FOUR suspects, including two clerics, have been arrested in connection with the murder of a middle-aged widow, Ashiata Yekeen Salimon, in Ileogbo, Ayedire Local Government Area of Osun State.
The victim disappeared four weeks ago before a raid by distraught community members led to the discovery of his mutilated body and the arrest of his suspected killers.
It was established that the victim had been invited to the house of the main suspect, said to be an alfa, where she disappeared.
The family later reported her missing.
The concerned community members, after exhausting all available means to find Asiata, reportedly decided to go to the home of the main suspect, who is said to have fled the community.
The main suspect was reportedly arrested in Lalupon, Lagelu Local Government Area of Oyo State by men from Osun State Police Command Anti-Kidnapping Squad. A police source said the suspect provided clues that led to the arrest of another accomplice to the crime, an alfa, in the early hours of Wednesday.
Sources said the prime suspect invited this Iwo accomplice to shoot him and remove his body parts apparently for ritual purposes.
Another suspect arrested in connection with the crime, from nearby Kuta, according to a police source, is currently being held at the Homicide Section of the State Criminal Investigation Department in Osogbo.
The source said thorough investigations have begun to track down everyone connected to the horrific murder.
The main suspect reportedly led police to his garden on Tuesday where what was left of the woman’s corpse was buried in a shallow grave. Its vital parts were found missing.
A pathological examination and an autopsy were reportedly carried out on Wednesday while the remains were handed over to his family for burial.
The police would be on the trail of other accomplices on the basis of the confessions of the main suspect.
National President of IleOgbo Unity Forum, Mr. Anthony Owolabi condemned the act and said that security has been tightened in the community to discourage ritual killings and other criminal acts.
Owolabi said that since Ashiata’s murder came to light, a series of security meetings have been held by stakeholders to strategize against these and other crimes in the community.
He said normalcy was gradually returning to the community and commended those who actively participated in the arrest of the suspects. A relative of Ashiata who identified himself as Mubarak Salimon, told our correspondent that the family had entrusted the matter to God.
He however commended the police for the work they have done so far in ensuring that the perpetrators are brought to justice. Salimon also thanked the traditional chief, other community leaders, Ile-Ogbo Unity Forum, community members, Amoketun Corps members and local hunters for ensuring order in the community and for their role in the arrest of the alleged killers.
The coordinator of the Forum for the Grand Ile-Ogbo Kingdom, Mr. Tayo Akanni, told Saturday Tribune that the arrest of some of those linked to the heinous act was done thanks to the support of the forum, the together members of the community and the traditional leader. of the city, Oba Abeeb Adetoyese Agbaje.
According to Akanni, the president of the forum, all the inhabitants of the community participated in the search for the “killers”.
He also praised the State Police Command, Amotekun Corps, local hunters and other security officers who acted quickly on the matter.
Mr Akanni called the widow’s murder barbaric and promised that all necessary steps would be taken to end ritual killings and other crimes in the community.
“We are a peaceful people in Ile-Ogbo and every effort will be made to wage war against ritual killings, worship and other harmful activities in the community,” he said.
Efforts to get State Police Public Relations Officer Ms Yemisi Opalola to comment on the case were unsuccessful.
But the commander of the Amotekun Corps in the state, Amitolu Shittu, speaking on the incident, warned members of the public against ritual killings and other criminal activities.
Shittu gave assurances that his security team would not relax their war against the criminal elements of society.