Enugu Ritual Killings: Tricycle operators identify victims, demand justice


Keke tricycles
Keke tricycles

In the heat of the trepidation that enveloped Enugu State due to the discovery of three decomposed bodies and eight human skulls that were exhumed from a building site at Ugwuaji area of Enugu metropolis last Monday, the Tricycle Riders’ Association, popularly known as “Keke Riders,” yesterday identified three of the victims in the suspected ritual killing at Ugwuaji as their members.

This came on a day the Civil Liberty Organization, CLO, equally tasked security agencies to quickly unmask the masterminds behind the dastardly act.

The victims

The Keke operators gave names of the victims as Babangida Sale, Ashahabu Dauda both from Kano State and Ismahil Abdulahi from Bauchi State.

In an exclusive interview with Vanguard, member, CLO governing board, Mr. Danjuma Gambo who was crest-fallen as he spoke, charged security agencies in the state to unravel the owner of the property where the suspected ritual killing took place.

According to Gambo,”we are now living in fear especially most of us that patronize Keke operators. The security agencies should rise to the occasion and apprehend the owner of the suspected Church building where the incident occurred. Our investigation from Ugwuaji community showed that it is a communal land that was sold to prospective buyers by members of the community who were beneficiaries.

“We are demanding concrete action from security agencies to unearth the owner of the said property. The victims were allegedly macheted before they were buried in the building foundation. The corpses were buried inside the foundation of the building suspected to be a church under construction and totally covered with concrete.”

Keke riders mourn

Meantime, Chairman of Tricycle Riders Union, Benjamin Ejiofor has described the gruesome murder of its members as “most wicked and despicable.”

Speaking when he led the executive members of the association on a condolence visit to the Enugu Central Mosque at Asata, Enugu, Ejiofor, who was close to tears, described the killing as most barbaric and against the principles of life.

According to him, “our members are rendering very important service to the society and it is so bad that the same people we are serving should turn back to treat us this way.

“We are grieved so much over this colossal loss and that is why we are here to commiserate with the Hausa community in Enugu.

“At this moment, our plea to security agents is that this evil should not go un-punished.

“We cannot categorically say whether they were killed for ritual or not, because even their tricycles have not been found; so, we are leaving that aspect for security agents.”

He advised Keke riders to henceforth stop picking people for ‘drop’ to isolated areas.

Hausa community leader speaks

In a remark, one of the leaders of the Hausa community in Enugu, A.A Sambo, described the death of his brothers as most shocking.

“We lack words with which to describe this situation; it is so sad that vibrant young men left home in the morning in search of daily bread but never returned alive; it is so sad that they were hacked to death in such manner,” he lamented.

Meanwhile, one of those who participated in the search disclosed that apart from the fresh bodies of the three keke riders, there were about eight other human skeletons discovered at the building site.

It would be recalled that the discovery of three decomposed bodies that were exhumed from the building site at Ugwuaji area of Enugu metropolis last Monday rattled the residents of the area.

The corpses were buried inside the foundation of the building suspected to be a church under construction and totally covered with concrete.

It was gathered that the construction of the building whose owner could not be immediately ascertained, commenced recently and was at the foundation stage before the gory discovery Monday.

Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, Mr. Ebere Amaraizu, confirmed the incident in a statement to newsmen, adding that the three corpses were recovered from the site following a tip-off.

“Three decomposing bodies were discovered and full scale investigations have commenced with a view to unmasking circumstances surrounding the incident,” the Police spokesperson revealed. (Vanguard)


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