The dismembered body of a female student of a polytechnic in Ogun State, Miss Morenikeji Owolabi, has been discovered bypolicemen.
PUNCH Metro gathered on Wednesday that the body was found in a shrine on Tuesday in Eposo-Akaka community, Isara, in the Remo North Local Government Area of the state.
The 21-year-old victim, who hailed from Ekiti State, but lived in Isara, was said to have been lured to the shrine by a herbalist, Femi Awise, who is currently on the run.
She was a science laboratory undergraduate of the institution.
Awise who was said to be a native of Isara, lives in the Jabata area of the rustic town.
However, five suspects have been arrested in connection with the murder. The suspects are an okada rider who conveyed Owolabi to the shrine, Adeyemi Ademolu; an apprentice to Awise, Omolaso Taiwo; Lateef Ali, Akinyemi Dare and Sokoya Wasiu.
The state Commissioner of Police, Mr. Valentine Ntomchukwu, who led journalists to the shrine, said investigation had commenced to unravel the circumstances which led to Morenikeji’s murder and the motive behind it.
The shrine, made with weather-beaten corrugated iron sheets, contained a large number of fetish objects.
An armchair, covered with cloth, was placed at a strategic spot inside the shrine. It was flanked by other plastic chairs. There were also bottles of palm oil and other liquid littering the floor.
There was also an iron pot filled with what was said to be cooked flesh of the victim, from which an offensive odour was coming from.
The decomposing legs of the victim, dug out of a shallow grave, were also recovered.
However, the head of the victim and other vital parts like breasts, hands, and vagina among others were not found. But something that was said to be her liver could be seen being roasted outside the shrine.
The police said Awise perpetrated his “evil deeds” under the guise of being a herbalist and a farmer.
A maize farm was found around the shrine.
During the CP’s visit to the scene, residents of Isara, Eposo and Ode Remo thronged the shrine to catch a glimpse of it.
The local government chairman, Femi Soyemi, expressed shock at the discovery.
He said, “I am shocked because I never expect that this kind of horrible and brutal acivity exists here.”
Ntomchukwu said the shrine was discovered through discreet investigation by his men.
He said, “We were able to locate the shrine through a discreet investigation by our men. We were able to track the okada rider that took the victim on his motorcycle to the shrine.
“Five suspects have been arrested and investigation has commenced, we will leave no stone unturned to get other fleeing suspects.
“I am appealing to parents that it is not only enough to send their children to school, they must do a follow-up on them.”
The victim was declared missing since Saturday, June 7. It was those who saw her on the day she was being taken to the shrine by the okada rider that alerted the police, which led to the arrest and the discovery of the shrine.
In another development, 40-year-old suspected kidnapper, Emeka Obi, was arrested on Tuesday in Ijebu Ode for allegedly kidnapping a 97-year-old man, Mr. Iposiola Samaiye.
Obi, who confessed to the crime, said it was his gang’s third operation. He added that his accomplice, identified simply as Prince, had gone into hiding.
He said, “This is the third operation. In the first one, we collected N2m ransom, and in the second operation, we got N1m. For this one, we negotiated for N1m.”
Ntomchukwu said Obi and members of his gang had kidnapped Samaiye from his home in Ijebu-Isire last Thursday. He added that they were trailed by policemen to where they held their victim captive.
He said, “They held the 97-year-old man inside the bush without food for four days. But our men, between 3am and 5am on Tuesday were able to set the old man free.”
Samaiye is currently receiving medical attention at a private hospital in Ijebu Ode.
His son, Obafemi, said the kidnappers had demanded N20m ransom, and later settled for N1m.
He said, “The kidnappers first demanded N20m. It was negotiated to N10m and later N1m. But we did not pay any ransom before my father was rescued by the policemen.”