Yesiru Salisu was caught with severed human parts from a Christian cemetery in Ijebu-Ode after he had sworn an oath to never partake in the act of exhuming body parts. Speaking at the Police Headquarters, Eleweran in Abeokuta, Ogun State on his reasons for indulging in the criminal act
What do you do for a living?
I am a farmer in Ago-Iwoye. I have a farm close to Ago-Iwoye Secondary School.
Are you a native doctor?
No, I am not a native doctor.
What were you doing with the human parts you were caught with?
I was sent by a native doctor, whose name is Lekan Mapariwo, to go and get him four human skulls, which we call ‘menumo.’
What did he promise you in exchange for the skulls?
He said he would give me money to spend on the treatment of my swollen leg. He took me to the cemetery. We went there together.
How much did he promise to pay for the service?
He said he would give me N10,000 if I helped him get the skulls. He said if I could get him four skulls, he will give more than N10,000. He was not specific.
How much do you need for your leg?
I don’t know because I have not gone to the hospital to know how much it will require to be amputated. I don’t have money and I have no helper. I have been in pain for eight years.
When did you go to the cemetery?
We went at night. He took me to the place on his okada.
How did you get the skulls?
When we got there, he told me that I would help him get four human skulls. He did not tell me before we were going to the cemetery to collect human parts. He just told me to come along with him and that he had a job for me. When we got there, he said that was the job I would help him to do, and I said, ‘You didn’t tell me we were coming to a burial ground.’ He only said I would help him ‘to do something.’ He then said I should not worry and that nothing would happen. I said, ‘This is a serious job.’ He said, ‘The human parts are already decayed. They are not useful again.’ He asked if I didn’t want to take care of my leg and I said I wanted to. I told him that since the sickness started, I had abandoned my maize farm. I have been in pain for a long time without money or food. I hardly even had breakfast in a day, but as a result of not having anything or anybody around to help me, I decided to follow him to help him get them (skulls). When we got there, he broke the grave and brought out one head and asked me to break my own and I broke it, then I brought out three human skulls.
Was there no security personnel at the cemetery?
There was no security man around there. The cemetery did not have a gate. It is an open space. We broke the graves with a stone from their sides and took the skulls out. When we got there, he taught me how to do it. He did one and gave me the stone, since he said he would give me money to treat my leg.
How did you know which grave to check for the skulls?
He only broke the side of the grave. He checked the date. You know a corpse of five years is different from a recently buried corpse. We did not break the skulls off. They were already scattered; we took the skulls from the graves with ease. He did one and I did the other three. I did as he did and put them into a bag. After doing the job successfully, we started heading back home. Some people saw us; I believe they know him, so they challenged us. I stopped but he fled, leaving me behind. I was then arrested.
Are you married?
Yes, I have a wife and three children. The youngest is seven years old. This was my first time. I could only afford N50 for breakfast and in the afternoon I would eat garri with salt. Poverty pushed me to do it.
Is it true that you had been caught for the same crime before?
For that one, I was taken to the palace. I didn’t do anything. I was just implicated by a boy who was drunk. He said I wanted to do it. His name is Sule. He later confessed that I was innocent. We spent five days in the vigilante detention.
What do you know about the native doctor? Is he your friend?
No, he is not. He is a native doctor that I know in Ago-Iwoye. Lekan has been arrested before over the same case but he was bailed by his father.
How did your leg get swollen?
I stepped on something. This swollen leg has stopped me from going to my farm; that was why I followed him. As I speak, I have maize in the farm. I have been using painkillers and traditional soaps. It has been effective. The pain has reduced. In the beginning, the leg was much more swollen.
Is it true that you ran away when you were first caught?
Yes. I ran away when the police came; I hid inside a stream to escape from the police when they came to arrest me. I dropped my bag and ran away from the police before I was later arrested.
What do you want?
I want to beg the government to forgive me. I want to promise that I will not get involved in this again, because I have sworn in the palace that I would not be involved in this when I was first arrested then. I swore an oath and breaking it is death. Whoever breaks the oath will die.
How did you take the oath?
We used our mouths to eat a kolanut and drink schnapps. We pledged that we would not go back to that.
Why did you go back to it?
I don’t have any means to feed myself. I can say I ate good food after I was arrested by the police. I was fed by the police.
Was it a case of choosing between death and hunger?
Yes. I said, even if I am going to die, I should not die on an empty stomach. I don’t want to go to heaven on an empty stomach.
Do you know who the severed skulls belong to?
I don’t know them (deceased). I got them from Ijebu-Ode; that is not where I live. I live in Ago-Iwoye, but the cemetery is in ijebu-Ode.
By DAUD OLATUNJI
Don’t Disregard Experts’ Advice, NMA tells FG as Schools Resume
The Nigerian Medical Association on Sunday advised federal and state governments against disregarding medical experts on school resumption in Nigeria due to COVID-19 pandemic.
The NMA President, Professor Innocent Ujah, stated this in a telephone interview with one of our correspondents while commenting on government’s decision to reopen schools beginning from Monday (today).
Ujah stated that although the association would not advise government not to reopen schools, he stated that authorities must ensure compliance with COVID-19 guidelines of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control.
The experts spoke as coronavirus cases in the country rose from 75,062 on December 17, 2020 to 108,943 on Sunday, January 17, 2021.
Also during the same period, COVID-19 deaths increased from 1,200 to 1,420, an increase of 220.
Advising government on the rising cases, the NMA president stated, “What we are saying is that for schools to reopen, authorities must be prepared. We don’t know how long COVID-19 will last for us to say schools should not reopen.
“But what we are saying is that they (school authorities) must prepare to comply with the NCDC protocols of hand washing at several points not just one point.
“In the universities where we have a large number of people in faculties and departments, there must be points for hand washing and sanitizers. The issue of face mask is a must and social distancing in the classrooms is also important.”
He suggested that lectures should conducted online, adding, “Once we comply with these protocols, I believe they will reduce the spread.”
While stating that the association had earlier advised Federal Government not to deploy people for the National Youth Service Corps, Ujah, who is also Vice-Chancellor of the Federal University of Health Sciences, Otukpo, Benue State, said that the NMA would continue to advise authorities.
He stated, “The NMA said that the NYSC should not deploy corps member for now. We don’t know what government will do, but we have to advise that authorities must listen to experts. That is one way of making progress, therefore reducing infections.”
Saturday PUNCH had reported that the Federal Government shunned a recommendation by the Economic Sustainability Committee led by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and decided to re-open orientation camps nationwide on Tuesday amid rising COVID-19 infections.
According to the report, the Osinbajo-led committee had in June 2020 recommended that while the NYSC programme could continue, the three-week orientation exercise should be suspended for two years.
Schools resume in Lagos, Ogun, others
Meanwhile, nursery, primary and secondary schools in states including Lagos, Ogun, Ogun, Ebonyi and Nasarawa will today resume academic activities for the second term of the 2020/21 academic year.
Some higher institutions, both federal and states, had also signified their intention to resume academic activities today.
Resumption at basic schools was delayed in many states following the second wave of COVID-19 as well as the advice by the NCDC.
Schools in Oyo State, however, resumed on January 4, while schools in Edo and Anambra states will resume in February.
The Lagos State Government, in a statement on Friday, affirmed its earlier pronouncement that all public and private schools in the state below tertiary level should resume on Monday (today).
In the statement, the state Commissioner for Education, Mrs Folashade Adefisayo, urged students and staff members to adhere to COVID-19 guidelines.
Also, the Ogun State Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, Prof. Abayomi Arigbabu, had on Friday directed all primary, secondary as well as government science and technical colleges to resume academic activities on Monday.
Arigbabu appealed to parents, guardians, teachers, school administrators and other stakeholders to ensure full compliance with all coronavirus protocols
Also, the Ebonyi State Government will deploy two nurses in each public school ahead of today’s resumption to stem the second wave of COVID-19 pandemic.
The Chairman of the state chapter of the Nigeria Union of Teachers, Mr Francis Elechi, who disclosed this to the News Agency of Nigeria, explained that the nurses would assist the teachers, who had been trained on the preventive measures against the second wave of COVID-19.
Similarly in Nasarawa State, Governor Abdullahi Sule approved the resumption of all schools in the state with effect from today.
The Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, Hajiya Fatu Sabo, in a statement said the ministry had put machinery in motion to ensure maximum compliance with the COVID-19 safety protocols.
BREAKING NEWS: NSCDC CG Hands over To Madu As Tenure Ends Today
Alhaji Gana Muhammed, Commandant General, Nigeria Securiry and Civil Defence, official tenure ends today.
He, at about 3.32 PM, handed over the affairs of NSCDC to the Deputy Commandant General Operation, Kelechi Madu.
Madu will be incharge pending the official announcement of the new substantive CG by the mr President
Nigerian Law School Rejects Law Graduates Of Benin Republic Varsity
The Council of Legal Education has reiterated its ban on Law graduates of the Houdegbe North American University, Cotonou, Benin Republic from being admitted into the Nigerian Law School.
The Council also advised parents and students to exercise due diligence in the choice of educational institutions “in order to avoid frustration at the end of the day.”
In a statement by the Secretary, Mrs Elizabeth Max-Uba, on Friday, the Council said after its meeting to consider the appeals of the affected graduates on November 25, 2020, it resolved to sustain the ban imposed in 2015.
Part of the reasons for the ban, the Council said was that the university is domiciled in Civil Law jurisdiction yet its law faculty was offering Common Law courses only, and that the subjects of the programme were specifically designated Nigerian.
The Council also noted that the students of the school were 100% Nigerians and the language of instruction was English, whereas French is the lingua franca of Benin Republic, adding that “the lecturers were Nigerians drawn from faculties of law in the South West region of Nigeria, who were teaching there on part-time basis.”
“Information gathered from independent sources indicated that the university had no approval from the regulatory authority in that country to run a law programme in the university until 2016, after the decision was taken by the Council to suspend admission of its graduates to the Nigerian Law School,” the statement read.
“There are continuing concerns over substandard tertiary institutions in the West African sub-region, Benin Republic in particular, that target Nigerian students for commercial or monetary gains only.
“Although the Council has no regulatory control over institutions domiciled outside Nigeria, it is vested with powers to determine who is admitted into the Nigerian Law School and under which conditions.
“It also has the responsibility to ensure that candidates admitted to the Nigerian Law School have obtained the minimum standards in learning and have imbibed the basic tenets of the law.”
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