Luring young ladies to death trap
By Babatunde Ayedoju
The story of Cain and Abel in the Bible is one that many people can relate with. Cain lured his brother to the field and there killed him. Perhaps, Abel felt he was secure around his brother, making him to yield when his brother said “Come with me, let’s go somewhere.” Alas, he got it wrong! Abel’s mind was clear towards his brother, Cain had an evil intention towards him, which he implemented.
The same trend continues right into our present-day society. While one may not be wrong to think that we should be our brother’s and sister’s keeper, the fact remains that it is becoming increasingly dangerous to trust anybody, including people who are very close to us. The media space in recent time is awash with stories of people who have been lured into danger, and sometimes death, by people in whose hands they felt their lives were safe.
Few days ago, a popular Ibadan-based Instagram cloth vendor, Adeshina Olayinka, also known as Khadi, was found dead in an hotel in Ibadan. It was reported that the man she came to the hotel with, whose name was not disclosed, checked out alone in the morning.
The receptionist called to ascertain her safety but found her unconscious and she had to be rushed to the hospital where she was confirmed dead. The male partner who later showed up and was detained by the police claimed Khadi complained that she was weak and he decided to allow her rest.
Earlier in January, Police operatives in Rivers State arrested three members of a syndicate who specialized in luring young ladies for kidnapping, rape and robbery through the use of online dating apps.
The suspects who were arrested by operatives of the Control, Communications, Computers, and Intelligence (C4I) Unit of the Rivers Police Command were identified as Ikechi Promise, Darlington Obi and Nwaobiri.
According to Rivers State Police Command spokesperson, SP Grace Iringe-Koko, operatives of the command had on January 6 at about 8.30 pm arrested Promise and Obi in connection with the abduction of a 28 years old lady which took place on December 20, 2022. The lady was lured, kidnapped, and taken to another location where the members of the kidnapping syndicate raped her and collected her two iPhones and a Samsung phone.
In November 2022, a man identified as Idowu Abel confessed to the police in Ogun State how he and his accomplice, Clement Adeniyi, killed his close friend, Adekunle Muyiwa, in cold blood. According to the police, Abel confessed that they dismembered and sold their victim’s head, heart and two hands to a herbalist who was introduced to him by one Pastor Felix Ajadi.
An elder brother of the victim, Oluwaseyi Adekunle, had on November 15 lodged a report at the Owode Yewa divisional police headquarters, saying his younger brother left home on November 10, 2022, and never returned.
According to the Ogun State Police Spokesperson, Abimbola Oyeyemi, investigation revealed that Idowu Abel was the person who came to pick the missing man from his house on that fateful day. Upon being arrested and interrogated, Abel confessed that “the victim, who happened to be his bosom friend, was lured out by him and taken to his second accomplice, Clement Adeniyi”s farm where he was killed and butchered to pieces.”
He confessed further, according to Oyeyemi, that one herbalist introduced to him by Pastor Felix Ajadi had requested for a human head, heart, two hands and legs. He was said to have stated further that the said herbalist “promised to pay him the sum of N200,000 if he was able to get the listed human parts.”
That same month, two brothers, Daniel and Evans Sunday, were arraigned before an Ebute-Metta Chief Magistrate Court in Lagos after allegedly administering a concoction suspected to be poison on their friend, Murani Talemu. According to the police, the suspects confessed that they committed the crime in conjunction with others who were still at large.
Around that same time, a 46 year old woman identified as Muinat reportedly went to an hotel in Ikorodu, Lagos State, with a man known as Alfa Sule. Her lifeless body was later discovered by the hotel staff with foam oozing out of her mouth. Meanwhile, the man she visited the hotel with, Alfa Sule, was nowhere to be found.
It would be recalled that in September last year, a Director at the Ondo State Teaching Service Commission (TESCOM), Mr Gbenga Olofinmoyegun, was declared missing, only for his dead body to be found few days later beside a school in the state capital. According to media reports, he had left his office the last time he was seen for undisclosed reasons. Eye witnesses had it that at the time his dead body was discovered, his head and other sensitive body parts had been cut off.
In October 2021, a suspected kidnapper, Bashir Sule, was arrested by men of the Police anti-kidnapping team in Kano. According to the Force spokesperson at that time, CP Frank Mba, the 25-year old suspect was arrested after the police received credible intelligence exposing his modus operandi of luring potential victims to the den of kidnappers.
It was reported that the suspect used to disguise as a driver or passenger at roadside car parks to either pick passengers or pretend to be a passenger and join other commercial vehicles.
While he was being paraded by the police, he explained: “After picking passengers or in a commercial vehicle, I secretly send signals to colleague kidnappers to ambush the vehicle at some routes within. They then abduct the passengers at the designated location.”
In June 2020, the police in Enugu State rescued a 40-year-old lady from the Philippines, Irene Torento Panas, who was lured to Nigeria by a 54-year-old man named Chukwudi Odo. Panas, an accountant from Manila in the Philippines, arrived Nigeria in November 22, 2019 on a visit to Odo in Enugu State whom she met on Facebook on March 8, 2017.
The visit, which was originally intended to be for 10 days however, turned out to be a full case of abduction after Odo refused to allow her return to her country against her will. She was held incommunicado by the suspect until the police swung into action and rescued her based on intelligence report from some neighbours.
Surely, a negative trend like this deserves utmost attention, as it does not portend anything good for the society. Speaking with The Hope, Dr Mrs. Kemi Adebola, a sociologist from the Federal University of Technology, Akure (FUTA), said that excessive love of money which pushes some people to become desperate to the point that they can harm anybody, so long as doing that will make them get whatever evil reward they want. She said that most people who lure friends and family members to the den of ritual killers do that because they already have an evil intention, not because of any societal factor.
She said, “Such individuals, most of the time, do not feel remorseful because they believe that there are other people who can fill the vacuum.”
Dr Adebola warned that individuals should watch the companies they keep and pay attention to red signals, changes in the characters of others that evoke suspicion. This is inspite of the fact that it may be difficult to read the mind of another person.
Similarly, Dr Salman Adisa from the Guidance and Counseling Unit of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria attributed the trend to societal decadence, poverty and poor state of the economy.
While advising that people should be careful with the company they keep and trust no one, Dr Adisa stressed the need for self-discipline, adding that the government should create stable job opportunities instead of proliferating so-called poverty alleviation schemes that are not sustainable.