Three youths and a 20-year-old man detained in Ogun State for reportedly chopping and burning Sofiat Kehinde’s head for money rituals said they saw “instruction” on how to be wealthy on Facebook.
Wariz Oladehinde, 17, Abdul Gafar Lukman, 19, Mustakeem Balogun, 20, and the dead woman’s lover, Soliu Majekodunmi, 18, are among the ritual suspects.
The four males were apprehended on Saturday in Abeokuta’s Oke Aregba neighbourhood, burning the head of a female who was allegedly in a relationship with one of them.
The accused were paraded in front of the State Headquarters in Eleweran on Monday, where they claimed they acquired the ritual directions from Facebook.
Mr Majekodunmi explained his role by saying that when the victim came to see him on Friday, he strangled her and urged his friend and others to behead her.
While waiting for the day they would behead the girl, he stated the four of them had given money to buy the other ‘ingredients’ needed for the ceremony.
Ms Kehinde was introduced to Mr Majekodunmi in December 2021, according to Mr Majekodunmi.
Mr Balogun, he claimed, was the arrowhead of the crime, since he was the one who provided the Facebook guidelines and ordered them to carry out the conduct.
“Mustekeem gave me her number in December and told me I should be dating her,” Mr Majekodunmi stated.
“The first time Sofiat came to my place, I told Mustekeem she was there and that she had accepted my relationship proposal.”
“I also warned Mustekeem the second time Sofiat visited, but he told me Sofiat isn’t a good girl and that we should ‘use’ her for money rituals.” Mustekeem claimed he spotted an Oshole (Money ritual) guideline on Facebook and took a screenshot of it.
“Since then, he’s been bugging me about using Sofiat for the ceremony, but I’m not on board with him.”
“In fact, I’ve told Sofiat that I’m not at home on several times just to keep her away. Mustekeem had made sure that we all contributed to the other ingredients needed for the ceremony during the process.
“So, on Friday, Sofiat arrived at my residence.” Mustekeem was outside, and I was in my room with her. Mustekeem later advised me that we should go ahead and use her because all of the other ritual elements were ready.”
The suspect expressed regret for what he had done.
“I would not have gotten myself engaged in the act if I had known it would end up like this.” My advise to individuals who don’t want to wait for their turn is to kindly do so.”
Sunday Olatunbosun, a departed relative, maintained that the family demands justice.
“All we want is justice for Sofiat, and I am speaking on behalf of the family; nothing else is important to us.”
“Her mother is in such a bad state that we had to give her sleeping drugs to get her to sleep.”
“Her father was late, and her mother’s situation is crucial right now.” Because of the incident, we need to transport her from Abeokuta to the Ifo area.”
While arraigning the accused, police spokesperson Abimbola Oyeyemi blamed the tragedy on poor parenting and encouraged religious leaders to play a part in restoring a culture of hard labour and values in the country.
“This can only be regarded as a superlative degree of callousness; it is cruel and inhumane at this time for someone to still believe that they cannot acquire money unless they take the life of a human being like them.”
“More importantly, what is it that kids want to do with their money that will cause them to commit such a horrific crime, it is still beyond the imagination of the average person.”
“I want to advise that many parents have failed in their responsibilities, and this is a result of bad parenting, as well as a complete failure of parental responsibility, because if this activity is not encouraged by the parents, I do not believe that any properly raised child will want to engage in criminal activity.”
“I also want to advise that the majority of our people, the religious body, the entertainment body, and everyone who has something to do with protecting lives and assets, they have a lot of work to do.”
“Religious bodies should stop teaching solely prosperity and instead preach morality in the same way they preach prosperity…”