The people of Idi-Arere community in Ibadan, Oyo State, were in shock on Saturday when they discovered the corpse of a resident, Alhaji Kolawole Waheed, with vital organs of his body missing.
Waheed died last Thursday and was buried on Friday according to Islamic rites.
The deceased’s brother, Taofeek Adebayo, said the 68-year-old was hit by a car while inside a tricycle, adding that he was later taken to a hospital where he died three days after.
“On Saturday morning, an older brother called my wife’s phone. He told me some people had removed Waheed’s head. I rushed down there and discovered that they also removed his hand and intestines.
“Three houses surround the grave and everyone said they didn’t know anything about it,” he added.
A resident, Seun Aribikola, told our correspondent that the grave was between two buildings with an old grave beside it.
He said the incident was later reported to the police.
“When the police got there, they noticed that his head, right hand wrist, and intestines had been taken away,” he added.
There was an uncompleted building beside the grave occupied by one Alfa.
Aribikola said, “When I entered that uncompleted building, I saw an Ogun shrine, where they poured oil on an iron sculpture.”
Alfa, who identified himself as Rosheed, said he worked in the uncompleted building as an herbalist and a tailor.
He said, “I make traditional herbs to cure illnesses. I live in the third house and use this place as a workshop. I am the only one using this place.”
He noted that he left the workshop (the uncompleted building) around 8pm on Friday and had no knowledge of what happened to the corpse.
His wife, Mujidat, also stated that he only used herbs to cure illnesses.
A resident, who did not want to be identified, insisted that the corpse was removed from the grave in the early hours of Saturday.
“This kind of a thing has never happened before in this community,” he added.
The state Police Public Relations Officer, Adewale Osifeso, confirmed the incident and declined further comments.
He said the case “is under investigation and updates will be provided accordingly.”
The use of human parts for ritual purposes is becoming rampant in Oyo State.
Two weeks ago, a cleric, Tiamiyu Abass, was arrested in Oke-Oroki community, Atiba LGA, with the body parts of his female customer, identified only as Barakat.
The police spokesperson had said the remains of the victim were stuffed in a sack and recovered from the suspect.
In January, the Oodua People’s Congress also arrested two persons, Yunusa Atikoko and Wasiu Ajikanle, after they were caught exhuming body parts from a cemetery in Iseyin.
A traditionalist and Ifa priest, Ojebode Falola, said the use of body parts for ritual purposes was an abomination.
He said, “When Babalawos consult Ifa, what they use for sacrifice are usually things like rat, fish, meat, bird, kolanut, oil, and anything that cannot hurt humans. A ritual can also be a sacrifice to appease God for good fortune and they use soap in this case. It doesn’t include humans, but it can be animals.
“Ifa says a rat cannot sacrifice another rat. That is why you see that a goat cannot eat another goat. That’s the interpretation of the Ifa corpus. So, Ifa doesn’t support anything that harms another human. A bird cannot sacrifice another bird. Likewise, a human cannot sacrifice another human.”
According to a legal expert, Wale Adeagbo, the crime attracts up to five years imprisonment.
Adeagbo said Section 329 (A) of the Criminal Code Act prohibited possession of human parts for any reason.