March 24, 2014 – Soka Forest, Ibadan Ritualists Den: “Kidnap Victims In Nigeria Are Often Used For Money Ritual” – Police
Nigerian police said they have opened a murder probe after the discovery of rotting bodies and skeletons in an abandoned building in Ibadan, Nigeria’s second largest city.
The Nigerian media have branded the building “House of Horror”.
Oyo state police spokesperson Olabisi Ilobanafor told AFP that a murder investigation has begun, following the arrest of some suspects at the scene. Olabisi said six suspects, including five security guards allegedly armed with guns, bows and arrows, found at the scene, were arrested.
Police also rescued several severely malnourished people founded wandering in the bush and others shackled in leg-chains inside.
“When we got to the abandoned building in the Soka community of Ibadan yesterday (Saturday), we saw decomposed corpses, skeletons and skulls in the building and surrounding bushes,” Olabisi Ilobanafor said.
“Some seven malnourished human beings looking like living skeletons were also rescued in the bushes surrounding the building. One of them died on the spot while we were there,” she said.
“It is not a common occurrence in Ibadan or in the state. The police will investigate this crime in all its ramifications,” she said.
Some victims of kidnapping in Nigeria are often tortured or sacrificed in black magic rituals.
The Ibadan-based Sunday Tribune, Nigeria’s oldest private newspaper, showed gruesome pictures of rotting bodies, human skulls and other body parts littering the scene, as well as ID papers and ATM cards, shoes, bags and clothes.
It also published a photograph of a haggard woman who was allegedly kidnapped in the southern Edo state in 2008 and rescued at what it called the “House of Horror”.
The newspaper said at least one skeletal-looking man was found in the throes of death, groaning in pain as flies hovered around his face.
Media reports said 15 or more people had been found in leg-chains inside the building but police put the figure at seven.
Some mobile phone numbers were also written on the inside wall of the building, the Tribune said in its report headlined “Kidnappers’ den uncovered in Ibadan”.
Some other local newspapers carried similar reports about the discovery.
Ilobanafor said some commercial motorcycle riders had stumbled upon the bodies after complaining to police that some of their members had gone missing in suspicious circumstances.
Yesterday, cutlass wielding youths, in dozens, stormed the building threatening to pull it down, according to Nigerian Tribune.