Edet, a chef in Nigeria’s capital, Abuja, can still not explain how he landed in a ritualist’s den. He is lucky to escape unhurt.
He was out in October after he closed from work to honour an invite by a friend to hang out at the Central Business District (CBS) of Abuja. But the journey from his home at the back of Aviation Quarters near the airport ended in a strange place. Edet was abducted.
“I live behind Aviation Quarters. I boarded a vehicle heading to town; that is all I can remember. The next thing, I found myself somewhere like a shrine. The place and what was happening there were terrifying. Word can’t depict,” Edet struggled to recall his last moments before the incident.
Despite the denial by the police, experiences by ritual kidnap victims, like this food vendor, and their relatives revealed that Abuja had been infested by ritual killers.
He was dumped by his abductors on the highway after they had dispossessed him of his valuables.
“My phone, jewellery, ATM cards, and money are all gone. Chills raced through my spine. My agbada clothing that day metaphysically changed to white jumpers – I was just running. I kept running like a mad dog until I got to Air Force Base, where a good Samaritan gave me a ride back to my house,” he recounted.
Many residents of Abuja have had close shavings with ritualists and kidnappers, confirming fears that the once safe and well-protected nation’s capital is now porous.
Similarly, Maryjane told TheNigerian News that her elder brother mysteriously went missing in Abuja.
“My elder brother, who was a civil servant, has been missing for over three years now. We have searched for him everywhere, and we still can’t find him. Our mother died of high blood pressure because of his sudden disappearance,” a distraught Maryjane lamented.
“So, I want to plead with Abuja residents to be very careful and security conscious, especially this Mber month. And for those still doubting the existence of ritualists in Abuja, they should pray they or their loved ones do not fall victim,” she added.
Another resident, Austin Uche, narrated how ritualists cast a spell on his sister and defrauded her of almost half a million naira.
“I have heard of ritualists and one chance, but I had never really believed their existence. Or rather, I was unconcerned about them. But that changed a few months ago when my elder sister became a victim,” Uche said.
“I remember. It was in August this year. She came back one fateful afternoon looking shattered and battered. Thank goodness my mother was around – she came from the village for her annual ritual of pressuring my elder sister to get married. Before she came, it was just my sister living in her apartment and I. I have been living with her since I graduated last year.”
“My mom, upon seeing her daughter looking like a refugee, queried why she came back from work very early looking tattered. ‘Nothing, I just came to carry something, she replied my mother.”
“She rushed to her room and came out with a briefcase. But my mom demanded that she was too rough and insisted she shower before leaving.”
“My sister pleaded with my mom to let her go because she was running late, but my mom insisted that she must take her bath and change her dress, adding that she did not know where she would meet her husband.
“After so much pressure from my mom, my sister went to shower. Then suddenly, she started screaming. We rushed to the bathroom, and when she came out, she told us that she had been scammed.”
The scammed lady narrated her encounter with fraudsters to her brother and mother. She was abducted alongside others after boarding what looked like a taxi.
“She was kidnapped by the driver of the vehicle she boarded. She said she and her fellow passengers were taken to a shrine where they were made to swear an oath always to obey whatever their abductors tell them. She said the kidnappers took her to the ATM and made her withdraw all the money in her account, about N500 000,” Uche narrated.
“And after that, they asked her whether she had any other money somewhere, and she said ‘yes’, and that she had house rent money at home, they drove her to Area 1 and told her to call them, and they will direct her to where she would bring the money once she has it.”
“She added that immediately she started to shower, she came back to her senses. She told us that the kidnappers were ritualists and that they tied up some people in the shrine.
“When she was done, the air was still. The silence was deafening. We were all in ducking shock.”
Suspected ritualists arrested in Abuja
The fear of abduction and ritual killings in Abuja climaxed after two men were reportedly arrested with human parts in the FCT last Friday.
In a viral video spotted online by TheNigerian News, two men were seen with what looks like a woman’s severed head.
The suspected ritualists identified themselves as Peter Ochigbo, 42, and Samuel Bachu, 35, respectively. They both claimed they hailed from Otukpo Local Government Area of Benue State.
The video was posted by a Twitter user with the handle @Abuja_Facts. The poster claimed that the suspects “were caught with a human head in ABUJA by the police”.
UPDATE: 2 Men In Desperate Quest For Money And Power Caught With Human Head In ABUJA.
Two Benue men by name, Peter Ochigbo and Samuel Achu of Otukpo LGA of Benue State, were caught with human head in ABUJA by the Police. pic.twitter.com/PW5foAkvkc
— ABUJA FACTS (@Abuja_Facts) November 25, 2022
The video, which has since gone viral, has elicited panicking among FCT residents.
Police assure residents of maximum security
However, the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Police Command has urged residents of the territory not to be afraid, saying ritual killings alarm false.
The command’s spokesperson, DSP Josephine Adeh, who spoke to TheNigerian News correspondent in a telephone interview, also debunked reports that men of the command arrested two suspected ritual killers last week.
Adeh said since last Friday, when the news of the arrest of suspected ritualists in the FCT broke out, men of the command have been on the lookout for the suspects, but so far, nothing has been found to show that any ritual killer was arrested as claimed on social media.
She, however, appealed to anyone with useful information on the alleged incident to come to the police.
“The reports of the arrest of the two men with human parts by the FCT police are fake news. We are only seeing it on social media, just like everyone else,” she said.
“Since Friday, we have been looking for where it happened, but till now, we have not found anything. However, anyone with useful information on the alleged incident should come to the police.”
The PPRO urged Abuja residents not to be afraid, saying “we are on top of our job”.