By Sade Adewale
For indigenes and residents of Ondo town, it was a taboo for anybody to disturb their loved ones who had died, buried and assumed to be resting. If events in the recent time are anything to go by, it called for concern as nemesis caught up with some cemetery attendants.
There is now uneasy calm in many towns’ cemeteries often besieged by raiders, scavengers hunting for human parts to sell. The dead are no more sleeping peacefully in their graves. Their graves can no more contain them hardly they are buried, before the grave attendants exhumed their bodies for sale to those who need them.
It is believed that man is naturally wicked, so the action of the two grave attendants who were arrested last Sunday, January 17,2021 by the Amotekun Corps where they dug many graves at a popular cemetery in Ondo town.
One of the suspects simply identified as Abraham Lasisi popularly called ‘Alhaji,’ and his colleague Oladiran Adonis, were said to be security guards at the Jubilee Cemetery which belongs to an old generation church in the community.
The Hope gathered that Alhaji, 60, and his partner-in-crime, had been digging the graves for some times, unnsticed and exhumed dead bodies.
The duo were digging the grave of a corpse buried three days ago, when they were caught in the act.
The incident which threw the whole town into panic, is now causing puzzles, as what could have led the men to commit such dastardly acts against the dead that ought to be resting
A source, at the scene told The Hope that the suspects were arrested by Amotekun Corps, who stormed the cemetery on a tip-off.
The source added that some heads of dead people were found in their bags when they were arrested by the Amotekun.
He said, “It was somebody that saw them and went to report the matter to Amotekun before they were arrested and taken to Area Command’s office in Yaba Police Station, ”in Ondo city.
“Very early today, somebody went to defecate in a bush beside the cemetery and saw Alhaji with a sledgehammer breaking one of the tombs in the cemetery. After some minutes,“he came out with a bag. So, the person that saw him raised an alarm and we rushed to the scene. When we checked the bag Alhaji carried, we saw human heads in it.
“When we went around the cemetery, we discovered that about 40 tombs no longer have dead bodies inside them, they have been exhumed by ritualists. So we handed them over to the Amotekun Corps.”
When contacted, the State Commander of Amotekun, Chief Adetunji Adeleye confirmed the arrest of the suspects, saying they were rescued when the residents were about lynching them.
He, however, said human heads were not found on the suspects.
He said, “The suspects were rescued by our men when the residents were about to kill them. We have handed them over to the police.”
However, when The Hope put a call across to the state police spokesman, ASP Tee Leo-Ikoro, he said he was not yet to be briefed.
Tee-Leo Ikoro, told The Hope that though the suspects were caught digging the graves, but that nothing was found on them.
He said, “We are still investigating why they dug the graves.
“Nothing was found on them and in the graves that were dug. But they dug so many graves,” he added.
Some of the residents who spoke with The Hope said the situation has been happening for long not the day the suspects were caught.
Speaking, Mr Oyeniyi Idowu said the two cemetery guards apprehended have been removing corpses of both the rich and the poor for their mission but when there is no evidence you can’t report them until when they were exposed.
Idowu said many graves were dug at the cemetery by the guards, this drew the attention of the residents of the area before they were rescued by operatives of the Amotekun Security Network when an angry mob was about to lynch them.
Another resident who craved anonymity disclosed that one of the security guards simply identified as Alhaji was apprehended with a bag containing the heads of dead bodies by those living in the area.
The source said, he saw some one Alhaji with a sledgehammer which he used to broke one of the tombs in the cemetery. After some minutes he came out with a bag.
“So the person that saw him raised the alarm and we rushed to the scene. When we checked the bag Alhaji had, we saw human heads in the bag.
“When we went around the cemetery, we discovered that about 44 tombs have no dead bodies inside them any longer they have been exhumed by ritualists. So we have handed them over to the Amotekun Corps,” he stated.
Also, Mrs Stella Oni, a resident said nothing was found on them but they dug the graves and took the corpses to unknown destination.
Speaking with the suspects, Lasisi aka Alhaji who hails from Jiboboro in Ondo town said” I am the one in charge of the cemetery, on Sunday I went to the second suspect house to call him, so that, we can go and finish the work we are doing at Akinwande Street. The work is to remove sands from a room where a body was buried on Saturday because the family of the deceased want to use the room. And the second suspect said the tools he will use were at the cemetery and I followed him to pick the tools .
The second suspect, Mr Oladiran Adonis said”The first suspect came to my house and asked me to come and dig for him at the cemetery. I had worked there before and he said the work I did was not enough.
“He came to me and asked when are we going to finish the remaining work at Akinwande and I told him that I don’t want to work on Sunday but that I will finish the work later.
” On Saturday when we finished, Alhaji said somebody gave him another job to dig two feet that may be we could start the work on Sunday, Alhaji further said the person they want to bury is a young person.
” On Sunday morning I didn’t have money and any job to do that day, so I went to the cemetery since Alhaji had given me the measurement of what to do. So I dug the place until I entered into another grave and later, I went somewhere to defecate, that was when I saw some people rushing and shouting on me.”