BusinessDay

Security operatives take over suspected ritualists’ den in Edo

...as suspects deny involvement

Security operatives including officers of the Nigeria Police and the Edo State security vigilante network have cordoned off an alleged ritual shrine where 20 embalmed bodies were uncovered in the state.

The police had, in a statement issued by Jennifer Iwegbu, deputy spokesperson of Edo police command, on Wednesday night, said following credible information, the command has discovered some corpses, including 15 mummified male corpses, 3 mummified female corpses and 2 mummified children corpses, in a building along Asoro slope off Ekehuan road axis of Benin City.

Iwegbu said three persons were arrested at the scene, namely: Chimaobi Okoewu, male and Oko Samuel, male, both of Afikpo in Ebonyi and Gideon Sunday, male of Akwa-Ibom State, while other suspects fled.

A visit to the scene on Thursday by our reporter showed that the police officers and state security service have sealed off the place with yellow tape while the suspects, were handcuffed and placed in the police van

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Also, a shrine, refrigerator, an embalming stretcher, a DSTV satellite dish as well as some embalmed bodies were seen at the scene. Speaking with one of the suspects, Chimaobi Okoewu claimed the building was a proposed site for a mortuary and the corpses were transferred from another mortuary.

Okoewu said, “The owner of the place is a mortician. He was told by his landlord to pack out. So, he decided to relocate the corpses to his permanent site which is his own personal building. He was in a rented apartment before. “The corpses they found there were the ones they transferred from the place they were kept before to this place”.

Another suspect who gave his name as Gideon, said, “I came to check if my application is granted because I applied for a driving job here. So, when I got to this place to ask for the director, some community people came and started beating me up and I was later taken to the police station.

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