apprehension reportedly set in next day following his continued absence, a development that led to his family reporting at Morogbo police division the next day.
Search, as gathered, had been conducted round the area, with visits to hospitals and mortuaries but he was not found. His wife and their 3-year-old baby were said to have waited in vain for the arrival of their 41-year-old bread winner, until news about the discovery of a headless man in Obele river reached them.
Crime Guard gathered that members of the family were invited to ascertain whether the headless body was that of the missing Suleiman. While they were at it, the wife reportedly called a member of the family who was with the Police on phone, informing that her husband had informed her on Valentine day that he would stop by Alfa Aderomu’s place on his way back.
With that information, operatives of the Homicide section led by the officer-in charge, Mr Iyamah Daniel, a Chief superintendent of Police, stormed Aderomu’s apartment located at 32, Oko-Agbola street,where he was seen teaching children Arabic and Islamic studies. He was subsequently apprehended.
Spokesman for the Lagos State Police Command, Kenneth Nwosu, who confirmed the arrest, revealed that when a search was conducted round the cleric’s apartment, a pair of blue Jeans identified as the one worn by the victim was found in a nearby bust opposite Alfa Aderomu’s house. On further interrogation, he reportedly opened up by saying that he administered a concoction on the deceased that fateful day which led to his death, right in his apartment which he shared with his wife and five children.
CONCOCTION FOR FAVOR
In an encounter with the Oyo state-born suspect, he gave a terrifying account which could be likened to a horror movie, of how the victim whom he claimed to be his client, died and how he was dumped in the river. Hear him: “ Rafiu Suleiman (deceased) was a friend and a client for two years . He usually came for spiritual cleansing. Yes, I have been an Alfa ( Islamic cleric) for 15 years.I own a mosque where I teach children Islamic and Arabic studies.
I also administer treatment on strange sicknesses. Also, I prepare concoction of favor, success and quick sales for my clients. On February 14 , 2015, Suleiman called me on phone to inform that his child had dislocated his arm. I told him I could prepare medicine that would heal him. That morning, he came to my house and dropped N2000 for the preparation of the medicine intended for his child.
On his way back from work, precisely11pm, he came to my place and demanded for an earlier concoction I prepared for him. It was for favor. He said he needed it in order to gain his boss’s favor at work. He worked as a crane driver. After preparing the concoction, he took it . That was 12 midnight. By then, he said he could not go back home, that it was late. At about 2am, he started complaining of stomach ache. I gave him palm oil, after which we both slept.
… AND HE DIED?
At this point, the suspect paused , shook his head intermittently and cast a stare at this reporter as if he was in a trance. After a long silence, he continued: “ I woke up at about 4am. But by the time I shook Suleiman to wake him up, he was cold. I shook him vigorously and at the same time called out his name but there was dead silence.”
Crime Guard asked if his (Alfa’s) wife and children whom he said occupied one of the two bedrooms were not attracted by the noise, he replied: “ No, I did not shout that loud . Immediately, I picked my phone and quickly dialed the number of the Chief Imam of Obelle community (name withheld). When he came, he suggested we should take the body away from the house in order to avoid prying eyes.”
HOW BODY WAS DISMEMBERED
Alfa Aderomu stated that the body was cut and and packed into two bags of rice and thereafter, taken to a bush along the street. From his explanation, it seemed the Chief Imam came prepared for the dehumanizing act, as according to him: “ When we reached the bush, the Chief Imam brought out a knife and cut the two wrist s and the head.
He hid them somewhere in the bush with a promise to come pick them later. Next day, we called another cleric named(name withheld) on phone. On arrival, we discovered that came with another cleric(name withheld) . They dissected the chest and removed the heart . They also cut the stomach and removed all the intestines. They further cut off the breasts and manhood.”
BODY DUMPED IN THE RIVER
Asked what part of the body he collected, he said , “I did not collect any part”. Also asked what they intended doing with the body parts, he said : “ I believe they either wanted to sell them or use them to prepare concoction for fertility , stroke or other illnesses.’’ Continuing, he said : “ We, thereafter, pulled his clothes and pants before dumping him inside the stagnant pool . Our intention was to prevent his death being linked to me. I did not plan to kill him.
POWDERY SUBSTANCE KILLED HIM
How could I plan to kill Rafiu Suleiman who was like a brother to me? I have prepared several concoctions for him and nothing bad has ever happened. What actually killed him was the powdery substance I added in the concoction. I believe it was too much. That was why, when he complained of stomach ache, I quickly gave him palm oil.
I didn’t know it would kill him. Since I became a cleric, such calamity had never befallen me. I had to call my colleagues because I was confused. I did not know they would end up complicating my problem,. If I had known, I would have called his family or even raised alarm.
RECOVERED BURNT SUBSTANCE
When asked what the earthen port with burnt substance which was recovered inside his apartment was meant for, the suspect revealed that it was a concoction for success which was at the verge of being prepared for a client. According to him: “ The burnt substance were in different denominations of naira I added some ingredients to it before burning them. It was at the last stage of preparation when I was arrested.
The last stage would have been the killing of a ram for the blood to be added to the burnt materials. Thereafter, the ram would be cooked and shared to people. It was meant for a client who wanted to be successful in his business”, he said , insisting however that his intention was never to kill his client.
POLICE ON THE TRAIL OF FLEEING CHIEF IMAM
As at the time of filing this report, operatives of the Homicide section were on their way to recover the head of the victim from where the suspect said it was kept. Also the Chief Imam of the community alleged to have cut off the head and wrists was said to be on the run. But the Police stated that they were on his trail, assuring that they would get him.
Lagos State Command Image maker, Kenneth Nwosu, who confirmed the story said that the suspects would be charged to court at the conclusion of investigations.