Mrs. Chinasa Okereke, whose three-year-old son was allegedly killed for ritual purpose by a Muslim cleric at the White Sand area of Isheri Oshun, Lagos State, has narrated how the cleric told her that the murder of the little boy was nothing new.
According to Chinasa, when she finally came face to face with Alfa Kazeem, he told her that her son, Chiagozie wasn’t the first person that had been killed. She further alleged that he told her that his late father, a baale, carried out similar killings.
She said: “He said that his grandfather is a highly placed person in the government. He said it was only a matter of time before he leaves police custody. He said they belong to Ogboni cult. He said that the killing of my son was nothing new. The way he was talking, it’s was like I won’t get justice.
My son suffered and died in pains.” Last Tuesday, a 15-year-old boy, Simon, living in the building next to Chinasa’s, picked Chiagozie at the front of their compound and allegedly took him to Alfa Kazeem.
According to Simon, after he handed Chiagozie to Kazeem, he gave him N500. A frantic search for Chiagozie started. Policemen were brought into the matter. When police got hold of Simon, he confessed to have taken Chiagozie to Kazeem. He led police to an uncompleted building, where the corpse of Chiagozie was found.
A red cloth was tied around his neck and a big stone kept beside his head. Recalling how Chiagozie was kidnapped and killed, Chinasa said that it happened last Tuesday. The mother of four, who lives in a multiroom building, said that her oldest child is 10, the second eight, the third is the deceased and the fourth child is just nine-month-old. The oldest child was not around when Chiagozie was taken.
According to her, on that fateful Tuesday, she brought the children to the front of the house because she wanted to bath them. Leaving the eight year old and Chiagozie outside, she briefly stepped into her apartment to get a wrapper to strap the nine-month-old to her back. When she came out, Chiagozie has disappeared.
When she asked her eight-year-old daughter the whereabouts of her little brother, the girl said that Simon, the 15-year-old living in the building next to theirs, took him.
Chinasa said: “When my daughter told me that Simon took Chiagozie, I immediately rushed to their house, but his guardians said they had been looking for him. When it was getting late, we went to the police station to tell them that Simon took our son and that we couldn’t find him.” This was even as she mentioned that three men, believed to be family members of Kazeem, came to her home around 11pm to threaten her.
She said: “The three men were on a motorbike. I noticed there was no plate number on the motorbike. They came around 11pm on Thursday. They said if anything happened to the Muslim cleric in police custody, they would ensure that the whole of my family members and those of my husband are wiped out. They mounted the motorbike and zoomed off. Since then, we’ve been living in fear.
I’m still grieving my son; I’m yet to get over the shock of his death when these men came to threaten us. We need government and police protection. We’re no longer safe just because we’re demanding for justice. All we want is justice!”
The clergy of the church, where Chinasa and her family worship, Reverend James Okeke, said that the church was behind Chinasa and her family in this period of loss and grief. Okeke said that when he was called by the deceased’s parents that the boy was missing, he was not too worried. He thought the boy would soon return home.
The Reverend became uneasy when he was called on Wednesday morning and told that the boy was yet to be found. Okeke said: “I believe the little boy was killed with mystical powers.”