Operatives of the Ogun State Command have arrested three persons, including the mum and stepdad, of a seven-year-old boy in the state, Pelumi Apalaya, for allegedly killing him for ritual.
The spokesman of the Command, Abimbola Oyeyemi, revealed this in a statement on Saturday.
According to the police, those arrested were the boy’s mum, Adetutu Apalaya; her husband, who is the boy’s stepdad and a herbalist, Lajuwon Ogunleye; and his friend, Fatai Sefiu.
Oyeyemi said in the statement that the boy, who lived with his mum and stepdad until he died in Abigi area of Ogun State, reportedly slumped and died on the spot without being ill.
This was said to have aroused the suspicion of some neighbours who trailed Apalaya, Ogunleye and Sefiu to a bush, where the corpse of the boy was reportedly buried in a mysterious way.
The incident was then reported at Abigi Police Station, with the Divisional Police Officer, SP Tarkighir Joseph, leading a crack team to track down the suspects in Iwopin area of Ijebu Waterside, Ogun State on Wednesday.
The three suspects led the policemen to where Pelumi was buried.
There, it was discovered that the victim was buried in an upright position with some of his parts removed.
Oyeyemi said: “On interrogation, the second suspect, Fatai Sefiu, told the detectives that the boy was actually used for ritual by the stepfather (Ogunleye) in connivance with the deceased boy’s mother.
“He stated further that the couple had reached a conclusion before he was co-opted into the business.”
He stated that Apalaya initially denied knowledge of her husband’s plan to use Pelumi for ritual, but later admitted to the crime, adding: “She was dumbfounded when asked whether or not she followed them to the bush where her son was buried and the mode of burial of the boy.
“Meanwhile, the Commissioner of Police, CP Kenneth Ebrimson, has ordered the immediate transfer of the case to the homicide section of the State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department for further investigation and prosecution.”