It could be described as a killing field. Those who witnessed the site can confirm this much. A piece of land at Ugwuaji, Enugu South Local Council is at the centre of it all. Ordinarily, it could not be believed that such heinous crime could go on at the site in view of its proximity to the busy Enugu-Port Harcourt highway.
Again is the presence of two police stations – the Independence layout Police Station and the Anti-terrorism base, whose men also maintain regular presence with a stationed patrol van about two poles from the scene of the incident. Yet, it was at this site that human beings waylaid in various parts of Enugu are brought, raped, killed and buried.
Those who visited the site last Tuesday when news filtered in that three corpses had been exhumed from the foundation of an uncompleted building confirmed that the area had become a killing field.
According to the search party, before locating the corpses of the deceased, who were northern youths, they were surprised while combing the bush in the area to see human skeletons, other decomposing bodies and shallow graves where human beings were interred.
They stated that some of the bodies were those of ladies; one of which was a decomposing body of a female, who beside her corpse was her cloth and condoms showing that she was raped before she was gruesomely murdered.
The Guardian gathered that some of the decomposing bodies had parts of their bodies dismembered, an indication that the field had become one where parts are harvested and apparently used for rituals.
Last Monday, however, the ugly activity that had gone on in the area for some time now was blown open when the bodies of the three northerners, who were tricycle (Keke) operators, were recovered from the shallow graves in the area.
The victims, Mallam Samaila (from Kano), Mallam Babangida (from Bauchi) and Mallam Hashaibu (from Kano) were last seen on Saturday, January 23, 2016, by members of the Northern community.
The community said Hashaibu was last seen at the Enugu Central mosque, Owerri Road, where he observed the evening prayer (Magrib) with other faithful. He left to look for passengers around 7.00pm. Of the three victims, who were said to have lived for about six to seven years in Enugu, Samaila and Hashaibu were married, but only Samaila left three children.
Sources said the killings are the handiwork of a syndicate operating in the state. It was gathered that they move around parks and lonely places to lure their victims. The three victims were said to have been deceived that they were going for a ‘drop’ which usually yields more money than “pick and drop”
Speaking on the development, Mr. James Ugwueze, told The Guardian that ritual killing was gradually gaining root in Enugu State. He stated that it was common among businessmen and women, who engaged in it to grow their businesses.
The Chief Imam of the Enugu Central mosque, Owerri Road, Alhaji Rukalmeni Saidi, debunked the notion that the ritualists might have targeted northerners in the state, stressing that the discoveries made from the area proved that they were not only northerners.
A non-governmental organization, the Civil Rights Realisation and Advancement Network (CRRAN) has urged the state government to consolidate on the adequate security put in place by the immediate past administration.
The President of the association, Olu Omotayo, also called on the police to take necessary steps to unmask those behind the killings and ensure they are made to face the wrath of the law.
Meanwhile, the Police have intensified the search for those behind the killings. Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Ebere Amaraizu, however, could not disclose whether any arrests had been made over the incident. But the area has been barricaded with intensified police patrol around it. Nobody is allowed to pass through the area without police permission.