The people of Osun State have, of recent, been living in fear due to the activities of kidnappers and ritualists.
The state Police Command has however proved to be on top of the situation.
Penultimate week, the people of Oba-Ile, a sleepy and agrarian community in Olorunda Local Government Area of Osun, heaved a sigh of relief following the arrest of one Sina Adeoye by detectives from the police Criminal Investigations Bureau in the state.
Adeoye, popularly called ‘Okanlomo’, is suspected to be the leader of a six-man gang of ritualists/human parts’ dealers that had been terrorising the residents of the state.
He was some years back arrested after human parts, including hands and a Mercedes Benz 230, were allegedly found in his possession and, after investigations by the police, the suspect was charged to court which sentenced him to three years jail term without an option of fine.
However, few months after he finished serving his jail term, Sina allegedly returned to his heinous business.
This time, it was the alleged murder of one Pastor Emmanuel Ogedengbe of the Cherubim and Seraphim Church located in Agugu area of Ibadan that exposed him.
It was also alleged that he attempted the murder of one Sola Adebayo who drove the pastor in his car to his house in Oba-Ile, all the way from Ibadan before Adebayo survived to tell his story.
The saga started when Ogedengbe, on Sunday, May 5, 2019, asked Adebayo, one of his church members, to drive him to a place of prayer in Osogbo.
And without hesitation, Adebayo acceded to the request and they proceeded on the journey from Ibadan.
“When he (Pastor Ogedengbe) told me to follow him to Osogbo for prayers, I couldn’t turn him down because he was someone I respected so much. But when we got to Osogbo, he changed the story and when I was extremely inquisitive, he said where we were going was a town before Ikirun”, Adebayo narrated.
“It was when we got to Oba-Ile that I realized we had come to a herbalist’s house and I immediately asked him what we were doing there. “He told me that our hosts were his friends and that they had been friends for about eight years.
“Minutes later, I was told to wait and our hosts left with Pastor Ogedengbe and it was when I started calling his telephone number without response that I started having a second thought.
“But about an hour later, the oldest among our hosts-turned-ritualists came back and asked me to follow him.
“They had asked me immediately we got to the house to eat some concussion which I refused to eat.
“Now when this old man asked me to follow him alongside one hefty guy to where the pastor was, I asked about pastor’s whereabouts. The old man simply told me that he was fine and that he was praying at the holy ground.
“All along, I felt something fishy was going on and, when we got to a place inside the bush, I asked for my car keys which they had earlier taken from me, pretending that I wanted to pick something from the car.
“But to my surprise, the old man refused to give me the keys.
“It was after some minutes of argument that he released the keys and asked this stern looking guy to follow me.
“Meanwhile, when we got to the car, I requested the gang member who followed me, to follow me to a filling station to buy fuel into the car since we will be travelling late in the night and it was from the filling station that I escaped.
“They chased me on three motorcycles till I got to Osogbo-Ikirun expressway before the guys chasing me went back and I rushed to the nearest police station”.
When the matter was reported to Osun State Commissioner of Police, CP, Abiodun Ige, she immediately deployed officers to the hideout in Oba-Ile and the search led to the arrest of ‘Okanlomo’, Fatai Tirimisiyu and Baba Alawonle.
The deployment also found that the suspected ritualists had slaughtered Ogedengbe (pastor) and shared the body parts.
The member of the gang in possession of the deceased’s private part and heart was said to be among those in police net while efforts, according to a source, were on to apprehend other members of the gang.
Ige, the Osun police boss, speaking on the incident, charged residents of the state to always be sure of the intentions of those asking for outings before accepting such requests.