The police have arrested a Muslim cleric, Kazeem Alimson, popularly known as Alfa, and a 15-year-old, Simon Kanu for the ritual murder of a three-year-old boy, Chiagozie Okereke, at the White Sand area of Isheri-Osun, Lagos.
According to ThisDay, Kanu confessed that Alfa gave him N500 to lure the child to him. He told the police that he followed Alfa to an uncompleted building where the child’s limbs were tied with a red piece of cloth and stoned to death.
“I went to site with them and I saw how Alfa killed Chigozie. He tied him up and was making incantation before hitting him with a stone three times.” the teenager said
“He also showed me his knife tied with red cloth and he said he will kill me with it if I told anybody.” he added
But Alimson denied that he killed the child. He said he had never spoken to Kanu and was surprised that the boy named him in the murder of the child.
But the teenager refuted his claims insisting that “…I saw him when he used the stone to hit Chiagozie until he died.”
The mother of the child, Chinasa Okereke, told journalists that her son went missing on Tuesday evening at about 7pm after she bathed him. She narrated how she briefly went inside to get a wrapper to strap him, only to return and he was nowhere in sight.
“… on getting outside, I didn’t see my baby again. The sister said he went into my neighbour’s house but I didn’t see him there and when I asked, they said he went out with Simon.
“It was yesterday that I learnt that Simon took my son to where he was strangled with his shirt and stoned to death. He was my third child. I feel so hurt. My heart is broken. I need justice.”
The police is reportedly conducting a search of the cleric’s residence and digging up the earth around his house as Simon Kanu also confessed that the cleric showed him dead bodies and other human body parts.
The killing of children for suspected ritual purposes is on the rise. Last year, a man in Ogun was paid N3,000 for allowing his stepdaughter to be killed for ritual.