•Family of deceased Okada rider too shocked to speak
•Head missing one month after
•We killed him after hiring him for N3, 000 for 50km trip – Main suspect
By Dayo Johnson, Akure
A commercial motorcycle operator, popularly called Okada, Olawale Gbogi, who charged N3, 000 for a 50-kilometre trip, was beheaded by suspected ritualists.
Sources said the deceased had been facing financial hardship for some time because his Okada business was no more as profitable as it used to be and hence he could no longer take care of his family needs.
He was said to have consequently agreed to take the meagre fare from one of the suspects, Abdulahi Sheu, who had approached him for the trip from lkare-Akoko in Ondo State to Ihima in Kogi.
Bereaved family members declined to volunteer information on the deceased when Sunday Vanguard visited Ikare-Akoko, last week, saying they were still mourning.
Police detectives said they had been searching for the head of the deceased in the last one month.
Meanwhile, questions are being asked on how the deceased could have charged N3, 000, instead of thrice that much, for the journey of 50 kilometres.
A police source hinted that detectives were working on the theory that the deceased must have needed money so badly possibly to meet urgent family commitments for him to have agreed to collect the meagre amount for the trip.
Olawale had been hired by one of the suspected ritualists, Sheu, for the trip.
It was while on their way to Ihima that the victim was attacked, beheaded and the head and body taken away for rituals while his motorcycle and handset were stolen.
It was alleged that Sheu’s co-suspects, who had hidden in the bush, at a point on the way to Kogi, pounced on the deceased immediately the main suspect asked him to stop as he wanted to urinate.
Although the suspected gang members have been arrested in connection with the beheading of the victim and stealing of his Okada, the whereabouts of the head and body, taken away after the murder, remain unknown.
The suspected ritualists arrested, apart from Sheu, are Haruna Suberu and Onimisi Liberty.
The fourth suspect is on the run.
Sheu confessed to the crime.
According to him, his love for money pushed him into the crime.
But Haruna and Onimisi denied any involvement in the crime, arguing that they were only implicated because they were friends to Sheu who allegedly hired the deceased to carry him from Ondo to Kogi with his motorcycle.
On how the main suspect was caught, a police source told Sunday Vanguard that Sheu, who allegedly took the telephone of the deceased and his Okada after he had been beheaded, was making use of the telephone weeks after the murder.
The family of Olawale had reportedly put a call across to his telephone when it had become apparent that he was missing only for the main suspect to pick it and inform them that the owner of the telephone was involved in an accident and was admitted in a hospital.
The suspect reportedly lied to the family after they had travelled to three different towns where he told them the victim was hospitalised.
After it was clear to them that the suspect was deceiving them, they reported the matter to the police.
Detectives later tracked the telephone number and the suspect was apprehended and he confessed to the fate that had befallen the commercial motorcyclist.
Sheu reportedly led detectives to the scene where the deceased was allegedly murdered but his head and body were missing.
Narrating the incident, the spokesperson for Ondo State Police Command, Femi Joseph, said, “Investigation revealed that the victim was asked by the main suspect to take him to Ihima in Kogi State from Ikare-Akoko in Ondo State for N3, 000 before other suspects joined them and they beheaded him.
“The victim, on getting to Ihima, was directed to a bush path by the main suspect where he was attacked and dispossessed of his motorcycle and handset.
“Sheu, 21 years old, then took the victim’s motorcycle and handset to Akure, Ondo State capital, to look for buyer while Liberty, Haruna and one Rabiu, now at large, disposed of the head and body of the victim”.
Joseph pointed out that immediately the police were informed of the incident, detectives swung into action, leading to the arrest of Sheu in Akure with the victim’s handset and motorcycle.
The spokesperson went on, “The head of the victim was allegedly taken in a polythene bag to the house of one Dada Alabi, a herbalist, by Onimisi Liberty but he(Dada) refused to take it from him.
“The head is said to be currently in possession of Rabiu, now at large, while the body of the victim has not been found.
“Onimisi Liberty initially stated that his ‘Oga’ in Abuja, one Alhaji Abdul Rama, needed human head and the head had been sent to him.
“But when he met face to face with the said Alhaji Abdul Rama, he recanted and said that the head was with Rabiu.
“Efforts to recover the head and body of the victim are ongoing while the suspects will soon appear in court.”
The command spokesperson advised residents of Ondo State, especially commercial “motorcyclists, to be mindful of those they engage in the course of business transactions.”
He added, “It still baffles us how this young man decided to leave Ikare-Akoko for Kogi State after he agreed to be paid N3, 000 and what has happened to him is now history. It is very unfortunate”.
In another development, four suspects have been arrested by the police in Ondo State for the kidnapping of a four-year old boy, Chidozie Nnanna Okafor, along Ofosu in Odigbo area of the state.
After 18 days in their captivity and payment of ransom of N600, 000 by the parents, the boy was released.
One of the suspects, Efe John, said: “It is true that we kidnapped the boy in Ofosu and we contacted his parents for ransom.
“They (parents) gave us six hundred thousand naira and we released the boy. Here we are today; we have been arrested by the police.”
The Ondo police spokesperson said the command’s intelligence gathering led to the arrest of Efe John, Pius David Udoh, Justine Anthony and John Cletus.
Joseph explained that the suspects would be charged to court after investigation of the case would have been completed by detectives.