A 35-year-old suspect, Akeem, who was arrested by detectives in Ogun State Police Command after he allegedly murdered an 18-year-old student of Obafemi Awolowo University, Quadri Salami, to get body parts for sale, has revealed how he learnt about use of human heads from Facebook groups.
The mystery surrounding the disappearance of Quadri for almost a month unravelled when Akeem was arrested after technical investigation and intelligence gathering were adopted by the detectives. This was followed by the recovery of the deceased’s decomposing body parts in a shallow grave on Wednesday, December 6, 2023, by the Commissioner of Police, Abiodun Alamutu, who led a team to the suspect’s house at Mile 6, Ajebo area of Abeokuta, the state capital.
Giving an insight to how the discovery was made, the police spokeswoman, SP Omolola Odutola, disclosed that the deceased’s father reported the case of his missing son at Kemta Police station on November 14, about six days after he was last seen.
The PPRO said that the father told the police that he had not seen his son since November 8, and all efforts to locate him had proved abortive.
She stated further that the report led to intelligence gathering which yielded fruits with the arrest of Akeem to whom the missing boy’s phone was traced.
On interrogation, Akeem reportedly opened up on how he killed the teenage student and dismembered his body for sale to another native doctor, Ifaniyi, and other prospective buyers.
It was further learnt that Akeem called Ifaniyi after dismembering Quadri, handed the head and a palm to him, while Ifaniyi paid the sum of N130,000 into Akeem’s account for the body parts.
To hide his criminal act, Akeem reportedly burnt Quadri’s clothes and threw away his footwear and phone. Not done, Akeem reportedly put the remaining body parts in a plastic bucket, soaked them in alcohol and buried the bucket until needed for use or purchase. However, one of his pair of footwears was found not too far away from Akeem’s house during investigation and search by detectives, Saturday Tribune learnt.
“The suspects are currently at the State Criminal Investigation Department at Eleweran, Abeokuta, for further investigations, and will definitely be prosecuted after the conclusion, SP Odutola said.
In an interview Saturday Tribune had with Akeem, who hailed from Osun State, he said that he started living in Abeokuta in 2014.
The married father of three narrated: “I am a native doctor. Before becoming one, I was selling phones and accessories. I started learning divination in 2015 from my paternal grandmother who told me to do so as she didn’t want it to become extinct in her family lineage. I went to stay with her in Sagamu. When my grandmother died, I returned to Abeokuta and went round native doctors who were versed in the practice to learn more. I started practising it in 2018.
“My practice involved taking care of diabetic patients (egbo adaajina), breaking spiritual bondages (atude), opening ways for success (asina), fortune making (asiri bibo) and others. I was using python’s head (ori ere), cobra’s head (ori oka), dog’s head (ori aja), okete’s head and others which would be added to herbs and roots to prepare the native medicines for awure, asiri bibo and the rest.
How I learnt using human heads
“In divination and native medicine training, we were not taught to use human heads. I learnt it from Facebook accounts after joining the groups. They would write about things to use for rituals and I would copy and put them in writing for use. This was about three years ago.
“I started using pieces of dry human skull I got from fellow native doctors. I would grind them into powder and mix them with native black soap or to make aseje (d:d:r). We would just ask other native doctors if they had ‘ajiyo (r:r:d)’ (pieces of dry human skull) which could not be decoded by non-native doctors.
“I got two human heads from a native doctor, Ifayemi. He is currently on the run. Before I got them, another native doctor, Ifaniyi, told me that he needed them. I told Ifayemi and when he got one, he brought it and charged N50,000 for it. I gave it to Ifaniyi. That was in July this year. He brought the second one for Ifaniyi in September. He also paid another N50,000 for it. I didn’t know how Ifayemi got the heads.”
How I knew the OAU student that I eventually killed
“Quadri was learning barbing from a man, Ahmed. I used to barb in the shop too. One day, the boss called me and said that he was told to perform rites to the god of iron (bo ogun) for Quadri. The barber brought Quadri and I carried out the task.
“Two weeks after, the boy came to me and asked that I prepared a fortune soap for him. He told me he was a yahoo guy but was not making enough money from the foreigners he was scamming. The boss didn’t know of his coming to me. I made ‘asina’ soap for him using lizard, herbs and a candle stuffed in the middle of the soap. He lit the candle and went to have a bath with the soap in my backyard. This was in October.
“He came back to me and said the job had not picked up as he wanted. I told him look for N70,000 to do the job. He left and came back after two weeks again and said he couldn’t get any money, asking me to help him. I told him to return after a week, promising to make some charms (eyonu d:m:m and atude r:m:d) that would favour him.
“Some days after, Ifaniyi called and told me that he needed another human head and I should let him know if the native doctor who usually got it for me had one. On November 8, when Quadri came, I gave him a prepared soap to have a spiritual bath at my backyard. As he was having the bath, I crept into the backyard from a side and struck him with a machete on his neck from the back.
“He fell down immediately and I struck him the second time, severing his head. I also cut his palms from his wrists before dismembering other body parts. I cleaned the blood as if nothing happened in my house. This was at about 3pm. My wife and children were not at home. I called Ifaniyi and he came to collect the head and a palm at about 4pm. He paid N130,000 – N100,000 for the head and N30,000 for the palm. He didn’t know that I killed the victim whose body parts he got.
“On December 6, police came to my house after discovering my involvement, and I confessed everything to them. I now realise that what I did was very bad. I just pray for God’s forgiveness.”
The second suspect, Ifaniyi, who purchased Quadri’s head and palm also narrated his involvement, saying that he never knew that Akeem killed someone to get the head for him.
The 28-year-old father of one narrated his side of the story thus: “I’m a native of Abeokuta. I live at Ita Oshin. I grew up in Ifa divination household and never attended school. I started learning from childhood and also went to other native doctors in addition to what I learnt from my parents. We had worship points (ojubo) for Ifa, esu, ogun, and used to perform rites to cleanse heads (ori bibo) and make sacrifices. We usually appease (bo) esu with palm oil, salt, alcohol and chicken.
How I got human heads from Akeem
“I knew him long ago when he was selling phones and accessories. He was so nice that he would even give phone or accessories free of charge if one didn’t have money. He was also coming to me for divination (da ifa) and sacrifices (aajo and irubo). He later went to learn divination from his paternal grandmother. When he started practising, he told me he had someone who used to bring human heads to him for purchase. I told him to help me get one whenever the person had it.
“I used the human heads for myself to open ways (asina). We were not taught to use human parts during training. We learnt it from the social media. Unfortunately, I didn’t experience any improvement.
“On the last human head he gave me that got me into trouble, he called me a day before to tell me that it would be brought by the usual supplier, promising to give me a call. He did the following day and said that the body from which the parts were got was freshly exhumed as he was told. I paid N130,000.
“The following day, I checked the nylon and saw that the head and palm were still fresh. I called my colleague and asked if he was sure that the body was exhumed and not that someone was killed. He repeated that it was exhumed, most likely on the day it was buried.
“I prepared the charm by burning the head and palm along with a turtle (ijapa), Ega bird, alligator pepper (ataare) and certain herbs (ewe oge d:d) in a black earthenware until it became powder. I mixed it with native soap in preparation to bathe with it. However, I was arrested before I started using it.”
Thirty-year-old Ahmed, the barber who had Quadri as an apprentice before his murder, said that he knew Akeem as a customer and a diviner, but never thought he could commit such an act.
According to Ahmed, “I am from Abeokuta. I am a father of two and own a barbing salon and Quadri was learning from me. He usually came whenever he had a break from school. We were in the shop in September when Osun worshippers passed by and started blessing us. I gave them money in appreciation of the prayers and Quadri also did so.
“They went on their way but suddenly turned back and asked for the shop owner. I said I was the one. They asked me to tell Quadri togive sacrifices to Ogun because of family issue. Quadri himself heard it. That same evening, Akeem a.k.a Ogbon came to my shop. I intimated him of what we were told by Osun worshippers and he said I should allow him to get home and make findings on it.
“Later, I called him to know what he thought about it, and he said we should do what we were told. He prescribed usage of chicken, palm oil and alcohol for the rites and Quadri paid for them. We went to his house two days after and performed the rites. We didn’t spend more than an hour with him and we went back to the shop. Two or three weeks after, Quadri told me that he was going back to school and wanted to be home to prepare. I bade him bye and told him to be careful about his life.
“After almost a month, Quadri’s father came to my shop to ask if I saw his son. I was surprised at the question and asked him if the boy had yet to return to school as he told me. The father replied in the negative, saying that they were trying to gather money for him to take to school. The father told me that his son left home after telling him that he wanted to work onn his SIM card at Oke Ilewo and would stop by my shop to eat. I told him that Quadri did not come to the shop. I called his phone number but it was not going through. I remember that the dad asked me whether I suspected Quadri of being a yahoo boy. I replied that I would be telling a lie if I said he was not doing so. I pointed out to the father the expensive phones he had even before he started apprenticeship with me which I could never afford. The father left.
“I called Akeem and told him what I heard of Quadri. He expressed surprise, saying that he thought he had gone back to school. He said that the boy had not been to his place since the last time I came with him. He said he would check from Ifa. He called me back later and said what he saw was that the boy was alive but just went playing.
“A customer came to my shop and I also mentioned the search for Quadri. He gave me a number and said I should call a pastor to enquire about Quadri. When I called the pastor, he said he would like to speak with his parents. I forwarded the number to Quadri’s mother.
“I was sitting in front of my shop on December 6 when Police came to arrest me. I got into Police van and saw Akeem in it. I later got to know that he was the one who killed Quadri and sold his body parts.”