By James Ogunnaike
ABEOKUTA – Men of the Ogun State Command of the Nigeria Police Force have arrested a herbalist, Lajuwon Ogunleye and two others for alleged conspiracy and murder of a seven-year-old boy, Pelumi Apalaya for ritual purpose in Abigi area of Ogun State.
Other suspects arrested included the herbalist wife, who is also the mother of the deceased, Adetutu Apalaya and Fatai Sefiu.
The command spokesman, DSP Abimbola Oyeyemi, made this known to newsmen in a statement released in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital.
Oyeyemi said the suspects were arrested following an information received by the police at Abigi divisional headquarters that the seven-year-old boy who did not show any sign of sickness suddenly slumped and died, saying that this aroused the suspicion of people around that the boy might have been used for ritual.
The statement read, “A herbalist, Lajuwon Ogunleye, his wife Adetutu Apalaya and one Fatai Sefiu were on the 22nd of April 2020 arrested by operatives of Ogun State Police Command for conspiracy and murder of a seven-year-old boy Pelumi Apalaya for ritual purpose”.
He added, “upon their suspicion, the people around started monitoring the herbalist who incidentally happened to be the step-father of the deceased boy and his wife who is the mother of the boy”.
“Unknown to them, they were monitored to the bush where they took the victim corpse to for burial in company of the third suspect who is a friend to the herberlist and the boy was buried in an upright position after removing some parts from his corpse”.
“This confirmed the suspicion of the people and they quickly informed the police”.
“Upon the information, the DPO Abigi division SP Tarkighir Joseph led his men to the bush in Iwopin area of Ogun Waterside where the suspects were rounded up”.
“They led policemen to where the victim was buried and it was discovered that the deceased was buried in standing position”.
“On interrogation, the second suspect Fatai Sefiu told the detectives that the boy was actually used for ritual by the stepfather in connivance with the deceased boy’s mother”.
“He stated further that the couple have reached a conclusion before he was coopted into the business”.
“The mother of the victim Adetutu Apalaya who first denied having knowledge of her husband plan to use her son for ritual was dumbfounded when asked whether or not she followed them to the bush where her son was buried and the mode of burial of the boy”.
Meanwhile, the Commissioner of Police, CP Kenneth Ebrimson has ordered the immediate transfer of the case to homicide section of the state criminal investigation and intelligence department for further investigation and prosecution.
First Bank has lost one of its staff in Kano to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The disclosers this in a statement saying, “FirstBank mourns as we confirm the loss of our staff, Abdullahi Lawal who until his passing worked at our Kano Main Branch.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with his family at this time as we do all that is necessary to support them. We ask that all necessary courtesies be extended to the family so they can grieve privately.
“As a responsible corporate organization, FirstBank has been at the fore-front of the concerted efforts against the coronavirus pandemic alongside others.
“We have robust protocols in place including practising social distancing, frequently disinfecting our buildings and locations even whilst ensuring services are available through our alternative channels such as our ATMs and other digital platforms.
“We have immediately, therefore, shut down access to the premises as we disinfect the entire location and ask all staff and customers who may have been in contact with our late colleague to follow the NCDC guidelines and self-isolate. We will, as a matter of course, extend all possible support to staff and customers at this difficult time.
“Our thoughts are with the family he left behind and indeed with the wider FirstBank family who mourns this loss deeply at this time.
“We remain committed to protecting the health and safety of all staff, customers and host communities, as together the fight against coronavirus will be won.”