In Ilorin: Woman, herbalist, others convicted of dealing in human parts

Kwara State High Court sitting in Ilorin has convicted a local herb seller, a herbalist, a student and four others for trafficking, selling, buying and being in possession of human parts for money rituals.

The offences were committed in March 2017 in Ilorin.

The convicts were found guilty of criminal conspiracy, trafficking in and possession of 11 human skulls, 11 lower jaw bones, a bunch of hair and 29 pieces of bones taken from various burial grounds in Ilorin.

Delivering the judgment, which lasted for about three hours on Wednesday, the Chief Judge of the state, Justice Durosinlorun Kawu, described the activities of the convicts as despicable and shameful, and sentenced the first defendant, Azeez Yakubu, to 15 years’ imprisonment and N100,000 fine for each of the three counts.

 The other convicts, Aishat Yinusa, Lukman Saka, AbdulGaniyu Bamidele, Ahmed Yahaya, Saliu Ayinde and Abdurasak Babamale, were sentenced to 10 years’ imprisonment each and N100,000 fine on each of the two counts they were convicted on.

Justice Kawu stated that the prison terms would include the period already spent in custody, adding that the convicts were free to appeal the judgment.

The judge had earlier rejected the claim by the convicts that they were tortured by men of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad, Abuja, to extract the information contained in their written statements, describing it as unreasonable and inconsistent, while also affirming that the evidence found on the convicts were not animal parts as claimed, but those of human beings.

The Head of Pathology Department, University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital, Dr Kazeem Ibrahim, was invited and he confirmed that the items were human parts.

The first witness in the case, Sergeant Mohammed Kamaldeen, of the Homicide Department, Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department of the state police command had testified that on October 5, 2018, a case of criminal conspiracy and selling of human parts was transferred from the Adewole Police Division to his office.

He added that the first accused person, Yakubu, was arrested with 11 human skulls, bones and human hair, and brought to the station for investigation, adding that he recorded the exhibits as well as obtained the statement of the accused.

Kamaldeen said the exhibits were sent to the UITH for examination to determine if they were genuine human parts.

According to him, the items were received by the hospital and after a thorough examination, they were confirmed by Ibrahim to be human parts.

The second prosecution witness, Matthew Omotosho, informed the court that he was part of the team that arrested the first convict.

A member of a vigilante group, Fatai Adedoyin, who also testified, said he knew Yakubu very well and that he was part of those who retrieved the human parts from the ceiling of his house. Punch
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