By Bisi Olominu
It is season of pants for money ritual. The future leaders of Nigeria are no more waiting for their time. It is harvest of pants to enjoy life. Everywhere, money the Yahoo Boys are so desperate to make, reason they are on the fast lane today. Pants, menstrual pads are of high demand, reasons those spread at the backyard of houses, inside the rooms and within the compounds are carted or stolen by these evildoers.
It is nothing but a season of madness. The activities of fraudsters, popularly known as Yahoo Plus, have assumed a worrisome dimension. Before now, their targets were gullible foreigners. But today, fraudsters, who would stop at nothing in their quest to get rich, have settled for female pants to achieve it.
For some months now, stealing of pants for ritual purposes has gradually replaced killing of humans and harvesting of human parts which used to be the norm in the past.
Investigations reveal that the discharge from a lady’s private part on any stolen pant according to the Yahoo Boys is believed to be vital for money ritual. Consequently, from Imo to Lagos, Ogun, Ondo, Edo, Anambra, Abuja, Cross River and Rivers State, among other states in the country, stealing of pants has been on the increase. Pant thieves caught by residents, were, in many instances, lynched before the arrival of security agents.
Meanwhile, some of the perpetrators were said to have devised means such as disguising as women to steal pants spread on lines to dry. Female hostels and dormitories are worst hit, as several students have had their pants stolen.
One of such pant thieves was caught in a female hostel at Ogun State College of Health Technology, Ilese-Ijebu recently. The suspect, as gathered, disguised as a woman selling ice cream to gain access into the hostel.
But as he was leaving, some students, out of curiosity, demanded to know what was in the bulky bag he was carrying only to discover that it was filled with pants.
On January 11, 2019, at about 6:48am, policemen attached to Central Police Station (CPS), Onitsha, Anambra State arrested one Chinonye Okorie, aged 19, for allegedly stealing pants. Okorie, who allegedly stole the pants that had been washed and spread on a line at No. 21 Umuna Street Odoakpu, Onitsha, said he intended to sell them for N80, 000.
Also on January 9, 2019, a middle aged man, simply identified as Ifeanyi, was almost lynched after he was caught stealing ladies’ pants at a students’ hostel located at Mgbakwu in Awka North Local Government Area of Anambra State.
Ifeanyi, who hails from Umuneke in Udi Local Government Area of Enugu State, confessed that he had already stolen over 58 women pants before nemesis caught him as he was caught red-handed by a woman in the early hours of that day.
During interrogation, Ifeanyi said he broke into the house at about 2am and headed straight to the line where some pants were hanged. He was putting them into his bag when he was apprehended. The suspect further revealed that he had been in the business of stealing pants for quite some time, saying he sold them to a man he identified as Emeka Ofor at the rate of N500 each.
In Ondo State, a suspect, Kayode Michael was arrested for picking female pants, bras and blood stained sanitary pads. The man in his 70s was nabbed and beaten blue and black by residents of Danjuma, in Akure metropolis when caught in the act.
An eyewitness account alleged that the suspect was caught with a polythene bag containing used female underwear, bras and pads.
In Edo State, the story is the same, if not more worrisome. In his determination to stop the spreading fire, the Oba of Benin, Oba Ewuare II warned the youths in the state,mostly Yahoo Boys, against engaging in money rituals, but just a few days after the warning, someone tested his power of authority by stealing female pants at Ring Road, Benin City.
When asked how much he sold the stolen items, he declined comments. Female leggings, boxers, underwear and other items were found in his possession.
In Auchi, Sabo South Ibie, a man who claimed to be a pastor was caught, on January 15,2019, picking pants and pads. Still in Edo State, precisely on December 5,2019, a man was beaten to coma for allegedly stealing pants and other items in Okpella. The suspect revealed that one Alhaji introduced him to a man called “Correct” who told him to go and hustle for female pants in order to get rich quickly. He claimed that the man was the actual person who dropped him at the place where he was captured.
In Imo State, a young man was almost lynched when he was caught stealing female pants and other used items in Umokoro Umuihi village, in Ihitte/Uboma Local Government Area on November 11,2018. When he could not explained thoroughly what he was doing with the items, angry villagers descended on him and nearly killed him before he was rescued by a vigilante group in the community.
In Ondo State again, two security guards, Samuel Linus and Adekunle Ogundana were arrested stealing underwear belonging to the daughter of a clergyman within the church premises.
Although the suspects who were paraded recently denied the allegation, but Ondo State Police Public Relations Officer, Femi Joseph, said that the daughter of the clergyman washed her two pants and spread them on the line at 8 in the evening, in the presence of the guards, but by 6 in the morning, the two pants had disappeared.
Also, a 23 year old suspect, Opeyemi Adeleke who allegedly stole a woman’s pants was last Tuesday arraigned before an Osogbo Chief Magistrates’ Court. The suspect who was alleged sobered in court, admitted to stealing the pants but claimed that returned them after about five minutes, because his conscience did not allow him to have a rest.
Adeleke according to the charge sheet was alleged to have gone to the house of one Gift Sunday living in Agowande area of Osogbo around 1am and stole some pants, which were left to dry on the line outside.
Investigation by The Hope reveals that the increasing wave of pants theft is as a result of this get rich quick syndrome.
Following this development, ladies across the country and mostly in Ondo State, students in higher institutions are now careful to spread their pants outside on line, and even more afraid to dispose their sanitary pads anyhow. As part of measures to protect their pants, some women now burn old sanitary pads, so that, they don’t fall into wrong hands.
Speaking on the issue, Mrs Omosola Daramola called on mothers to educate and pray for our women.
Her words: ” I’ve been following the news of recent and saw a need to write this to warn our women in the state. The rate at which young men are being caught with stolen pants is on the increase, especially in the last few weeks. This is so common in towns that have higher institutions. I want to believe there is a new ritual (yahoo yahoo, maybe) in town involving the use of female pants.”
“ The most shocking news was about a DELSU student who narrated her ordeal in the hands of these pants robbers. She was held at gun point to remove her pant. Yes. Guys are now using guns to rob female of their pants.
According to her, “It’s now your pant, or your life. “Reports also have it that some ladies were forced to urinate inside some cellophane bags brought by these robbers. Just some nights ago , another pant robber was caught on CCTV at a hostel in UNILORIN stealing female pants left to dry on wire. The same goes for inappropriately disposed sanitary wears. The news are all over the internet. You can Google them. Mrs Omosola urged women to be ,prayerful, be careful of where you go to, don’t walk alone or on isolated roads, especially in the night, dry your pants indoor, don’t ever leave them outside (over the night) to dry.
” For our daughters in schools living with room mates, let them get a locked closet to lock their under wears, dispose off your sanitary wears accordingly. Let’s encourage our daughters never to loan out their under wear to any friend whatsoever and you must be vigilant all the time, and learn self defence tactics. It helps!
The Police Public Relations Officer, Zone 2 of the Nigeria Police, Onikan, Lagos, Dolapo Badmus, said pant thieves caught would be charged with attempted murder. In her Instagram page on January 5,2019, she wrote, “What is the in thing about the increase in the stealing of underpants? Learnt the ones caught in the act always confess to be using it for rituals, where the owner dies prematurely.
Henceforth, anyone caught stealing pants might not be charged for stealing but attempted murder. This has to stop”.
Speaking too on the issue, Ondo State Police Public Relations Office, Mr. Femi Joseph said anyone caught stealing pants and pads in the state would be charged for stealing.
According to him,” presently it is the discretion of the court to sentence the culprit, and such can sentence to either six months, one year, and if it involves violence, such accuse can be sentenced to 3years in prison”.
He said he did not agree with Dolapo Badmus that those caught stealing pants should be charged for murder, stressing such was unexplainable in law.
Femi Joseph however described pants for ritual in the country as a new phenomenon, noting that no law in the country has been passed to sentence the culprit for murder.
” Pants and pads stealer can only be charged for murder when the legislature create a new law on this. When there’s is law legislating on this, the accused can be sentenced to either 7years or to death”.